My eldest son told me on Saturday that he’s nearly paid off his student loan. I wanted to hug him. Then I thought about how useless a parent I was to have not been able to fund his education.
Then I got angry. Could our wider society really not afford to educate it’s children? Educate them in the language of Shakespeare, of Dickens, of Orwell even?
Or can we only educate them to know not the value, simply the cost?
In my anger, I was holding a metaphorical brick, only metaphorical of course, we’re not going to cause a fuss are we? Whither that brick though? The obvious target was Tony Blair’s, window; after all, he created the student loan monster didn’t he? Then I thought, ” but who created Tony?”
Tony was a troublesome child, but he was fortunate to be fostered by that nice Thatcher family, who nurtured him and imbued him with all their own values, until he knew the cost.
I kept the brick in hand. No Thatcher window exists any more, only a trapdoor to Hell.
The brick felt heavier. Perhaps I could find Thatcher’s offspring, and casually lob the brick through their window?
I looked. There were suddenly millions of windows in front of me, fronting the gleaming monoliths to the society we now have.
There’s the Downing Street window, where I peered through to see the descendants of Thatcher excitedly playing with their new toy. And the Number 11 window, where a callow Chancellor pored over ledgers to ensure that we only got what we can afford. Working so hard on our behalf- or for himself? For nobody should work on behalf of anyone else should they? That’s not what society wants.
Then I went into another town and looked though a supermarket window, where hordes of angry shoppers beat each other to a pulp to claim ownership over, well rolls of pulp.
The voices were all saying the same thing, “it’s mine”, millions of island voices, for once, in unison all shouting “I want that, I can pay for it, why should you have it?”
Those voices, behind their own little opaque windows of self were united in their belief that they didn’t need education. “If you want it, you pay for it” they exclaimed. Instead, they just wanted toilet paper.
I put the brick down. I only have one, and there are now too many windows, behind which they all knew how much their rolls of pulp cost.
We may know the cost, but the value will only reveal itself when we have destroyed every last remnant of that thing we used to call society.
“I only have one brick” I thought, “what can it do against row upon row of windows?”
I hugged my son, apologised for having allowed all these shiny glass monoliths to be built, the windows of which only allowed occupants to see their own reflection.
I strummed my guitar, but the song was already written.
I’ll carry on writing songs though, hoping for a window, while Society’s role unravels.