Razzberry Rose

Letters to home.

Monday, July 31, 2006

No Child Left Behind (except our own)

There's a book by John Wyndham, entitled "The Midwich Cuckoos," that you probably know better as the movie, "Village of the Damned." It's about a group of children born in a small English town after a "close encounter" that leaves everybody in the village comatose for several hours and every woman of child-bearing age pregnant. These children have the power to "will" the ordinary residents of the town to do their bidding. In the book, the women who left the town after the incident were "willed" by their infants to return to the town, so that the infants could be together. One of the women accidentally pokes her baby with a safety pin while changing its diaper, and she has to be sedated by the doctor to stop her from jabbing herself with the pin until she's bleeding and hysterical. A man who is unable to avoid injuring one of the children, who are nine years old by this time and look seventeen, is "willed" into driving his car into a wall, and dies. The town scholar compares the children to cuckoos, a bird that lays its eggs in other birds' nests, where they hatch and usually end up killing the host bird's own offspring, either by pushing them out of the nest or depriving them of food. He says, "...there is really only thing to be done with them once one's nest is infested." Later on, someone remarks that "...they know that as far as they are concerned murder carries no penalty." And the question is asked, "Can any state, however tolerant, afford to harbor an increasingly powerful minority which it has no power to control?" If you don't want to know how the book ends, read no further.
The man who spoke earlier of nests being infested blows up the house where the children live by hiding explosives in the equipment boxes he brings with him when he shows them films. If you saw the movie, "Independence Day," he did what Randy Quaid did when his missile wouldn't disengage from his plane.
If Mr. Wyndham had visited Los Angeles, CA, he might have added another twist to the story: whenever the children, or parasites, were bored, they would play with the ordinary residents by willing them to do something and placing bets on whether they could be made to do it, or do it in a particular way. If someone was going to buy an item, the parasites would compete with each other to make the person select a specific one, or if the person were going someplace, the parasites would compete to see who could make the person take a certain route. If there were people who could do things like this, our laws would be inadequate to protect the innocent from such parasites, which is the case in "The Midwich Cuckoos," when the town's savior says, "...the laws evolved by one species are, by their nature inapplicable against a species with different capacities." Hell, all you'd have to do is make everyone pretend that no one has that kind of power, and those parasites could commit murder whenever they liked! Guess what? They are!


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