Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This past Christmas I bought the Not My Fault daughter an "I Can Kill You with My Brain" t-shirt, because we happen to love the Firefly television series the line originally came from, and also the Serenity movie which came from the series.

In the series River Tam tells bad guy/good guy Jayne to leave her and her brother Simon alone, because "I can kill you with my brain". The inside joke, of course, is that she really can kill with her brain. ("No power in the 'Verse can stop me".) The series is largely about the exploits of a bunch of space outcasts and misfits, but hits consistently and relentlessly on themes relating to liberty, self-determination, and loyalty. The movie does that too, but really is more strongly themed on the love between River Tam and her brother Simon Tam.

Anyway, a few weeks ago the Not My Fault daughter wore the shirt to school. Big mistake, evidently, what with the offending word "kill" emblazoned across her skinny 14 year old 100-pounds-soaking-wet chest. She was scolded by the one of the resident scolds, er, I mean teachers, who demanded to know the meaning of the saying. She at least bothered to listen to the story about the show and the movie and the amazing River Tam and the rest of it, and then instructed my daughter to wear a jacket the rest of the day.

But that's not what I want to talk about.

I remember reading about what you should do in case you're attacked by an armed insane person, when you don't happen to be allowed to also be armed. The overwhelming evidence clearly shows you should either run like hell, or fight back with whatever you have at your disposal; your fists if nothing else. Point being: give yourself a chance, however remote. The worst thing you can do is cower or otherwise try to hide. This literally makes you a sitting duck, and in the view of the armed insane person, dehumanizes you further. You relinquish all control of the outcome based purely on chance.

So of course I've taken some time over the years to instruct my daughter along those lines: fight back, never cower, if by some remote chance an armed insane person visits your school.

A pity more aren't taught similarly. And that teacher so offended by that t-shirt? What's her "policy"?


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