An article about a teacher fired caught my attention. Two children in a third grade classroom under desks and possibly involved in sexual activity. I read the readers’ comments and many asked and then answered the question; Where did they learn such behavior? One reader remarked on playing doctor as a child. My experience at the urging of a boy cousin, was innocuous – a little touching, no sex involved, and not in school.

A friend and I were recently speaking about children and the electronic playthings in their lives. What if this contributed to less use of their imaginations in the art after-school classes I teach? Maybe children I taught in early 2000’s were more open to art when there were less diversions. Diversions without the current fascination overdone, in my opinion, with war and sex. I have limited experience of current movies/songs/games. Out of curiosity a few days ago I did watch a video of Madonna with what we used to call “backup” singers.

How could anyone equate these young men with fit bodies wearing only tights with “back-up” singers such as we knew in the 1950’s, 60’s? The whole movie was blatantly sexual and exploitative. No wonder children try it out. Try out sex and guns; the combination was in the video. You don’t need to show an I.D. to watch a video on YouTube. And that’s a shame.

My children think much of current singer who sings “That’s Life,” an old standard that was one of several “belonging” to Frank Sinatra. (I thought it anemic by comparison to Sinatra.) Another; “For Once in My Life” sung by Stevie Wonder who belted it out with passion, is to my generation as Sinatra’s songs are to my parents. There’s definitely something to be said for singing with verve and leaving the rest to the imagination.

Below you’ll find a talk. I’m bringing this post around in a circle. I don’t know the teacher in the news story, but I feel he/she lost out. My take; this life and the living of it, is about honor and value and making connection with others. There’s little honor in what goes for entertainment today. Anyway, here’s the talk. Watch for the fun of it, okay?

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