Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Good things come to obsessive-compulsives who fixate.

I read this article today about competitive upper class kids schools. It made me really re-think the movie Igby Goes Down. It's insane the amount of money some people pay to get their kids into "the right schools." Apparently some of the Manhatten pre-schools are harder to get in than Harvard.

When you show up at these schools, you can't not be bowled over by the scene. These kids are perfect! Straight from a high-end catalogue. The catalougues imitate these kids -- they are the archetype! This is no overnight tradition. They've been working on carriage and posture here for generations -- and truly, they don't slouch very much; there really isn't much visible attitude. From the groomed and tended preschool youngsters to the gamine girls and Harry Potter boys lounging in common rooms and on window seats -- there are no sore thumbs. This is incredible packaging. This is what the rich are supposed to look like. And the better the school, the better the packaging. The better the school, the stricter the homogeneity of style and tone and manners. (This is actually the result of a harsh Darwinian process: You have to look or fit the part to get in, and then, if you don't continue to stay in character, you're weeded out -- indeed, almost no amount of money can keep a misfit or underperformer in.)
I'm guessing this kind of atmosphere really screws up a lot of kids.

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