Childhood





By Emma Goldman, via the Anarchist Library: Is the child to be considered as an individuality, or as an object to be moulded according to the whims and fancies of those about…





An ahead-of-its-time covert shopdropping (the opposite of shoplifting) endeavor, in which the mass produced toys sold to children were “corrected”:

The Barbie Liberation Organisation was an organization that caused a significant cultural jamming intervention in 1993. Having purchased many Barbie dolls and GI Joe action figures, the group switched the voice boxes from a pair of dolls (one from either group) and then placed them onto store shelves. Customers who purchased the toys were surprised to find gung-ho, combat ready Barbie dolls or effeminate GI Joes that were more interested in shopping than shooting.


From the archives of British Pathé, a look at Burgess Hill, a one-of-a-kind British boarding school in which nothing was forbidden and students were “allowed to find out for themselves whether conventions are good or bad.” In other words, plenty of cigarette smoking, mod styles, R&B dancing, abstract painting, and motorbike races. Based on the revolutionary idea that kids should be happy:

Burgess Hill was a progressive boarding school in Hertfordshire, England in the 1960s. Run by a Cambridge graduate, it allowed the kids to do what ever they liked! We can’t quite work out whether this is the best or worst school in the world. Would actually be interesting to know what became of these kids.




In keeping with the Ayn Rand ruins everything meme in honor of the release of Atlas Shrugged: The Movie, enjoy a blackly amusing recollection of what can happen when your Rand-obsessed parent…



Has the “modern family” structure put pressure on children to grow up too quick, or just be more considerate? Letters to Santa usually contain kids’ materialistic desires, but lately they’re more concerned…






The title is provocative, but this piece from the site Double X is extremely moving. Here’s why you give a child in elementary school marijuana: My son J has autism. He’s also…



I always thought these things were really odd. Check out this article from Tamar Brott in Los Angeles Times from October, 2000. Sea Monkeys inventor Harold von Braunhut died in 2003:

SeaMonkeysInAquariumAPART FROM THE FACT THAT THEY CAN HATCH WITHIN MINUTES AFTER contact with water, brine shrimp are unappealing creatures. They’re ant-sized and translucent and bear a striking resemblance to sperm. Yet brine shrimp packaged as “Sea Monkeys” are currently sold as children’s companions, and portrayed on their boxes as pink, pear-shaped simian creatures with spindly legs, paunches and coy smiles. They are one of the most impressive achievements in the annals of marketing.

Harold von Braunhut, a former manager of novelty acts, first packaged his patented hybrids in 1960, transforming the Sea Monkeys into American icons via millions of comic book ads. Von Braunhut also wrote the 32-page handbook that is included in most Sea Monkey kits to this day, which states that the creatures can be hypnotized, play baseball and rise from the dead. The tone of the handbook is florid and huckstery: “It seems that at mating time in the Animal Kingdom, the males engage in combat to win the fin, paw, flipper, hoof, wing or what-have-you, of their ‘lady love.’ …