[LMB] Children

WILLIAM A WENRICH wawenri at msn.com
Thu Jan 24 19:18:02 GMT 2019

Consider the skills a patroller captain needs. Deciding who goes, who stays, how much is needed as “seed corn” for the future. Remember, as Dag said you must win every time but not at any cost because you have to do it again tomorrow and next year. 
I think the Lakewalkers are losing their war at least in the North. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 24, 2019, at 9:45 AM, "pouncer at aol.com" <pouncer at aol.com> wrote:
> John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com 
>> On a first pass I'm happy to agree that the consistent 
>> presence of children in TSK is a part of the, mmm, rebuke 
>> ... But there is at least one major complication 
>> -- Pippin.
>> He is during the events of LR, IIRC, 29, and so by both 
>> hobbit custom and Shire law, not of age ; a tween, and 
>> seen as such when being a fool of a Took, as with 
>> dropping  a stone down the shaft in Moria and nabbing the
>> Palantir. But he also connects with what I think is the 
>> only child encountered, Beregond's son in Minas Tirith 
>> during the siege.
> Wow, this is really opening up the worm-can.  
> Agreed that 29 year old tween-agers (in a population that
> routinely lives 4 or 5 times that long) can be viewed as 
> other-than-adult.  In real life we see that happening as 
> well, more seniors/pensioners/retiree and active oldsters 
> who seem to keep raising the bar for younger people to be  
> regarded as "peer" adults.  In the US now the bar is, at 
> least in one regard ( young dependents on  2000's era 
> family health insurance plan) set at age 26 -- one year 
> OLDER than the 1789-imposed minimum maturity age 
> requirement to represent a distinct in our legislature. I 
> expect the next RL iteration of bar-raising to get set at 
> 28.  This follows the very long term pattern of 
> "apprentice" cultures -- a 7 year old starts learning the 
> trade, a 14 year old can become a "journeyman", and a 21 
> year old if he has been very diligent and successful might 
> be regarded as an adult and "master".  Mastery of 
> literacy, so to be included in a minyin for prayers, was 
> set at age 13, near enough 14 to reinforce the long trend. 
> The modern US held 21 a couple of centuries,  set it down 
> for voting, in a weird reversal of the long trend,  to 18 
> -- then raised it back to 21 for drinking, smoking, owning 
> a weapon, and sinning in general.  (Except for 
> fornicating, or managing the consequences thereof -- where 
> the line gets moved up and down so confusingly it can't be 
> analyzed for a trend.  I mention that only to show I'm 
> aware ...) But anyhow, yeah,  28, 29 or those in their 
> early "30-Somethings" being regarded as immature is not 
> out of real life consideration.
> But I'd compare LOTR's Pippin more to TSK's  Hod, than to 
> his boat-brother Hawthorne.  Hod is young but grown enough 
> to work a team of horses, learn to "man" a sweep, join a 
> drinking party ...   Hod is a "tween-ager" in his culture 
> and EXCEPT for Fawn (who steals her adulthood via pre-
> mature experiments with Sunny) about the only one we see. 
> Well, we see Whit and the twins, who escape childhood out-
> of-age sequence, and following on after Fawn. And Sage...  
> Well okay, there's actually a choice of tween.  Still.  
> Hod and Pippen.  Both useful, in a troublesome sort of 
> fashion.  And becoming moreso each and every adventure or 
> mis-adventure. 
> Hawthorne grows -- explicitly in stature (like Pippen 
> does) -- but really doesn't become any more useful. He's 
> in a stage of protacted childhood that, I'd argue, is a 
> feature of industrial cultures.  Which the WGW seems to 
> be.  Factories turning out interchangable parts for metal 
> stoves and windows ...  Coming back to "gleaners" -- Fawn 
> muses that she really really hopes Clover starts 
> increasing soon, birthing a new generation of little 
> helpers to work on the farm.  Agriculture, pre-industrial 
> or otherwise, has a lot of economic use for human minds 
> and hands of 7 to 14 years maturity.  Industry, for 
> various reasons,  wants workers a bit more seasoned -- 
> ideally, trained in a factory-system.  (It seems to me the 
> modern school of bell-driven schedules, rows of desks, 
> butts in seats and time on task and graded work ... is all 
> intended to help fill factory job openings.  Too bad such 
> openings are becoming fewer...) 
> My lord, it's been two decades gone since Louann Miller 
> and I were discussing the investment costs of raising the 
> next generation of workers -- and I was arguing that our 
> culture again kept raising the bar.  Raising a child from 
> birth to 7 years and apprenticeship or "a gleaning" type 
> job (or chunkin' plunkins) is a lot less intimidating than 
> managing the process for the twenty-something tweeners of 
> our era.  Yet here we are.  I find myself just this 
> morning insisting my "kids" gather the forms to begin 
> their taxes. We're updating "passports" for planned 
> travel. (A problem Pippen and Merry needn't worry about.) 
> They come begging help to pick out a used car that 
> balances cheap, safe and reliable. (Hey, if I found such a 
> fully three-virtued beast, you'd have to move quick to buy 
> it before I took title for myself!) The investment costs 
> of the next generation gets higher and higher.  
> And while TSK describes Hawthorne in detail and other 
> children in general, we don't really see that any of the 
> adults around him or them are making that investment. 
> Dag's birthday gifts reflect the expectation (mis-
> communicated to the boat family) that older Lakewalkers 
> will provide their "tweeners" with the tools of the bloody 
> trade.  But not pens or journals to keep their own notes, 
> or practice sending reports. We don't see schools or 
> academic tutors. Dag takes on patrol captain duties for 
> Remo and Barr for daily practice veiling, and recitation 
> of geographic details from memory -- but not drawing a 
> map, nor surveying (and the requisite math and geometry) 
> nor estimation of travel and communication times. (A 
> courier sets out from Pearl Riffle south bound by boat at 
> the same time another sets out from Half Moon, north bound 
> by horseback at one-third the speed: at which camp can 
> they expect to meet? Assume constant speeds and crow 
> flight distances ...) We read entertainments, in part, to 
> escape the burdens of education but honestly we've spent 
> so much of our lives immersed in acquiring it, it seems 
> odd not to encounter it in literature.  Almost like going 
> to the bathroom or toilet training -- there's an apparent 
> taboo. We _DO_ see Natti-Mari needing a diaper change! So,  
> another for TSK vs LOTR! 
> So, how is Hawthorne going to get his education?  Is Berry
> going to apprentice him as a boat builder and boss, 
> in the way her father taught her? Or will HE become a healer
> or assistant patroller for the Lakewalker side of  his tent;
> and if so, what sorts of skills must he acquire?  His problems
> mirror Fawns: how much healing can he master without 
> ground sense -- and how much will either Farmers or
> Lakewalkers pay for that help? (Whit can train Hawthorne on
> the financial end, I suppose.) 
> Oh well. My point: children, and the investment in them.  
> An under-explored aspect of adventure novels. 
> Along with the distribution of the burden of that 
> investment, and the allocation of the rewards FROM that 
> investment ... quite the can of worms.  
> I'm so eager to see what _Knife Children_ brings into the 
> mix. 
> --
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