One of the things that I used to give the nephews on their 7th birthday was their very own copy of Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive!”
Well, this is something that I more or less stopped doing in the past few years. The boys don’t have cd players anymore. Which pretty much makes albums not a thing anymore. (Plus there’s the whole “Cool Dad Raising Daughter On Media That Will Put Her Entirely Out Of Touch With Her Generation” thing where, sure, I know that I’m giving the kids something awesome… but, really, it’s not like the kids will be standing around the schoolyard talking about the cool guitar talking thing that he does.)
Giving books isn’t like that though, right? I mean, to some degree, it is. If you give the kids some Lloyd Alexander and make them read the Prydain stuff or the Westmark stuff, it’ll be awesome but if you want them to be talking about what everybody else is talking about, you give them Hunger Games stuff or the Maze Runner stuff. Heck, if you want them to be able to talk about politics at all, you’re doing them a disservice if you don’t get them the Harry Potter novels.
Hopefully, non-fiction isn’t like that…
One of the nephews is absolutely nuts about science, you see. And one of the best science writers out there is Richard Feynman. (Or, at least, he was back when I was a kid.) His 1974 commencement address at California Institute of Technology was one of our assigned readings in Physics class. His lecture “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” was something we talked about in the same breath as our discussions of Cyberpunk when we were talking about Nanotech (though we were discussing interesting assassinations rather than interesting medical techniques).
I know that all of the science the kids are reading today was written by people who grew up on Feynman (in the same way that the music they listen to was written by people who grew up on Frampton) and so we’re going to give them The Pleasure of Finding Things Out and Perfectly Reasonable Deviations (from the Beaten Track) and they’ll probably say something like “my teachers already talked about this stuff! But I thought it was (insert scientist who came later) who said it…”
But, if we’re lucky, they’ll say something like “but, wow! This is really good!” You know, like they ought to with Frampton.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?