our op(posing) ed(itorial) series is rather simple. stick a small bit of dynamite up the ass of that strange whitebreadamerican concept that we cannot talk of things that matter at the dinner table – stick it up there, and do some damage – some of us believe the table is the place to talk – perhaps that is why it was built in the first place.
the 17th is father’s day. and so we are going to hear from the kids. I have been fortunate enough to start working with the remarkable and fierce executive director of 826 seattle - teri hein (if you aren’t familiar with dave eggers and his national 826 explosion – now is the time). I approached teri letting her know that I wanted to include some young voices in the op ed series – imagining I would get to sit down with and inspire some writings from a few precocious over-achieving-15-year-olds, you know – honor roll types. teri had a different idea – she took we straight down to john marshall school, which truth be told is a bit of a war zone – a mongrel home to the most violent offenders in the seattle districts and strangely held in orbit with the only teenage parent program in the city – it is combustible and raw. and I dropped in the middle to ask these kids to consider a question, a question from the trenches:
“is childhood gone?”
and they have been writing their asses off for the last month under the watchful eye of their magnificent steward audra gallegos– we have had heated discussions about childhood, we have gone through countless drafts, done group readings, and now we have worked it down to three short editorials from three amazing young writers – and they will be at dinner to voice their thoughts on childhood. this will be an intense night – don’t come if you are feint of heart – these kids have had some tough childhoods – and they speak plainly and from the heart – they will be joining us for dinner – and it is my hope that like the past op ed dinners – conversational will erupt into passionate dialogue – on this night of fathers – childhood will be considered and celebrated. - MH