Issue: 2016-08-11, PHOTO: by Chris Hanlin
It is bumpy on the middle slide
Aristotle famously noted that humans are political animals. As I see it, human behaviour can be viewed in its most primal and pure state whilst observing children. Rotary Park, specifically the yellow triple slide, is a toddler cultural melting pot which, when observed from a political perspective, is a microcosm of the much larger political landscape which is our polis.
I have observed unique tendencies from the far left to the far right of the political spectrum and in a nutshell noted as follows.
These are the kids that refuse to use proper climbing apparatus to get up the slide and insist on finding alternative ways up and alternative uses for the slide. Once they make their way to the precipice they look down reflectively, seemingly questioning why kids are so intrigued by the slide, and ponder why society needs to build such artificial play things in the Yukon’s lush environment, anyway.
They are always cramming to the top together and like to stand unified once up there. They don’t partake in impromptu races setup by parents and daycare workers, rather choosing to slide down together or carefully one at a time. They display exemplary patience in lineup situations and are never rattled by weather or mosquitoes. When the slide is wet they all stand and look at it and are content to let the sun dry it out, there’s no rush.
They are very pre-occupied with ensuring all kids, big and small, get universal access to the slide and are always giving up their spot in line and letting people by them at the top. When order begins to break down they often take their grievances as high as possible, usually parents or daycare workers, and when their grievances go unheard, they get bummed.
They appreciate all of the contrasting views on the slide, but are keen on making sure they get their fair share of the sliding in. Their passion for pluralism and inclusion often finds them dragging unwilling kids up and onto the slide and giving the occasional nudge down.
They intentionally move at a little slower pace than many of the other kids. When there is water on the slide they all gather around and really do some thinking about what to do. They show extra caution when ascending and once they’ve had their turn, they are content with trying everything else in the park once.
Order is the rule of the day and they don’t much like the slide. They are very suspicious and always keep an eye on the kids whose behaviour deviates; like the random dinosaur junkie who runs around hissing like a velociraptor at everyone.
It is amazing that with all of these varying views towards what the ideal society should look like – aka slide etiquette – order rules the day and society goes on. It’s very rare that non-resolvable disputes arise, but when a dust up occurs, such as an Anarchist throwing sand into a Liberal’s face, it is usually resolved with a hug and, “I’m sorry.”