kids lit and the reality effects of occupation
As for whether or no reading to children is a form of control, well, I'd say it is clearly a question of Discipline. And the Electric Warrior, like so many of us, seems to have been "properly disciplined," as it were, as evidenced by her feelings for Shakespeare and Dahl and Andrew Lloyd Weber. I myself have been watching a lot of well-meaning-middle-brow TV (NYer withdrawl symptom, I guess), including:
CNN's "Autism is a World" This was good, and much better than the title suggests. The program, rather, argues that autism exists within, as part of, intimately bound with The World and is not, or at least need not be, A World unto itself in which lost souls may not be found. Note she's looking wistfully out the window. Oh my God, stop it. Honestly, it's not that bad a piece.
A PBS POV documentary titled My Country My Country inspired by The New Yorker and made by Laura Poitras. Again, it was a bit plaintive. But what was really interesting about this (follows rampant speculation) is alright, so the filmmaker probably set out to make a film critical of "US, I mean, coalition" (everyone in the film says it this way) occupation.
But as she is assembling her footage of US troops being instructed and contractors and Kurds and Iraqis and Baghdad residents and The Good Doctor she finds that the language that US occupation uses to describe the upcoming (as were) elections emphasizes the word "show." In the many senses of the word: the elections will show this or show that, or this is a "showstopper," the show must go on, etc, etc and then, finally, one of the men being trained as the Iraqi police force for the elections calls his instructor on it - "What do you mean show?"
And then this, um, linguistic tic is paired with constant visual presence of television screens (even when they are off, which is rare) within the frame, as everybody watches the war on television. At first, watching the war seemed like the kind of news watching (or radio listening) many people have been represented as doing during times of war and election, but with the emphasis on the "show," well, you're back to thinking about how and why we watch and what we're being shown and why. Maybe it's just a reality effect of a slick documentary (well, not slick, but very well made) but even if Poitras went in there thinking the election was a big show, I doubt that she expected the symptoms of occupation to show themselves so readily in the language she captured. I could probably figure out how this theme developed so very literally (so to speak) by spending much time at linked website.
This whole idea of symptoms, well, if it's a little slight here, I'm under the influence of a paper I wrote years ago and just found when I was tidying up my computer on the symptoms of occupation as, you know, indexes of its unease/disease.