(Brian Eden, circa 1995)
Last night I was digging through my basement and found a notebook full of old High School class assignments.
The following is an actual paper that I wrote for English class.
As far as I can tell, it was intended to be 100% serious. (If I’d been going for funny, there would have been punch lines.)
Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the graded paper with the teacher’s comments.
I can only imagine Mrs. Thompson sitting at her kitchen table with a stack of papers, chewing her red pen, trying oh-so-carefully to find the right words to write on the back of this, um, interesting essay.
Techniques of Writing
Part of a Well Balanced Breakfast
As another hunger plagued individual enters the jungle, he encounters Toucan Sam, who instructs him to, “follow your nose” to navigate him to satisfaction. He comes upon a shrine-like area, where he is summoned to be relieved of his hunger by the all-mighty bowl of “Fruit Loops.” Not only does this cereal hold the key to satisfaction, but it also symbolizes the ideal society. The bowl of “Fruit Loops” is an integrated society where the fruity “ohs” are unique in their color distinctions, yet they are able to cooperate, without prejudice in a wonderful medley of taste.
Unfortunately, our own society has trouble obtaining the perfection that is achieved by the bowl of “Fruit Loops.” As hard as we try, the problem is always present: how can a society exist where all of the people work together in equity, even though not everyone is of the same origin, gender or color? Although it appears simple for a diverse community to coexist, regardless of their differences, there will always be prejudices based on these variations. It is unfortunate that when you pass someone on the street, society instantly distinguishes that individual as “black” or “white” rather than “human.”
[NOTE: We were studying the civil rights movement in history class at the same time that this essay was written.]
There are several views that deal with this problem. First, there is the “Jim Crow theory.” This idea explains that whites and blacks should be equal, yet segregated. Blacks are entitled to the same rights as whites, as long as they do not associate with them. This theory can be characterized by “Kix” and “Cocoa Puffs.” All of the white corn balls are present in one cereal, while the black puffs are banished to their own separate bowl. There is a flaw in the theory; this is not one community, but rather two separate worlds, attempting to coexist without affiliating with one another. If a “Cocoa Puff” should happen to find itself in the bowl of “Kix” it would be tormented and discriminated against because of its color. Since there can be no diversity in these separate worlds, they both lack the radical taste that has been achieved by the “Fruit Loops,” making these cereals monotonous and dull in both appearance and flavor.
Another theory is the “color blind theory.” This idea explains that everyone should abandon their individuality and assimilate to form one single cultural group. This concept is represented by “Raisin Nut Bran” cereal. The cereal contains several different elements, yet it eliminates any visual distinctions by coating everything in a nut shell. While this society is unique in its ideas or “flavors,” it lacks the cultural diversity of “Fruit Loops.” A community should be able to exist with cultural distinctions. The members should not have to abandon their identities in order to obtain equality.
Therefore, the only acceptable society is the multicultural “Fruit Loops society.” It is necessary to have an integrated world where there is a strong focus on individuality, but the individuals are able to cooperate, without creating prejudices because of these distinctions. The fruity loops are able to offer diverse flavors, but when they are joined together, they create a zesty harmony of flavor. Clearly this is a society which is able to present equality for each cultural group.