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The Culture of Cruelty

Do you know who the sandman is? The Sandman is a mythical character who brings good dreams by sprinkling magical sand onto the eyes of children while they sleep at night. Yes, you read that right: “good dreams” is in the same sentence as “sprinkling sand in children’s eyes”. Apparently, the sandman comes from Europe. Of course, he does…

Well, let me tell you this: I am from France. And I have never heard of the sandman! And boy am I glad too! I mean, seriously, throwing sand in kids’ eyes? Are you kidding me?? It’s horrible!! And calling it “sprinkling” instead of “throwing” does not make it any cuter!

And what the heck is magic sand? Sand does not scratch your cornea? Here in the US, magic sand is the one that never dries and stays together. So sprinkle that in your eyes, sandman, and tell me how you sleep!

I don’t understand why this … person, character, whatever you want to call it (the one who throws sand in kids’ eyes) is supposed to come from Europe. I will admit that in my home country, we have some horrible nursery rhymes about animals being stolen, or people “disappearing”. And although not much is left to the imagination, and there is rarely a happy ending, at least, the horrible news is often delivered with a cheerful tune. Like when Madame Michelle loses her cat, and the neighbor admits that he kidnapped little kitty and wants a ransom. Madame Michelle offers a kiss for payment and he tells her to bugger off, he will sell her cat (true, real nursery… I apologize on behalf of France…). Mister Lustucru, the neighbor then sings to her, “Hey Madame Michelle, I will sell your cat for a bunny. Lalalalala, lalalala deridera et tralalala!!” I mean, you feel sorry for the cat, but you can only love the song with such a happy melody! (side note: if you happen to live next to someone called Mr Lustucru, start packing, the hint is in the name…)

But the sandman is at a whole new level of horror: Imagine a monster, made out of sand, crawling in your room and throwing sand in your eyes… Did you ever get any sand in your eyes? Or even just dust? Man! It really, really hurts!! I don’t think anyone falls asleep after they get sand in their eyes. They scream, for sure. They cry as well. But sleep?! Not in the sandman’s wildest dreams… And EVEN IF, after all the screaming and crying, kids eventually fall asleep from complete exhaustion, do you really think they will have good dreams? Right after a shapeless, scary monster came in their room out of nowhere and threw a bag of sand at their face? They won’t sleep properly for the next fifty years…

Whoever created the sandman must have had something against the beach, kids, or kids on the beach, I am not sure. Just writing about “him” makes my eyes itch…

I asked my kids to draw the sandsandmanman without googling it, and this is what they came up with…. I did say, “Can you draw what comes to your head when I say the word, “Sandman” and make it scary, please so my blog makes some sense”. I did not realize it might have been opposite day – which became a lot clearer after asking the kids to do their homework, be quiet, and get ready for bed. But in any case, I am not being fooled by the smiley face, the cute little hat and the casual-cool-dude attitude. So don’t bother selling me your good dreams, sandman, coz I ain’t buying any…

 

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