Revisit the Clay Basin

I read @JamesTheo’s blog (The Mountains of Kong) tonight. I get the whole mythological pedagogy thing, with fake stuff persisting from generation to generation because people just accept what they’re told (especially as the previous generation clearly believe the stuff is real; and they must know…right?).

But, honestly, the Mountains of Kong; well that’s just awesome. When I was a kid (in London) I imagined that North of the Watford Gap was some sort of wasteland, like the Tundra, because all the road signs just said “The North”. I did Geography at school, obviously, and learnt about CBD’s, and Golden Triangles, and Ribbon Development, and Physical Geography stuff. London was one huge clay basin covered with houses, but everywhere else had hills and farmland, and stuff like that. A different world. In Edinburgh there’s even a hill in the centre of town (Arthur’s Seat) that isn’t even covered in houses! Unreal.

Now, of course, I know that The North isn’t covered in wind blown stubble; I’ve been there. It’s England’s green and pleasant Land (London clearly isn’t). But, and here’s the thing, in my mind’s eye the North is still a science fiction dystopia……what you pick up in the early days persists, even when you know the actual truth. Trying to replace these early perceptions with the truth is often difficult. In the absence of truth, then, the mythologies persist. What pedagogical mythologies are persisting despite the evidence? And why isn’t Arthur’s Seat covered in houses?

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