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« Myth for American Kids | Main | Kafenion: the little coffee place »



Had a thoughtful email from a reader, part of which I reproduce here:

Of your recent posts I particularly liked the one on
> heroes and teens.
> Many societies explicitly use that brief window of
> "suspended
> mortality." I understand the Israeli aircorp
> recruits fighter pilots
> almost exclusively from teen males because they will
> dare things that a
> more conservative (older and wiser?) human would
> never. They
> continually push the envelope - like that diagram in
> your post - towards
> divinity or towards death (often in open defiance of
> both).
> Interestingly, to openly defy either is to
> acknowledge them more
> concretely than can the older and wiser who
> supposedly has come to terms
> with them.

The Athenians had a teen "fighter pilot" program called the Ephebeia. Youths aged 16-18 spent two years on the borders of the nation, acting as an early warning system for invaders.

I welcome everyone's comments on teenagers as outstanding human beings.


Here is a teen hero I knew - a hero not for dying in the pursuit of rescuing, but for living in the outstanding embodiment of compassion:

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My Fantasy Novel - Skater in a Strange Land

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