Mother, Should I Build ‘The Wall’? | Brent Kaneft | 23 Min Read

May 9, 2023

“If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.”

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

During the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII in 1984 (the Raiders beat the Redskins 38-9), Apple released what is largely considered the greatest commercial of all time. The goal was simple and ambitious: shatter the fears people had about computers engineering compliance, conformity, and control through surveillance. Directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, 1982), the commercial recreated a dystopian scene from George Orwell’s 1984, a novel that introduced “Big Brother,” what has become a cultural euphemism for the abuse of surveillance techniques by a powerful authority, traditionally a government. In the commercial, real skinheads hired in London—used to emphasize their lack of individual identity—march to their seats as the voice and face of “Big Brother,” projected by a large telescreen, compels their automatonic movements:

“Today we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created for the first time in…

Register Now
You may use your member school or partner discount code !!!

Brent Kaneft

Brent Kaneft is Head of School at Wilson Hall School, a PK-12 independent school, in South Carolina. He holds a master’s in literature from James Madison University and earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Indiana University (Bloomington) in May 2022. Since 2016, Brent has led teacher workshops on how to translate Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) research strategies into the classroom, and since 2020, he has focused on research-informed practices in the areas of social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and equity and inclusion. Brent’s recent publications include "The Belonging Apocalypse: Woke Bypassing, Contemplative Practices, and a Way Forward for DEI" (IntrepidEd News) and "The Problem with Nice: Moving from Congenial to Collegial Cultures" (Independent School Magazine).