KEYWORDS: kids, playground, theater, manager, head

Playground, The

David Berg

—A Dream.—MOApril 1973NO.222—GP

(Received June 1972)

P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or BP 752, 75123 Paris Cedex 02 France

1. I WAS PASSING BY THIS RAILROAD YARD, and there was carload after carload of playground equipment—swings‚ bars, slides, etc.—all being loaded up from a huge storage yard!—There were acres of it‚ all standing there so silent without a child in sight!—All being shipped away! But there was a pretty little park there, with this small theater right in the middle of it, which held about 100 kids, and I wondered where all the kids were. The ticket booth was separated from the theater building, at the entrance of this pretty colourful walk that led to the entrance of the theater.

2. THERE WAS AN OLDER WOMAN IN THE BOOTH, and I stopped to ask her about it all. The minute she saw me she got extremely polite and courteous, almost obeisant, and said, "Oh yes, you'll enjoy this very much! This is one of our children's theaters.-You must see it!" Apparently she sent for an usher, and he was kind of old too, and he bowed and scraped, just so happy I was going to come and see their exhibit! So I walked on in with him and he seated me.

3. I FOUND A PLACE NEAR THE BACK IN THE CORNER LIKE I USUALLY DO, and I hadn't even started looking at the movie yet when the manager came in very pleased and all excited because I had come to his little theater‚ and sat down beside me and chatted away, how wonderful it was working and how the kids all liked it!—How they didn't need so much playground equipment anymore.—They liked to watch the movies! And the theater was filled with kids all quietly watching the movie, but like they were half scared to death!—Not the usually boisterous American Saturday afternoon kid–show crowd!

4. SO I NODDED MY HEAD TO THE MANAGER AND TOLD HIM I WOULD WATCH IT, and it turned it to out be some kind of long propaganda film. I can't remember much about the picture, just that they were removing this head from this body, all very scientific! I thought, "That's kind of deep and macabre for these kids!" But they all sat there watching it almost in a frightened silence, like they were afraid to move! It was fairly long.

5. WHEN IT WAS ALL OVER THEY ALL FILED OUT IN PERFECT SILENCE to wherever they were going, very somber and sober, and the manager rushed up all smiles and wanted to know how I liked it! I just nodded my head and smiled slightly‚ like I didn't dare disagree, but I walked out and looked at all that playground equipment still standing there all loaded up ready to go. There's something so silent about a playground when there are no kids there anymore, and I stood there looking at it and thinking‚ "It's so silent!—There's something terribly sinister about this!"

6. IN SPITE OF EVERYBODY BEING SO POLITE AND PALAVEROUS‚ their motto being, "We aim to please," there was something very ominous about it! The whole thing was a big phoney! It was just a front for their propaganda education, but it was so attractive, all so nice‚ such nice people running it! I was being treated like a royal guest of honour. They were falling all over themselves to be nice to me.—Like they wanted my approval. After the movie, I went back to the hotel, a very nice hotel suite, real swanky, and it looked just like it might have been the same one as in "Dreams of Jeremiah 40"! The whole thing also reminded me of those former dreams: "The School", "The Asylum", "The Flood", "The Emergency" and "Mene‚ Mene!"—The End of America!