Comments on: more (not so) quiet time Blog, news, books Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:01:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: joel block Sat, 22 Sep 2007 02:06:00 +0000 This is a father-son excerpt from the most powerful book ever published on the subject, The Wrong Schwartz. ( I’ve read the book several times—and, full disclosure, I wrote it! Joel D. Block.

Check this out…

When I failed to score the highest on a school-wide test, my father ripped into me for so long that I nearly passed out on my feet. Then he turned and extended a strap toward me.

“What’s that for,” I asked with terror.

“Beat me,” he demanded.


“Beat me for having raised a loser! You want to turn out like the Wrong Schwartz boy? Is that what you want to become? Is that what you want to make of me!”

The Wrong Schwartz boy, as he was called, was the shining example of underachievement used by my father and fathers like him. It was shame enough if a child, especially male, was born dull. Shameful, but it couldn’t be helped. Those in my community might shake their heads about boys who simply didn’t have it. They might throw up their hands, but tragedies happen, and they would eventually understand.

To be capable and not hard working, that was another thing altogether. The family of such an offspring might as well have moved to a leper colony.

Harold Schwartz, older than I, in his twenties, was the firstborn of brilliant twin boys. Unlike his super-achieving brother, a Harvard law professor, he committed the unpardonable sin of having brains and not using them. He buckled under the weight of expectation and spent most of his energy making sure he would not be first in anything again. He disappointed every expectation his parents had for him. He was finally cast out of the family when he managed to get a full scholarship despite himself, then lost it due to academic failure, and appeared happy, a successful failure.

My father thrust the strap into my hand and my body shook with a palsy of fright. He made me beat him. It would have taken a lot more courage, much more than I could muster to refuse him. The question of how free of him I might dare to be was not open for consideration. I closed my eyes and pulled back my trembling arm striking him repeatedly.

“Harder,” he demanded. “Harder!”

“Noooooo!” In shame and rage I felt the scalding cry come from my throat. He would not release me. The pain of beating my father was so severe that it made me moan. A river of tears fell from my eyes and down my cheeks until he granted me permission to stop. Afterwards the tears continued to flow so heavily that I saw nothing around me for several moments.

Then I felt intense shame. Shame for failing to be the best, shame for failing my father, shame for crying. My father never cried, I wasn’t supposed to cry either. Crying was weak, and I felt shame for showing weakness.

By: Cine Peliculas Fri, 05 Mar 2004 13:04:11 +0000 I like your site very much !!

By: sms spr�che Tue, 27 Jan 2004 10:06:53 +0000 i really enjoyed reading this article

By: Greg Wed, 31 Dec 2003 06:33:22 +0000 Congratulations !!!

By: Greg Wed, 31 Dec 2003 06:29:28 +0000 Congratulations !!!

By: Jules Polonetsky Mon, 20 Oct 2003 15:19:07 +0000 Mazel Tov! Best wishes to you both!

By: Tom�s F. Serna Tue, 07 Oct 2003 12:40:44 +0000 Congratulations! If you are half as inspiring as a father as you are as a professor — and I’m sure you will at least double that –, your child and children to come will have the most fabulous dad! Fond regards from Spain! TFS

By: Paul Breitner Tue, 07 Oct 2003 09:45:41 +0000 Congratulations!
This would be the nextand most important part of your life.
Good luck and may God bless your child.

By: alambert Mon, 06 Oct 2003 22:57:31 +0000 Congrats! :)

By: Kevin Mon, 06 Oct 2003 16:22:40 +0000 Congrats. And now back to our regular programming:

I came across this interesting Austrailian copyright law usage:

Australian libraries are allowed to provide clients with electronic copies of copyrighted materials for purposes of study only when it has been first determined that these materials are out of print and cannot be obtained through the usual channels of retail trade. This is the case with Travels, Chapter: ‘Shangri-La’ by Michael Crichton. To obtain a copy of Travels, Chapter: ‘Shangri-La’, fill out the following mandatory information form and click ‘Request Copy’. The form will be sent to the officer in charge of the Soil And Health Library (who is Steve Solomon).

By: p Sat, 04 Oct 2003 21:48:12 +0000 Beautiful baby!

By: pat kane Sat, 04 Oct 2003 07:32:55 +0000 the best justification for a blogging break ever… he’s beautiful, beautiful… boy, will you get even MORE radical now. Best wishes to you and your wife, hope we meet up next year when my books out in US.

By: Bevin Kelley Fri, 03 Oct 2003 17:49:10 +0000 Best wishes and Congratulations to you and your wife!!!
Also, great to see you speak at SFMoma last night. Many thanks for the work you are doing!

By: Nelson Pavlosky Fri, 03 Oct 2003 14:48:42 +0000 Best wishes from the Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons! We trust that Willem will bring you many decades of joy :-) Better start putting money aside for college!

By: Jeff McHugh Thu, 02 Oct 2003 18:03:30 +0000 Congratulations Professor Lessig.
What name! Sounds like somebody special. : )

By: David Berkowitz Thu, 02 Oct 2003 14:36:04 +0000 Congrats, Papa Lessig!

By: Rolltroll Thu, 02 Oct 2003 13:54:30 +0000 Felicitations, tous mes voeux de bonheur � la maman!

By: Chrissy Mon, 29 Sep 2003 18:18:44 +0000 Congradulations!!!!

By: Mark Goebel Mon, 29 Sep 2003 17:45:50 +0000 What joy!! My son is alomst 14 months and it is the best expereince. I get excited when I hear about others starting the experince I enjoy so much. I wish your family all the best.

By: Steve Imparl Sun, 28 Sep 2003 08:43:47 +0000 Congratulations! Best wishes for lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity to all of you. Here’s a short poem for the little guy and his proud parents. Enjoy.

In the realm of the heart
All of the tiresome battles
And wars over ideologies
Become still and silent.

As we tiptoe past the room
Where the lightly sleeping boy lies,
Finally quiet for a few minutes,
We check once more to hear his soothing breath.

Like a lullaby, his gentle breathing and gurgling
Calm his red-eyed parents
Who’ve been spending every waking hour
Craving sleep, but finding in its place exhausted rapture.

Looking deeply, you can see his ancestors
In twenty thousand generations past,
And his descendants
In twenty thousand more to come.

Looking deeply, you can see the joys and sorrows
Of all humanity merged in his tiny, helpless being.
In him resides the universe,
And he resides in it.

Relish this moment,
And drink its splendid wine.
Know that you are savoring divinity,
So humble yet so sublime.

In the realm of the heart,
Ideas, thoughts, and notions fall silent
And bow in humble homage
To the soul that enlivens the mind.

By: Geoff Simmons Thu, 25 Sep 2003 08:50:53 +0000 Prediction: In about fourty years, when we’ll be connecting to computers through Matrix-like sockets in the backs of our heads, future law prof Willem Lessig will have to fight in the Supreme Court against copyrights on thoughts. (Piraters will be busily trading copyrighted thought recordings on P2P networks, much to the consternation of the TIAA.) I predict that the Court will allow the copyrights, but will at least agree with him that the copyright terms should be less than a thousand years.

By: Teresa Ou Wed, 24 Sep 2003 15:05:09 +0000 Long time no see, Professor Lessig, but this is wonderful news to hear! Congratulations from Cambridge!

By: pass Wed, 24 Sep 2003 14:43:39 +0000 congratulations.

By: Jacob Morse Mon, 22 Sep 2003 14:37:37 +0000 Congratulations! A beautiful child and a great beanie!

By: adamsj Mon, 22 Sep 2003 12:19:04 +0000 You know, radio silence is one thing. Not posting another picture of the young man is another.