The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The new Hollywood villains.

Once it was Russia, that was the staple villain, in Hollywood films; then it became the Latin American drug lord - and, more recently, the Islamic terrorist, from an ill-defined country somewhere in the Middle East. No doubt you are all familiar with these stock villains...but there is, now, a new Hollywood villain. I would like you to consider, for a moment or two: whom do you think has now been labelled as villainous by that moronic town, Hollywood?

Well, it might surprise you, as it did me, but the new Hollywood villain - is...the child prodigy father.

Yes. Hollywood actually believes and wants you to believe that the father of a child prodigy is good villain material.

In an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, entitled: "Bright boy" (season 2, episode 2), detectives find a "slain social worker killed trying to protect a child prodigy from his ruthless father."

Now, that is an absolutely MAD plot - and one extremely damaging to all prodigies and their parents everywhere. It creates, in people's minds, the idea that the prodigy is somehow created through ill-doing - that the father (or other parent) of such a one, is a kind of villain...even a monstrous villain who would kill a social worker.

Then again, why is there a social worker involved at all? The clear implication is that the prodigy is a put upon person, who needs social protection from their family dynamics. Again, this is not reflected by reality. It is, in my view, impossible, absolutely impossible, to create a prodigy through any form of coercion or enforcement of a regime: if the child doesn't want to learn, the child will not learn. It is that simple. There is no possibility of a "villainous" father creating such a high performance child.

In a way, this episode of Law and Order, is profoundly sad. It is sad because of what it says some sections of society believe about gifted children and their performance. This idiotic episode, with its crass misunderstanding of human nature, is perpetuating the idea that prodigious children are "forced" to be the way they are. The promulgation of this toxic view is very harmful to the families of gifted children everywhere. Indeed, so harmful is the plotline to this film, that I wonder if the families of prodigious children could take a class action lawsuit, for the damage this film will do to their reputations as a minority, in society.

That an American company would actually make a film with a plot as absurd as this, just gives me one more reason (among many others) why I wouldn't want my family to live in the US. What morons.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
Syahidah's IMDB listing is at

Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:27 AM 


Blogger Casandra Ramirez said...

This reminds me of "The world's cleverest child and me" when Mark Dolan asked if you thought you were putting too much pressure on Ainan. Which was completely out of place in my opinion, because you're only doing what's best for your son. You don't create a child prodigy by pushing him, they are born that way and you have to encourage their abilities. It's just like you said, it's not the parent pushing the child, it's the child pushing the parent.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Indeed. There were a lot of his questions that seemed quite hostile. I asked him about it and he just basically said he was "playing devil's advocate". He also said it made better television to be confrontational, if the subject was able to cope with that style of questioning, which he suggested I was. I will leave that to you to decide whether that was, in fact, so. What do you think?

Anyway, he seemed quite genial in person, off camera, but quite challenging on it, at times. Some of his remarks were not "nice" either. I don't know which ones of them were included. The version of the show we were sent in the mail, appears quite different from the broadcast version: strange that.

Yes indeed, the child does the pushing in their own way: driven by their curiosities.

I hope you are keeping well. Best wishes.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Casandra Ramirez said...

I understand he has to ask those questions in behalf of the audience who is wondering the same thing. In fact, he did the same when he met Adi Putra. But he could have asked them a bit more "nicely".
I think you handled the questions very well, explaining calmly your opinion.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I am glad to hear my side came across well enough, then. Thanks for letting me know.

10:55 AM  

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