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One nation, under whoever or whatever the majority in the board of education decides

Kids are often compared to sponges, absorbing everything they see and experience then presumably, scrubbed against the backs of the geriatric or on a crusty plate. The key element of that absorbency is how there are no barriers to exactly what is taken in. Toss a sponge onto a puddle, and its response will be akin to the result of tossing it on some soda.

Likewise, throw a kid into a household where the air sags thick with slurs and profanity, and chances are they’ll carry the same air wherever they go, until on their deathbed, the nurse is so repulsed by the tumult of foul speech that she’ll cram soap in their mouth. Just as when kids are raised and surrounded by particular ideological doctrine, they’ll carry that train of thought until they’re old enough to wonder whether or not they should get off at each passing station.

Look at how cute my kid is! He certainly is a big fan of the Republican party, and in no way am I tackily enforcing my own beliefs upon him. No sir. He even voted for Dole!

Look at how cute my kid is! He certainly is a big fan of the Republican party, and in no way am I tackily enforcing my own beliefs upon him. No sir. He even voted for Dole!

But kids aren’t treated like the sponges they’re often compared to, they’re not tossed indiscriminately into seas of knowledge, instead they’re coddled, sheltered and in many cases, methods by which to perpetuate particular systems of belief. They’re to be taught to believe what their elders believe, to reach conclusions not by their own deductions, but by the assumptions of those in power. Masters of particular ideologies feel such an incredible compulsion to in essence, brainwash the young, because if they can’t persuade the most impressionable, what does that say for their own intellectual validity? A charade caught by the most gullible of citizens isn’t likely to fool most of the masses.

That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with parents and other figures of power trying to instill their beliefs upon the younger generations. How else is a society expected to perpetuate if the youth are left while still in the nest? But there’s something a bit sickening when figures who already have their own pulpits decide to encroach upon the domain of others when educating the young, and who seek to monopolize the way in which history, the most underrated of all of education’s pillars, is told.

Case in point, the oncoming struggle of Texas’ educational curriculum, in particular, the tone of the historical lessons. It’s the classic example of the traditional academic hierarchy facing off against the religious right over the various subtleties of historical lessons.

Be warned, this goes on for a while…

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Filed under Culture wars, Education, Monkeys, Religion

Baseball and symbols

Today, while carefully splitting my time between the Pendulum and ESPN, I was excitedly sitting through Baseball Tonight’s analysis of the American League East. Buster Olney examined the Yankees spending spree, the depth of the Red Sox’s pitching staff, the immense talent of the Rays and the sudden downward spiral of the Blue Jay’s rotation. Then the Orioles came on and garnered around thirty seconds of completely negative coverage.

Immediately, I was mildly offended for absolutely no good reason. The Orioles will be a horrendous team this year, no amount of offense will make up for their two starting pitchers and lack of any middle relief whatsoever. They won’t make a run at the playoffs, and the most exciting element of their team, catcher Matt Wieters, is starting the season in AAA.

Yet there I was, the stereotypical guy miffed about his team receiving a snub. But if people are going to do anything consistently, they’ll attach themselves to symbols. Continue reading

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Filed under Government, Morgan, Religion, Sports