Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hard To Wring Activity Out Of A Beer-Fridge, Pizza, and Suvivor on the Plasma Screen

There appeared today this long and very earnest comment on ThinkProgress today which ends with the following:
…Nancy Pelosi can talk about saving the planet all she wants to: her duty, however, is to preserve, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution. And that is also the job of every single American citizen. Unfortunately, most of us are no better at doing our job than Pelosi is at doing hers.
I replied:

What I, modestly, would call ‘nobly empty rhetoric.’ Sound and fury, bombast, sentiment, righteousness, all the right notes.
Falls apart for me at the ‘bootstrap’ level. I have learned to almost instinctively distrust folks who haul out that ol’ trusty bootstrap metaphor.

Have you ever tried that? It’s tricky
Physics gets in the way. Turns out it’s damn near impossible. Archimedes, or somebody, gets in the way.

Ya gotta have a place from which to apply force and ya gotta have a lever.

Through a near-century-long program of taught ignorance and helplessness, the Govt/Entertainment/Propaganda machine has ground down the public education of the citizen from mere competence to near imbecility. “school” has grown expert at churning out waves of earnest, willing, uncritical, unwary consumers–that became their job, around 1970, after it became obvious that the students rebelling in the streets had learned the lesson of liberty all too well…

No one schooled outside the privileged class has had the kind of education I took for granted in my youth. I could and did read critically in the 8th grade (circa 1958/59), a competence you will visit thousands of contemporary classrooms vainly before you once encounter it in Murkin schools today (except for the schools of the wealthy/privileged.)

The “people” have been schooled in passivity, ennui, and television. It’s really hard to expect much out of ‘m when they’ve got a plasma screen, survivor, bud in the fridge and the pizza guy at the door…

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