From the Shores of Philistia – Education Today


Meanwhile, the courtesans of Philistia have hastened on its triumph. They are complicit in degradation of the English language that is habitually misused either out of ignorance or malice. The term vis-á-vis means "face to face with" not "ya know what I mean," as it is so often used. "Pro-life" obviously does not mean: "I'm for life." It means "women have no reproductive rights." The political slogan "restore our future" makes no sense. Simple logic dictates that a thing that hasn't occurred or has yet to unfold cannot be "restored." Harry T Cook

The message in the above quote is one that desperately needs addressing. With the country in as much trouble as it is currently, it might be time to know where that trouble comes from. All around there are occurrences of things that are unimaginable and horrific. Somewhere we stopped educating our children and taught them to engage in nothing but the desire to earn. We have grown a culture where the right type of diploma is more important than the knowledge gained in the securing of the degree. We have grown a small number of children who believe it is totally acceptable to go out and get a gun(s) and go to school with deadly intent and purpose. We have grown the society we deserve.

There is no longer the axiomatic “reading, writing, and arithmetic” taught in our schools. Multiplication tables are no longer memorized; they are copied and distributed as test material along with pencil, Scantron sheets, and calculator. I am a former teacher who was told not to attempt to teach classic literature such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or “The Scarlet Letter” because of the political incorrectness of these books. People looked at me strange when I ordered “Animal Farm” for my government class to read.

A colleague tried to teach Algebra the same way he learned it, with a pen, paper, and memorized mathematical practices only to be told that it would serve only as a distractor to the student come standardized test time. I stopped trying to decipher the hieroglyphics that came across my desk and had students read aloud their papers in order to discover whether they had grasped the concept I was attempting to teach.

These examples are but a few realities of the state of the American educational system. If solicited there are probably enough anecdotes to fill a library with the books on the subject. The facts of this issue are secondary to the question of why this has happened.

It has happened because we want everything to occur at the speed we desire and not the way the natural order of life would dictate. We have a society that has been directed towards this and it has delivered poor returns.

Technology has created these feelings, with its ease of use and the affordable availability of modern day equipment and machinery. These same wonders can be said to be the originators of the issue. In the 1950’s it was discovered that subliminal messages were being placed on the screens in movie theaters aimed at increasing sales at the concession stands. This created a huge fuss, but it was never killed. Even today, popular films have hidden messages in them. We have at least two generations that have grown up on television-as-the-babysitter. A flip through the channels will support the ideal that subliminal manipulation is alive and well.

It goes to the human psyche and the internalization and externalization process. When certain cable programming became universally available, the campaign shifted into hyper drive. It takes a normal human being somewhere between 1.5 and 2 seconds to see an image and internalize it. Internalization is where the mind goes to make value judgments on what it experiences and is integral to the right/wrong choices a person confronts every day. These cable programs began showing images that lasted .5 seconds which only allowed the external influence to be triggered. Consequently, the choices made are based simply on how attractive the image is, and how the obtaining of the items displayed in the images might be accomplished. Value means naught in the face of a cool ride, or a hot girlfriend/boyfriend. Naturally the products and services offered in these attempts at subliminal sabotage are directly tied to the conscious level of want instead of need. Thoughts that are internalized allow for the discernment that is associated with value assessment.

So what is the answer? That is for all of us to decide on an individual basis. Perhaps we can take example from our leaders. The President, leader of the free world, does not allow his children to watch television during the week, and strongly monitors what they watch when they are allowed to view a program. That is the answer. Parents must take responsibility for what their children are doing. They are responsible for the method used to educate their children. They need to be active in their community through such things as book fairs and learning opportunities that do not require anything other than people talking to people.

One great opportunity is Camp Winnarainbow, run by the Hog Farm, the old hippie commune from back in the ‘60’s. Check them out and see what they have done the last forty years…it hasn’t been drugs.

Take a lesson from the bumper sticker, “Kids that hunt and fish don’t steal and deal!” Get involved and stop the insanity that is our educational system. Don’t tear down the system…fix it.

To close there is another section to the quote above”

“We are all complicit in and benefiting from what Dorothy Day called “the dirty rotten system.” That’s not condemning anybody; it’s condemning everybody because we are all complicit and enjoying the fruits of domination and injustice. (Where were your shirts and underwear made?) Usually the only way to be really non-complicit in the system is to choose to live a very simple life. That’s the only way out of the system!”

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