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Reschooling Society

By Al Schumann on Monday September 28, 2009 12:53 AM

The imperial poindexter wants kids to spend more time in school. According to the president, this will help make them euphemism buzzword talking point in the global competitive feeding frenzy.

Successful Democrats can't or won't differentiate between schooling and education. Schooling is designed to achieve a certain social outcome. The schools in the United States are very good at producing this. There's nothing wrong with them, as far as that goes. The desired outcome isn't guaranteed, but in neoliberal utopia a child is placed on a series of hamster wheels and twenty some odd years later the child is producing, guarding or finding ways to leverage intellectual property under the benevolent gaze of acculturated sociopaths. Those that go off the deep end wind up in think tanks, where they can find work producing demands that the school system be made worse or demanding that the system provide more opportunities for child grinding, e.g. AEI and Brookings, respectively. Outside utopia, schooling serves as punitive day care. This, too, produces the desired outcome. It's not guaranteed, etc. etc, but there's no better way to stock prisons and McJob corrals. In short, the schooling is functioning about as well as one could hope. Increasing the time on the hamster wheels isn't going to make the halcyon days of the Clinton regime come back. What it will do is burn out more kids at a faster rate.

An education, by contrast, makes social outcome difficult to extensively control and predict. Much of it is labor intensive and emotionally demanding. The procrustean metrics favored by overachieving sycophants and authoritarian paranoiacs can't be applied. They're antithetical to an actual education. If the application of the metrics is cranking out insufficient replacement personnel for the sycophancy and paranoia industries, well that's just too bad. We'll struggle on without them. We'll also have to look for ways to live that don't include producing, guarding or finding ways to leverage intellectual property under the benevolent gaze of acculturated sociopaths. Is this so awful?

It's hard to see this hamster wheel enhancement proposal as anything but a rearguard action to protect hamster wheels that have done their job all too well.

Comments (10)


super Al

i got a split line here
age 0 to 12 and 12 to 20
the first interval can be astotalitarian
as i as a grotesque soul shaper might want

but 12 to 20 must be hands off the raw youth
uncle butt fuck

road warrior time

choice and license 24/7


"The imperial poindexter"

bush the little and obama make for
a nice the two sides of one jerry lewis
--in the nutty professor--

jerry lewis is
the american dream decider in chief
either party way

Al Schumann:

I'll hold off on opining on what should be until we've heard from those comrades who have gotten in trouble for attempting to provide an education.

But I will say this much. At nine, my cousin Bobby was a filthy little sycophant already, and was well on his way to mastering paranoia studies. He'd be in Congress by now if he hadn't met his end in a cow tipping accident. Even your most grotesque soul shaping couldn't have salvaged him.

as a product of public school, i didn't get my head on straight until several years after HS graduation. too late, as i had already tripped the debt trap, entered parenthood and bowed to the social pressures of serfdom--i mean 'being normal.'

but i went in for vocational training rather than intellectual education at a regular college. not sure whether this helped or hampered the awakening process.

now i'm trying to guide my kids through their formative years. they go to school, but we educate at home best we can, and try to deprogram them of the worst of the 'schooling.' the struggle is to teach my children about subsistence and happiness while my own life is consumed in the toil of wage dependence.

Al Schumann:

Montag, for whatever consolation it holds, what you're doing in difficult circumstances is as good an example of enlightened pushback as one could reasonably ask. Some fine teachers do manage to slip through the culling process. I hope your kids get a chance to have them.

Imagine how disconcerting it is looking around for hedge school buddies and finding only Pew babies.

Michael Hureaux:

I couldn't have phrased it better, Al.


I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings –
I know why the caged bird sings.

-Paul Laurence Dunbar


I'll just simply rain on this fine raggedy parade, because I enjoy the anonymity of the Internet.
This "fine teacher" trope: a myth. Hip hero teachers against the system become all ego, and cash their checks just like their oppressive brethren. Best things about education: 1)sooner or later you can age out of it, and 2)if you really desire to, you can find and read books for free from the library.

Parents: good luck "raising" your children. You compete with a lot of other factors in this consumer megaworld, including the natural rebelliousness of a species amplified after losing any notion of social purpose.
And if you'll excuse me, I'm going down to the corner ATM to cash my "teacher" check.

Al Schumann:

Many people think the Veils of the Internets encourage parade-raining. I'm agnostic on the issue, but I have an unhappy observation to share.

It's surely a statistical quirk, one of those famous outliers, but the leading cause of the parade-rainers' demise comes in the form of anthropophagic ATMs. You can hear their agonized screams and fading pleas for mercy as the devilish devices finish the job started by their employment.

Capitalism being the most humorless form of social control, that statistical quirk is exploited for book deals and lecture fees by freakonomics "scholars".

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