After a few months of silence, Uncle C called last night. He didn’t inquire about anyone’s health, grades, jobs or general well-being. He did encourage me to keep my children home from school on the “National Day of Indoctrination.”
National Day of Indoctri… what?
I knew Obama’s speech to students, which is scheduled for tomorrow, had knotted up the stretch-cotton bloomers of some conservatives. I didn’t realize they had given it a name or declared the whole day a wash. Yep, according to Uncle C, all good Christian Americans will reject Obama’s attempt to indoctrinate America’s youth to socialist ideas (you know, ideas such as education is important, stay in school, be responsible, work hard and other pervasively evil, similarly socialist shit like that) by declaring Tuesday “National Keep Your Child Home from School Day.”
In Hawkins County, this will be followed by “Steve, the Republican Attendance Supervisor, Hauls Your Sorry Ass To Truancy Court Day.”
You know, America, I’ve been quiet about a great many things that have occurred in this country since Obama was elected. I guess I’ve been a little dumbstruck by the highly publicized war between the radical factions, by the polarization of American people, by the resurgence of racism which is poorly disguised as political opposition, by the complete lack of intelligent discussion, mutual respect or common decency and the easy acceptance of the deceitful propaganda, which has taken it’s place – all things which should be insulting to any free-thinking intelligent person, regardless of party, but isn’t or doesn’t seem to be.
I cannot count the number of times over the past few months that the behavior of the people around me or comments made by those closest to me have been so outrageously stupid, so painfully offensive or were delivered with such a wild-eyed fervor (the type which is normally reserved for snake handling or healing in the name of Jesus) that I cannot find the words to combat it.
I just jab my finger in the air, like Uncle Roy when he’s preparing to rant about his sky-high light bill, only to find the absence of reason is so enormous that I do not know how to fill it. The hatred is so intense that I am not sure I should try. And, well, quite frankly, you people just scare me.
So, I wind up saying nothing to avoid confrontation. Meanwhile, the weight of words left unspoken presses me down, stoops my shoulders, bows my head and sends me scurrying off to purchase many cans of pepper spray or to seek solace in some quiet, unpopulated place, where I might be reminded of all the reasons I still love you even though you’re behaving badly.
But I am not reminded.
Instead, I sit there feeling completely outnumbered by dumbasses, growing all the more anxious about the rate at which we seem to be traveling backwards, and fretting that this type of stupidity is genetic, environmental, regional, viral, the result of loaded language or some other mass-applied model of thought reform to which I may eventually succumb. If I haven’t already… because, I must confess that occasionally, er, well mostly when I’ve consumed large amounts of beer, I comfort myself by kicking around the notion that your behavior is beyond your control. It is actually the result of an elaborate Republican scheme designed to spread lunacy throughout the Southland, making us all dumber than buckets of coal (you know, if we weren’t already) thereby maintaining the reliable voting base… but how? By condoning the crazies? Promulgating their message? Ah-ha! I’ll bet they’re embedding the messages subliminally in the packaging of pork rinds or in the music of Toby Keith and those radio jingles for wet t-shirt night at the Hog Wild Saloon OR they’re tainting the aluminum of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans with some secret Project MK-ULTRA substance.
Bawahaha! Damn you, You Dirty Rightwingers, I’m onto your sick plan!
What? Does believing this seem any more farfetched than believing Obama is secretly a Commie Anti-Christ Jihadist, who will be attempting to brainwash American children through the teevee using the persuasive and supernatural powers of his uber-hypnotic mole. Nope, didn’t think so. I mean, c’mon, are you people freakin’ serious with this?
Look, the truth is I don’t know if my children will watch the speech or not. According to Jim Hageman, who is the Assistant Director of Hawkins County Schools, the decision up to the principals and parents can opt for their children not to view the speech. Since Smartypants’ principal abhors controversy and Diva will be eating lunch during the speech – I’m guessing not, but I don’t mind if they do. I certainly won’t opt out or disrupt their school day because of it. Why would I?
Hageman said he understood concerns were that the president might stray from the stated topic of the speech.
Yeah? So? He’s the President. I’m the parent, and I mean no disrespect to the Office, but Obama encouraging children to stay in school is really no different than Miley Cyrus encouraging them to save the planet. Truth be told, Miley probably holds more sway – even then, if the message isn’t reinforced at home, it isn’t going to stick. And I am absolutely confident that my influence upon my children, what I teach them and the examples I set, will play a far greater role in shaping their attitudes, beliefs and viewpoints than any amount of words Obama can cram, slip or ad lib in 18 televised minutes – aren’t you?
If so, then what’s the problem here?
Obama certainly isn’t the first president to address the nation’s children. Reagan did it. Bush the First did it. In fact, haven’t countless leaders piped themselves into the classroom via Channel One? Yes, Channel One. Don’t you remember when the school system supplied a few minutes of educational morning teevee because we thought a small dose of daily demagoguery was good for the nation’s youth? And even if we gave loons, like Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer, the benefit of the doubt and considered Obama’s speech a form of indoctrination (Yes, if you cross your eyes, tilt the head sideways and shake vigorously so as to dislodge a few brain cells, you can see how it might be considered such) then, by the same standards, much of what our children are exposed to would be considered indoctrination. From Cap’t Crunch to Character Counts, not to mention the Baptist preacher, Mickey Mouse, the makers and manufacturers of all things interactive, light-up, battery-powered and loud and even sweet Miss Mary the Sunday School marm, who carries mind-controlling peppermint candies in her pocketbook: they’re all indoctrinating your children. They’re all telling your children what to do, what to buy or how to behave because it’s unquestionably right, safe, better, or necessary for their survival, health, happiness and salvation.
If you had your druthers, wouldn’t you druther your children accept without question the message that education and personal responsibility are important as opposed to messages like, “The new Hydee Hightops are essential for true happiness and bliss” or “Jesus will love you doubly if you donate to the cause – if you act now, you’ll receive this unique, colorful “I do not brake for gay pedestrians” bumper sticker as a testament of your devotion…”
(By the way, where the hell were you people when Reagan decided to take the Presidential Fitness Challenge one step further and shove it down the throats of public school children? Fitness is a good thing, sure, but by pushing this presidential program in every PE class across America, wasn’t the government being intrusive? Wasn’t this indoctrination? Granted, it didn’t take, at least I don’t think it did since I never jog and haven’t once felt compelled to do butt crunches while thinking about Reagan or how he would be pleased by the firmness of my fanny. Still, it would have been nice if you loons had felt this same insane need to protect me back when Coach Jerry in the creepy polyester short-shorts was screaming at at me to pull my weak skinny loser-ass up on the chin-up bar one more time. Just sayin’. )
But this controversy isn’t about Obama’s remarks or his method of delivery, is it? It’s about Obama, period – and the message you’re sending, I think, is quite simple: OH MY GOD, it’s a scary liberal BLACK guy with a foriegn-soundin’ name – RUN for your LIVES! BEFORE HE DEVOURS YOUR CHILDREN!”
I’m tired of hearing that message. I’m tired of feeling defeated by dumbasses. I’m tired of remaining silent while radicals cry wolf. I’m tired of the media making those idiots spokespersons for us all – and I’m reeeaaallly tired of Republican leadership allowing the moderates, independents and people with half-a-brain to be shoved to the left of the center because that’s the only place where they feel safe from the crazies, the Klan and the state party chairpeople. Don’t believe me? Keep promoting yourself as the party of Grand Wizards and even grander fruitcakes, see how far it gets you. And most of all, I’m tired of listening to Unc’s bullshit. So, I offered him a deal.
“Tell you what. If my children do watch the speech, and it’s none of your business if they do, because I don’t need your approval nor will I heed the party’s parenting edicts as has been handed down by Michelle Malkin: I mean, seriously? You can shove that shit in the same place I told you to put those tea bags – but if they (my children) do watch and they likely will, I do hereby solemnly pinky promise you and all other concerned, blood-related and possibly tetched Republican party members that should Obama, at any time, say something like, “Look into my mole. You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy… ” I’ll unplug the television.
“While I realize ya’ll think the President possesses some special, Chosen One, superpowers, although I’m not so sure he does because, if he did, that whole public option thing would’ve gone a bit better, I promise it’ll be okay. This will safeguard them against becoming mini-mindless liberal commie Obamie zombie-bots in 18 minutes or less – because, you know, Obama is powerless against me. Having grown up in the midst of you Republican Good Ol’ Boys, the Southern Baptists Church Mammas, spending my Sundays sucking brainwashing candy and being told I couldn’t do certain things because I was a girl, I think if I haven’t been indoctrinated by all that, I am damn well unindoctrinatible.”
“So, whaddya think?”
Unc didn’t appreciate my reasonableness on the matter: batshit crazy conservatives rarely do. In fact, he hung up on me. Rude, huh? Batshit crazy conservatives sometime are. Still, I’ve got to tell you, America, I feel lighter, bouyant and un-apologetically pleased by the fact that I won’t hear from him again, at least for few more months – you know when he calls to announce that all radical right gun owners are going to shoot themselves in the left foot to oppose liberal gun control efforts and to show their support for the Second Amendment.