01 August 2011

Weak Bark, Why Bite?

[Jenial Gracias to Ms. Mendes-Franco over at Global Voices Online for picking up My post about the lack of libraries on My Island. While We're here, I do have a book compiling My pre-hiatus GVO appearances, and it is free. Right sidebar, click to download, thank you.]

Bruce Levin posted this on his blog: 8 Ways Young Americans’ Resistance to Domination Has Been Subdued.

I've removed most of his commentary (well worth reading) to apply his observations to My Brethren, older and younger than Me:

1. Student-Loan Debt: For Us, it's all debt. As Levine says: "Large debt—and the fear it creates—is a pacifying force." Our people are owned by the bank and the finance companies, so they are owned by their jobs and own nothing. Our freedom of choice is used--as We shall see below--to give it all away. We are idiots.

2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance. I coach a youth basketball team of 12 kids coming from 11 families (two are brothers). In seven of those families, I have heard one parent or grandparent mention Ritalin or some similar medication to "help" the boy. And several of the fathers and stepfathers cannot imagine spending an outing--with or without the boys--unless there's a few cases of beer to pass the time. We see drugs as a way to control and deal with "reality," easy fixes for what We can't face up to.

3. Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy: Levine quotes New York Teacher of the Year, John Taylor Gatto, who said: “The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders." I've danced around this thought for too long, so here it is: Schools ruin Our children for anything but being victims. Schools are not Our allies, but that of the system that wants to control them. And as for strengthening a democracy, latrines have a higher moral value than Our current schools.

4. “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top”: And here's why: standardization and more standardization. Fit every peg into the same kind of hole. A latrine is morally neutral: these schools We have now are morally evil. 

5. Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously. Mark Twain said it best: "I never let my schooling interfere with my education." For those who want to learn outside the system, on their own, freely, responsibly, away from the heavy-handed hammer of complacency and obedience, the message is clear: that is bad. Why? Why is anyone's love of learning wrong unless it conforms to that of the State? I'll repeat Myself: education controlled by the government is the same as propaganda. Period. 

6. The Normalization of Surveillance: Here on My Island, the police want to record protests and protesters. Openly. Without legal reason except "We fucking want to." In the States, a person got 15 years--15 fucking years--for recording a police officer making a public arrest. What thrives when the "powers that be" are left to act like hyenas in the dark is not democracy...but do We care, since We weren't taught what it was, have been trained to obey and fear losing Our jobs that turn Us into 1-day rerouters of money? Some of Us do. And We're your only hope, idiots.

7. Television: It has turned too many on My Island into dazed, fearful, useless batches of drooling baboons thisclose to mating with the diseased rhesus monkeys ruining Our crops. And here's another Levine quote about the convergence of TV with other digital image platforms that applies to a few of My basketball boys, especially My nephews: "While playing a video games is not as zombifying as passively viewing TV, such games have become for many boys and young men their only experience of potency, and this 'virtual potency' is certainly no threat to the ruling elite." Yeah, be a killer in "Call of Duty" or "NBA 2k11": real talent lies wasted and the hyenas are definitely not afraid of wasted talent, for that is what they feed on.

8. Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism: From Levine: "Fundamentalist consumerism destroys self-reliance, creating people who feel completely dependent on others and who are thus more likely to turn over decision-making power to authorities, the precise mind-set that the ruling elite loves to see." The get-yourself-into-debt movement, the practical application of the "Keep up with the Joneses" mindset has led Us down a path where We are convinced We can't do anything. And when it comes time to do something--and that point was reached over a decade ago--Levine has the reason why We haven't done jackshit: "Fundamentalist consumerism also promotes self-absorption, which makes it difficult for the solidarity necessary for democratic movements." In other words, We want Ours, but We don't want to help you get Yours. Too many of Us are too stupid to see that "I am You," or understand it when We read it.

Remember, O Tweeting Brethren, how last year's protests against the government firings, Law 7 and the university strikes was breathlessly hyped as the "Armapocalypse Goddamit Here IT IS Change Is A-Coming!"? But who said in essence: "No, nothing will change. Nothing."?

Damn right I did. And pinpointed that We wouldn't because of fear. Even a Jenius could make that call.

We've eschewed making the changes needed with ballots. Several times. Are We going to wait until We're cornered like sickly rats to actually do something, or will We merely bare Our teeth as the darkness swallows Us in the long night of the hyenas?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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