|The Arbiter of Badassery His Own Self|
I must be a slow learner. Back in August I called out the national Badass Teacher's Club because none of them wanted to join me up at University of Buffalo for an Obama mic check. In my china shop bull-like diplomatic style I said some unpleasant things about their membership's serious lack of badasses. Before long I got a message on Facebook from a friend who warned me that their guru Mark Naison was dyspeptic and suffering from a case of the vapors over my remarks. Within the hour I found myself banned from the Badass Teachers Association. So called.
So I probably went about my business as I tend to do, ever the human Irish Setter poking my nose into things and thinking everything is cool. Somewhere in my rambles I stumbled across New York BATS group that struck me as more accommodating and less heavy handed than the one I'd been booted from. And so it was. I decorated their wall with countless memes poking fun at ed reformers, hapless political hacks, NYSED, the Governor, King, Tisch and Grumpy Old Bob Bennett. I'd post my blog posts there too for the sake of making my contributions to the cause on two fronts and unless I am completely deluded I was a welcome addition to the group.
That all took a dump today when Herr Naison posted an imperious little blurb he introduced as a "heads up." The message was that starting immediately NY BATS was going to launch a prisoner education initiative There was to be no discussion as the powers that be -- Naison and his shadowy inner circle? -- had discussed it and it was a done deal. He suggested anyone who didn't agree should find another group. Well, I guess when your ancestors come from County Cork you are not bloody likely to swallow a load of shite like this one and, true to my DNA, I didn't.
I wasn't so much against any program to educate our incarcerated New York brothers and sisters as much as I was objecting to the top down tone and the Cuomoesque use of the "my way or the highway" card in a group claiming to be a bunch of liberal, Eugene Debs worshipping progressives. What did me in though was the fact that I was voicing a non party approved opinion that directly challenged Dear Leader Naison. First I noticed one of my posts was missing. Then I saw the comments removed from under another post. Within an hour I was no longer a member of the New York Bad Ass Teacher's Association. In Mark Naison's world Badass is what he says it is, when he says it, how he says it, where he says it and nothing else. Tightass, yes. Badass, no.