Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Slouching Towards Jamestown

Kind of an Inside Joke but Not Really

In the ragged pretense of what remains of American Democracy it's still expected that the ruling class must make some show of giving a damn about the proles before steamrolling them with their Brahmin crafted and Plutocrat funded policies. Said policies of course come at the expense of the underclass in the surrender of their rights and income and are generally aimed at adding more money to the teeming coffers of the elites. Case in point, John King and some of his Regents have been for the past several weeks submitting themselves to a furious stream of "rhetoric" to use Chancellor Tisch's dismissive term for it. They sit stone faced, King sipping ferret-like from his bottled water, Tisch wringing the neck of her fashionable scarf. They quietly stare and cover their faces with their hands involuntarily as parent after teacher after Superintendent after parent blasts them with both barrels for their callous, imperious and let's face it folks, stupid immersion into the Byzantine and age inappropriate edu-blob that is the Common Core. Speaker after speaker relates tales of angst and frustration, of kids feigning illness and teachers wolfing down Paxil. Third graders with 4 hours of homework, written gym tests that land their teachers in Teacher Improvement Programs because the kids weren't up on their badminton rules -- true story of the BOCES phys. ed.guy in my OMH/state run building. Through it all the gentry remain unmoved, un-empathetic, stony and silent as the grave.

 When King does speak it's with that heavy sigh of a person who's lost all sense of patience with these people. He pleads as if he understand they are simply too stupid and unable to see the light he is shining upon them. It's the wheezy resignation of his voice that transcends sentient human responses to the suffering of others, responses like compassion, understanding and empathy. King is beyond any of those human responses. He boils in resentment that nobody will listen to him. They challenge him and question him and they are never satisfied. They don't think the modules are very well written. They don't want to read Young Goodman Brown 16 times annotating every paragraph in color coded notes. They don't trust InBloom, they think their kids' data is protected. They don't understand that Obama's friends took care of that with a little fine tuning of the FERPA regs. They are all so rude, and so stupid and so angry, why don't they all just shut up and go along? Why do we have to keep listening to them say the same things over and over and over? In the end their comments will change nothing. They have no power and they can't stop Common Core or InBloom or the gauntlet of standardized tests Pearson has in the pipeline for years to come. But we have to do this dance and let them get up on their hind legs and howl, provide them with the illusion that someone in power is listening and gives a shit then slam the door in their faces and do what we were fucking well going to do in the first place... Does that about sum it up Lil John? Am I feeling you, Bro? 

I haven't made any plans to go to Jamestown tomorrow. I inquired on Facebook of one person who offered room on a bus and haven't heard back. Not even sure if I want to go really. My wife is off tomorrow and we have plenty to do before putting the tree and the second level of outside lights up. It's tempting to go and try and elbow in a spot at a mic. Not that anyone on stage will be listening anyway but they aren't the people I want to talk to anyway. I want to say to everyone who'd bother to read this thing after I go off on one tangent after another that it's a great ride. I am having some fun and enjoying the fight and cameraderie -- maybe it's  just the County Cork coming out. But we have to fight so we may as well have some fun doing it. There's no other option at this point. No more half measures, moratoriums, back pedaling or chicken shitting. Either we save public education from these bastards or we go down swinging. I will not be wearing blue on behalf of NYSUT on any day this week or any other. If they want to get real I am all ears but they can shove their half measures and pussyfooting gestures. This is not the time for idle chants and color coded protests. We need much more than empty fashion gestures from our leadership. We need action and wearing a blue sweater  on Wednesday with Frosty the Fucking Snowman is not action, Dick!

If I do make the trip and I am lucky enough to get my two minutes of fame you can count on a Bob Bennett impression in  Grandpa Simpson's voice after I tell him he's the John McCain of The Regents. "Hey, you kids, get off my Commissioner..."  If not I look forward to hearing your stories and with any luck there will be a live feed. Strength and Solidarity with everyone who's in this for what's right and woe unto them who trespass against us. Peace. 

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