November 08, 2004

How the Youth of America voted . . .


Posted by Crazy Eddie at November 8, 2004 12:00 AM

true dat. i don't know many people my age who voted for bush. except for those crazy guys on my hall.


PS> see my letter DP 11/8/04

The crazy thing is that on the opposite page is a column that takes an unfair dig at daily show viewers. But the quote that I used in my letter (which probably made it 1000X more effective) was actually a quote that i remember first hearing on the daily show. hmm.

Posted by: Alex at November 8, 2004 04:15 PM

arr. forgot to post this article you should read

it's here.

My favorite bit:

The United States ranks 14th out of 15 industrialized countries in per capita education spending. If we have an electorate incapable of thinking rationally about its own interests, who confuse politicians with old movie heroes, don't know much about history, and lap up the administration's lies about Iraq even after they've been repeatedly exposed as lies by the media, this might have something to do with never having been educated in the fundamental skills of critical thinking. (Note that Bush's much touted No Child Left Behind initiative, favoring rote learning and standardized testing, is the formula for an even more intellectually pacified and credulous electorate.)

But corporate America doesn't require an educated or critical citizenry. Quite the contrary. What it requires is a passive work force narrowly trained to perform specific occupations for decreasing wages, who will then overconsume lavishly in their leisure hours. It all works out rather well: Job dissatisfaction is placated by an endless succession of consumer crap (creating new jobs—though probably overseas—making more crap); intellectual boredom is assuaged by a steady diet of media crap (thanks to media deregulation); and any remaining critical stirrings are mollified by supersize portions of tasteless crappy food (thanks to an unregulated food industry). The result: a stupefied, overstuffed citizenry glued to pricey entertainment centers, whose national hobby is ridiculing Europeans for wanting shorter work weeks, resisting American imports, and denouncing the disastrous American policy in Iraq.

emphasis added. now there is an interesting critique of NCLB (one of my least favorite bush policies). i've always known that "standardized" testing just stifles creativity (heck, i just got out of high school a couple of years ago when it was all getting started. thank god.) but maybe the bush administration knows this too. sadly the less people think, the more they will believe whatever is told to them.

but of course here we have to be careful about terminology, because i'm sure some people would call me a "liberal elitist" because i'm promoting thinking. Absolutely ludicrous. "Thinking" does not require lots and lots of education, something usually attributable only to those who are intelligent and have enough money to get it. Rather, thinking requires the ability and more importantly the willingness to allow more than one point of view to cross one's mind. what the author is saying in this piece is not that NCLB makes children less educated, but merely that it discourages thinking. This goes along with our societal problem that we like our news for instance fed to us in 30-second sound bytes.

We live in a society of people who are perfectly able to think, but many Americans just don't like to do it. They find it easier (and more comforting) to believe that all is well, and that those who are in power should be trusted blindly.

And that is a very long term problem that must be changed if we hope to be able to build a government on the national level that will work for the people instead of working to deceive them.

Posted by: Alex at November 8, 2004 04:35 PM