Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Do something

If you’ve got 300 million people, most of whom produce nothing for themselves or for the community and to whom everything has to be brought from somewhere else, then there’s no way you’re going to have limited government, or limited anything. All organizations feed upon the helplessness and ignorance and passivity of the people. 

Hammer, sow, slaughter, drill, knead, write, harvest, brew, sew, strum. Do something.

If you are in reasonably good health with no disabilities you should be able to make simple repairs. If you do, you quickly learn that even simple repairs often go sideways, and you need to solve problems.

A child's education should, at a minimum, teach her how to solve problems.


I sometimes make an overly hoppy ale, because I like hops, especially in ale. Occasionally I find myself calculating the cost per bottle, comparing it to the cost of a decent commercial brew I like. And that's a mistake.

You cannot monetize joy. Too many of us have monetized joy right out of our lives.

What does this have to do with public schools? Well, depends on why you think public schools exist.

Is it to create corporate-ready workers or to create citizens capable of inheriting a functioning democracy?

If you want the latter, then art, woodshop, music, cooking, and sewing classes matter, probably more than science, at least the way science is traditionally taught, because every one of those classes involves persistence, problem-solving, and joy.

If you don't like swarrin' or truth, skip the video--

It's hard to keep a self-sufficient joyful citizen happy in a corporate cubicle.

It's near impossible for democracy to flourish in a population that could barely feed itself if each citizen were given 40 acres of fertile land and a decent water supply.

My Mom grew up with "Georgie," the only kid in her neighborhood who could skate faster than her. 
I miss both of them.


Jeffrey Michals-Brown said...

I disagree with Carlin: lots of good people run for office, and many good people (well-meaning, I mean, rather than people I neccesarily agree with) are elected (granted, along with a LOT of jerks). The problems begin as they begin to accumulate (1) power and (2) money. Research shows that even the IDEA of wealth or power affects EVERYONE'S attitudes (regardless of political stripe) towards other people. It seems to be adaptive: the poor are most generous, because they might easily depend tomorrow on the one they help today; but, if you're secure enough, you simply DON'T NEED ANYBODY. I could go on about the f***ed-up priorities of politicians and others who think winning the next election trumps the needs of the electorate (because if I get re/elected THEN I can do all that good, so the end justifies the means), but I'll stop here.

doyle said...

Dear Jeffrey,

To get elected beyond very local elections (town council, school boards, etc.) requires accumulated power and money of others, at least here in New Jersey. These powerful interests have agenda.

That wealth affects attitudes may be true, but there is some self-selection in that many people who could makes far more money than they do choose not to. I would not apply too much biological meaning to a particular culture's behavior--history abounds with myriad cultures that had much saner relationships with accumulated wealth than ours.

Combine "the end justifies the means" with an essentially politically illiterate population that chooses positions and candidates with less care than they root for their fav NFL team, well, you get what we got.

(Besides, I'm biased--my mom and "Georgie" grew up together.)