Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We saw YOU, and we saw the plague

While the fiery debates sparked by my first two articles in this series were irresistible, in a sort of car-accident way, there was a lot more heat than light in those discussions. Obviously we believe home schooling is a viable and valuable part of the educational puzzle, or we wouldn't be doing it. As a product of public schools myself, I can understand why some people see home schooling as a violation of the social contract, or as a reactionary, overprotective rejection of the public sphere. Ultimately, though, home schooling may be more important as a venue for some unconventional ideas about education than as a widespread social phenomenon or a panacea. (Andrew O’Hehir, “Why our kids won’t go to kindergarten,” 15 March 2010)

We saw YOU, and we saw the plague

It's your tone, Andrew. You get a sense in a lot of what you write that you are actually quite happy to sculpt your life so you seem increasingly detached from, not related to, the flailing, dumb rest of us. I think you use your columns for this purpose. It's so frequently one arm fully-extended to us, but FOR THE PURPOSE OF making clear that we no longer (are in) touch, that we are fated to drift away from one another. "Sorry guys, I wish I could, but I can't!" Guilt abates, even as your columns work to ESTABLISH that the rest of us SHOULD imagine ourselves as amongst the unsavy and irrelevant that really SHOULDN'T find their way to safe-haven before the flood. So you write articles about why "Dark Knight" should have been nominated, WHILE MAKING ABSOLUTELY CLEAR, not only that you didn't much like the movie, but that something is likely off with you if you DID like it. You see in your comment section all the sad fanboys, the easily entertained by, in truth, the truly unremarkable, who ostensibly needed someone of gentle rank to speak for them, but whom you can't sadly at all anymore relate to. Same thing with “LOTR.” People thank you for allowing space to argue it one of the 2000's best, when all you were doing was cruelly making use of people's dismay to draw together a good lot of the sad hangers-on for you to sigh at, disingenuously speak up for (highlighting ostensibly imaginative responses by clear geeks, in an effort to essentialize EVERYONE the films still speak to as being for the most part unimaginative and uninspired, of non-professional calibre, of needing over-enthused responses to their work to shore up their surely flagging self-esteem -- as if being exulted might for a moment take them away from their everyday experience of losing traction with a world with no use for them), while twice or maybe three times making sure EVERYONE knew the films no longer spoke to you or any other professional film-critic you were in acquaintance with.

I would like to associate home-schooling with those who are getting their children to know play. But I sense very little play in what you write. "It" seems mostly about making clear that you are amongst the elite, that an elite exits -- and owing somehow to its cleanliness, its in-fact MODERATION in tone and ambition, in an age where many are disassembling and rambling on on over to enthused, over-inflated, left-or-right-variety crazyland, DESERVES to exist -- and that you are buoyed by having the good fortune of just having the right "look" to allow you to innocently prosper while the rest of us get our messy, panicky mental-states well away from your calmly-controlled, securely-denatured presence. You well hide it from yourself, but you are using our Salon, our meeting-place, to build for yourself, a small fortress.

Link: Why our kids won’t go to kindergarten (Salon)

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