6/8/11, "How a Teachers’ Rally Made Me Anti-Education," Zombie, Pajamas Media
"I write this essay with a heavy heart.
I’ve always considered myself an ardent advocate for education. But a recent rally staged by teachers and students in favor of school funding forced me to reluctantly acknowledge an awful truth:
We have to destroy education in order to save it.
Let me explain how I came to this miserable conclusion.
The May 13 “State of Emergency” School Funding Protest
A few weeks ago (on Friday, May 13, to be precise) teachers up and down the state of California protested for more school funding. This mass multi-city “State of Emergency” protest was meant to be a Big Deal, a headline-grabbing statewide walkout, but you probably didn’t even hear about it at the time, since I suppose the media and the public have grown weary of endless political demonstrations.
But not to worry — blogs to the rescue! Fellow photojournalist Ringo of Ringo’s Pictures fully documented the Los Angeles protest, and I myself had camera duty at the San Francisco rally, the results of which you’ll see here (along with a selection of L.A. pictures).
You may be wondering: if these protests happened back in May,
- why are we only seeing the pictures now? Very, very good question.
These photos have been languishing on my hard drive for three weeks because every time I got the notion to blog about them, something stopped me. I’ve been making fun of protesters for over eight years now, but this time, I felt conflicted. I mean, c’mon, what have you got against poor teachers and young kids pleading for a few more pennies to keep their schools open? What are you, some kind of cruel anti-education knowledge-hating sadist?
I had some serious cogitatin’ to do. And each time I pushed this report to the back burner, unbidden thoughts kept percolating, simmering in the back of my mind. And it was not until today that I figured out why these otherwise unremarkable protests were so disturbing, and why I could only grumble under my breath at what ought to have been a legitimate social complaint.(Photos and videos from both the S.F. and L.A. rallies are scattered generously throughout the following short essay. When you come to a photo, soak it in but then keep scrolling down — the essay continues all the way to the end! In each caption, “[SF]” indicates a photo by zombie of the San Francisco rally; “[LA]” indicates a photo by Ringo of the Los Angeles rally.)
For most of my life I was what you might call an apathetic leftie — I didn’t particularly care about politics, but I always voted Democratic and if the conversation came up I would inevitably concur with my friends’ inevitably “progressive” opinions. And that most definitely included education. It was one of the few things I always had a strong opinion about: education was A Good Thing under all circumstances and maximizing everyone’s education level was ultimately the solution to all problems: unemployment, intolerance, ignorance, public health — everything.
In my youthful brain I couldn’t even conceptualize anything other than “public education,” so that’s what I imagined I was in favor of: Making public school, from pre-school up through graduate school, accessible to everyone and of the highest standards. I was like, Duh, how can you have any other opinion?
But then 9/11 happened and like many once brain-dead liberals I awakened to a new reality. I didn’t particularly like this harsh new world, but I could see quite clearly that I had been drifting in a haze before, unaware of what was really going on. Mostly, as with most 9/11 Newborns, my new political awareness at first focused primarily on foreign policy and American Exceptionalism, but little by little, once this end was tugged, the fuzzy yarnball of my former political self unraveled entirely.
(Now it just lies in a jumbled heap on the floor.)"...
LA school teacher leads children in political protest. Zombie
via Hot Air