From the latest column:
DON'T KID AROUND IN THE CLASSROOM
Think back to when you were 6 years old. What was your world
like? Mine consisted of playing baseball, cowboys and Indians (I didn't know
from Native Americans), and watching a goofy guy named Howdy Doody on TV.
That filled much of my leisure time.
Uh, I think the whole Howdy Doody thing might have sparked young Billy's ambitions to become a yammering, ugly puppet. But let's see, when I was six, I enjoyed Jem and the Holograms and My Little Ponies, and watching Nova on PBS. But then, I was a weird kid.
In school, a glaring nun named Sister Lurana taught me to read
"Dick and Jane" stories. I had a book that said stuff like "look at Jane.
See Jane run. Dick likes Jane." It really didn't matter to me whether Dick
liked Jane or not, I wanted to climb a tree. But the nun insisted I learn to
read the book, so I did.
Ah, nuns forcing him to do things against his will. Sounds like the seeds of a very screwed-up attitude toward females, causing him to want to hide out in the local foliage rather than be administered to by overbearing, sexless women.
Today, in Lexington, Mass., 6-year-olds have another book. It is
called "Who's In a Family?" This book features not only Dick and Jane, but
also Jennifer and Lauren and Charles and Henry. The pages tell little kids
about different kinds of families: mixed race, gay and lesbian, and even
traditional family units. They are all discussed in very positive ways.
No, no! Anything but that!
A father named David Parker took one look at the same sex part
of the book and made an appointment to see the principal of the Estabrook
Elementary School, a woman named Joni Jay. Mr. Parker asked Ms. Jay to
inform him when the gay family stuff was going to be presented because he
felt his little son was too young to learn about homosexuality and he would
keep him home that day. Sounds reasonable, right?
I don't think "reasonable" is the word I'd use, but whatever.
Not so fast.
Dun dun DUN!
Ms. Jay informed Mr. Parker that the family book had nothing to
do with sexuality, and so he was not entitled under the Massachusetts sex-ed
law to get a heads up. When Mr. Parker pointed out that same sex situations
contain the word 'sex,' he was asked to leave the principal's office. He
refused. So the Lexington police arrested him on trespassing charges.
Uh, I'd imagine that a good number of children's textbooks include the word "sex," as does the form Dad had to fill out for the younger Parker when he registered him for school. But I'm just trying to imagine what Bill is leaving out when he says that Mr. Parker "refused" to leave the office. I'm betting it's assholery of the highest order.
See Dad get arrested. What does Jane think?
Well, if Jane's anything like me, Jane is thinking "HA ha!"
Very quietly all over the country, these kinds of culture war
expositions are being played out in assorted public school systems. Under
the banner of teaching tolerance, many school boards have OK'd books that
delve into social issues far beyond the comprehension of most 6-year-olds. I
don't know about you, but I thought gay meant happy until I was 11 years
old, and even then I could not have cared less whether Lenny and Squiggy
were a couple. I wanted to steal second and see monster movies, not
understand what happens in Key West.
Lenny and Squiggy? I don't think I wanna get into the pitcher/catcher dynamics of that one. But I also don't think Bill understands that "what happens in Key West" is not just about sex, but about love and relationships, relationships that are becoming more and more mainstream whether he likes it or not.
But today, we have a massive mission of indoctrination going on
in America, and millions of traditional parents don't like it. I am siding
with that group. I don't want to tell my little kids about "alternative
lifestyles" unless we're talking about the Munchkins in the "Wizard of Oz."
Uh . . . being small is an alternative lifestyle? Cool, then I can "choose" that lifestyle and get to order off the "12 and under" menu wherever I go! Seriously, what kind of meds is Bill on where he can't pick a metaphor to save his life? He probably doesn't even have any little kids, poor, deluded Bill (actually, a google search turned up the fact that he's 55, married to a 38-year-old woman, and has a 6 year old son and 1 year old daughter. I hope they raise Hell). And by the way? I think that the Wizard of Oz gave me more nightmares than anything my parents ever taught me about human sexuality (Which they did tell me. Early on and whenever I had a question.)
I think both Dick and Jane would agree that we should all back
off and give the kids a break. Let's bring back childhood in America, OK? No
more "diversity" books for kindergarteners. No more bare midriffs for
9-year-old girls. No more gold chains for boys going into third grade. Got
it? Let's work together on this.
Right. Keep kids in the dark about everything until they have learned it elsewhere. Keep them covered and unadorned (because God knows that gold jewelry on boys only leads to that troubling metrosexuality craze that is sweeping the nation, and midriffs will only tempt perverts like, well, Bill himself with impure thoughts). I don't know why he's chanelling so much emotion into Dick and Jane, because as far as I could tell from those books, they were pretty flat characters, with no development at all. They saw a lot of stuff, they ran a lot, but they never formulated higher moral viewpoints from which such conclusions could be drawn.
The world is a tough, nasty place, and children will learn that
soon enough. Shouldn't we make their first years fun years, free of
political and social agendas? Why do some little kids these days look like
Britney Spears and Kid Rock? What the deuce is wrong with us?
He he. He said "what the deuce." I want to hear him say it in a Stewie voice. And why can't tolerance and acceptance of others be "fun" and really, quite innocent if done in the right way?
Bill, I fail to see the connection between teaching children that families can encompass any group of loving individuals and the fact that some little kids "look like Britney Spears and Kid Rock." Furthermore, show me a six-year-old that looks like Kid Rock OR Britney Spears and I'll show you a very good reason to tighten regulations on releasing bovine hormones into ground water.
Summing up, Dick likes Jane and that's enough for 6-year-olds.
Larry and Bruce can wait a few years.
So, summing up, teaching children tolerance is just too damned complicated and should be put off. Once you start teaching children that it's OK to have a non-traditional family, they will bear their midriffs, overaccessorize, get breast implants and start claiming that they are "pimps" and not "whack MCs."
Clear? OK. Now Bill has to go tuck the kids in and make some lewd telephone calls to his interns, whilst reading Dick and Jane and fantasizing about the wild alternative lifestyles of munchkins.