Saturday, August 26, 2006

A sign of the times

The following is a cautionary tale. I've posited earlier my feelings that things are headed in a serious and dark direction. You can expect to see more of the following:
A geography teacher who was reprimanded and placed on paid administrative leave for refusing to remove Chinese, Mexican and United Nations flags from his Carmody Middle School classroom has decided to part ways with the school.

The teacher, Eric Carmody, was suspended for violating a 2002 law prohibitng the display of flags of foreign nations in classrooms. That's right, it is a state offense to display the flags of foreign nations in a classroom setting.

Could you create a more perfect example of the American instinct for the devaluation of the rest of the world? This is just one example of how the static curtain is drawn around the nations borders, shielding from sensitive eyes the fact that others exist. I call it a static curtain, because unlike Russia, the US has information structures in place that preclude the possibility of shutting out the rest of the world altogether.

No, it's a matter of emphasis, reptition, and normative valuation. This is what The Weakerthans sing about in 'past due', off their album Reconstruction Site:
"the Tyranny of framing our attention, with all the eyes our eyes no longer see."
You can bet that the students of Carmody's school have learned a valuable lesson about the status accorded people outside our borders, and it won't be a positive one. We're forfeiting our future as a leader in the world scene so hack politicians like this schmuck can earn plaudits by the local yokels by saying the following:
Former state Rep. Carl Miller, who sponsored legislation in 2002 strengthening a 1971 law restricting foreign flag displays, said the school was right to put Hamlin on leave and should not have let him return so soon.

Miller, a Democrat from Leadville, disagreed with Jefferson County Superintendent Cindy Stevenson, who said the outcome was a "win-win situation."

"The only win-win I see is that Mr. Hamlin wins, China wins, Mexico wins and the United Nations wins," he said.
Yeah, that's right. I hate to see other nations win anything--like say--understanding of their culture and history by a young generation of Americans. That'd be a freakin' crime. The highest degree of respect is accorded to the flakes who think that this seriously moves our country forward somehow. This is the natural result of giving power to the Montgomery Gentry philosophers of the world, the ones with a real understanding of how the real (American) world works.

This is where reflexive "We're #1-ism" gets you. It is a criminal act in the state of Colorado to show another flag in a classroom setting. A teacher is losing his job for exposing children to the sight of foreign flags. I bet there's precious little that his union can do about it for him, since he clearly and knowingly violated a state law.

It's just freakin' ridiculous.

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