Wednesday, March 02, 2005

the menu is, monkey brains

I'm livid with embarrassment over the state of education in this country. No, John T. Gatto is of no use; that half-bake and his neologisms and coinage deserve their place on the funny-farm. I won't even touch the morose subject of the degeneration of secularism in education. The decline of scholastic achievements among youth is saved for a day when I've a ready box of antacid. Something succinct and more pertinent to imminent catastrophe catches my attention. The utter and replete dilution of any and all schools of thought will definitely percolate up until society stagnates, or worse, implodes.

Pop-culture has always been pervasive, a concept absolutely unsurprising and uneventfully invariable. The notion raising eyebrows is its new floral-colored, pixie-powered permeability of inescapable range. Since the days of hermits, societies have offered great respect and aegis to their brethren at the cusp of hamlets. No longer do engrossing troglodytes receive enthralled visitors' kisses at the feet; it's truly for the better; a single improperly inhaled toe hair can asphyxiate a weary, gasping, traveler. Supplanting the hairy toe man, satchel-wearing academes now reign as the new defense against a rising deluge of groupthink. At least, I thought so.

The next generation of erudite insulation fillers for the cold vacuous halls of academia disappoints. Not yet weaned from sensationalist drivel, these men and women are about as iconoclastic as Janet Jackson with her lesson in anatomy.[1] Worse, with hyper-specialization only a step away from creating the first human-sized transistor, none of these matriculated lads 'n lassies has any clue on his or her position on anything of significance. "We shouldn't form opinions. It's best to assume all possibilities are valid." - fine; then, at least have the opinion that people shouldn't form opinions. Something worth causing a brouhaha needs to spring from college campuses before the next Galileo not waiting for any church gouges his own eye out for seeing things, thereby scoring a possible interview with E!.

Agreed, there are innumerable subcultures and self-described counterculture groups littered about urban dwellings. Most, however, believe indoctrination is remedied with Ayn Rand peeking out of their backpack, body piercings, and a philosophical outlook about as dangerous as a house pet named Rover. Elsewhere, our neighbors still reeling from "The War of Northern Aggression"[2] turn gay marriages and stem cell research into contentious topics. Oi vey! When the only opposition comes from the same people who still consider evolution contentious, I have serious reservations. However, I recused myself from the topic of declining secularism. At the moment, my quibbles are with the mass communication infrastructure, partly mechanized, partly electrified, and completely stupefied. The monolithic culture of apathy and acquiescence spreads on the internet like plaque on the teeth of a hershey-bar junkie. While I personally love the idea of cultural diffusion, I abhor homogeneity. The new library of the world has pages and sentences from various books interleaved. Goldie Locks, where’s your glass slipper?

Rarefied by the cruelties of numbers, critical thinkers have always required the pressure and density of a school or university to crystallize.[3] I don’t see that crystallization happening anymore; they come in a potato, go out serving french fries. In today’s pervasive soup de jour, how will even a professor not smell like an onion? Float! Float my little nematode! Float until you’ve something to latch onto!

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