Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

My Photo
Location: Oaksterdam, California

Friday, February 18, 2005

Kids these days

A study was released the other day that details High School students' surprisingly restrictive view of First Amendment freedoms. It points out that about 20% think that unpopular opinions should be prohibited. And, "only 51 percent think newspapers should be allowed to publish stories without government approval."

Bill Mahrer, comedian, former host of Politically Incorrect, and all around funny guy with his Susan Estrich-sized head, had this reaction to the study and penned this piece, Kids Say the Darndest, Most Stalinist Things:
But the younger generation is supposed to rage against the machine, not for it; they're supposed to question authority, not question those who question authority.

And what's so frightening is that we're seeing the beginnings of the first post-9/11 generation — the kids who first became aware of the news under an "Americans need to watch what they say" administration, the kids who've been told that dissent is un-American and therefore justifiably punished by a fine, imprisonment — or the loss of your show on ABC.

President Bush once asked, "Is our children learning?" No — they isn't. A more appropriate question might be, "Is our teachers teaching?" In four years, you can teach a gorilla sign language. Is it too much to ask that in the same amount of time a kid be taught what those crazy hippies who founded this country had in mind?

I know the Morals & Values folks want us to take time out of the school day for prayer and the Ten Commandments and abstinence training and at least two theories of evolution — the one agreed upon by every scientist in the world and the one that involves naked ladies and snakes — but, lest we forget, last month the people of Iraq risked death and danger to send a simple, inspiring message: America, get out of our country. But also, we want the freedoms you take for granted.

While the trend is disturbing, there is hope. I find hope in this scrawl written
(on the epitome of free speech) a bathroom stall in a Middle School in Virginia:
Killing for peace is like fucking for chastity.

Maybe I have too much faith in human nature and am blind to to the danger. Yet not all the 'Reagan Kids' grew up to be complete idiots. It reminds of this old Assyrian Tablet from 2,800 BC:
"The earth is degenerating these days. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer mind their parents, every man wants to write a book Blog, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching."

OK they didn't have blogs back then yet somehow the world survived.

(Via Billmon)