Guest column: Kids today!
Warning: The following is satire. Consume responsibly.
As I was researching my trip to Colorado, I read that Jefferson County recently proposed new guidelines to make advanced-placement U.S. history courses more focused on patriotism, respect and American exceptionalism. In response, students at several schools walked out of class in protest.
To that I say:
I am sick and tired of these rotten, ungrateful kids who think they have some say in their own future. They’re lucky we let them learn at all!
Someone should remind these brats that there is no right to education granted in the current Constitution. None. The founding fathers figured school wasn’t as important as combating tyranny, brewing quality tea and assuring the votes of two-fifths of their slaves. For centuries, women, minorities and the poor couldn’t even get any education at all, and the U.S. turned out just fine, don’t you think? Or do you hate George Washington and apple pie?
Now these dumb, little pituitary monsters in Denver are complaining about the type of education they get for free? The nerve.
Yeah, I called our kids dumb, because they are dumb. Most of them can’t believe it’s not butter!
On average, American kids are a year behind their foreign peers in math and science, though they’re a decade ahead in body mass index. President Barack Obama recently called the United States’ horrid test scores our “Sputnik moment.” Unfortunately, that does not mean we’re going to blast our dumb kids into space.
Whose fault is it that our kids are dumb? The teachers? The politicians? The parents? I choose to blame the kids, because that’s easier.
I’m over it. I’m over the coddling. We’ve given these kids too much leeway, too many chances to wander down fruitless intellectual paths. They’re spending too much time questioning authority and too little time respecting it.
School shouldn’t be a place to learn about critical thinking — that only leads to thoughtful protest and well-conceived action and tickets to Burning Man. School should be simply a factory where we assemble future loyal employees, consumers and marketing execs to feed the money-making machine that is true American exceptionalism.
So, with that in mind, here are my bullet point proposals for not just advanced-placement curriculum, but all curriculum, grades kindergarten through minimum wage:
Teachers should eliminate any reference to depressing truths and lies about America. Depressed kids don’t buy as much stuff, so just don’t talk about sad stuff such as Native American genocide or internment or war profiteering nor women’s suffrage. Just … shhhhhhh.
Our kids should memorize the noble adventures of true patriots such as Standard Oil, A.I.G., Enron and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
Textbooks should be rewritten to reflect the tragic impact of child-labor laws, show the North American Free Trade Agreement winning the Vietnam War and explain how the ACLU killed Santa Claus.
Preschoolers should only be given debit cards. High-limit credit cards should not be mandatory until third grade.
Advanced-placement classes should help kids learn to make change, work in customer service and sign predatory lending documents.
Lessons in all grades should focus on identifying and being obsessed with money and the material things it can buy. Oh, and how to get thankless jobs to pay for those things.
Now look, I’m sure this seems extreme to some of you. You worry about condemning our kids to lives of mindless toil and consumption. Well, they should of thought about that before they chose to be born.
Don’t be afraid, parents! Don’t give in to your fear! What if Columbus had given in to his fear? We’d have never discovered this great, basically uninhabited land.
By teaching kids to become unquestioning cogs in a massive economic machine, we’ll remove critical thinking from their brains, leaving room for more exceptionalism, more patriotism, more America.
After all, “more” is just an anagram for “Rome.” And don’t we want our children’s future to burn as brightly as the great Republic of Rome?
Jeff Kreisler is an award-winning comedian, a recovering attorney, a know-nothing TV pundit and bestselling author of “Get Rich Cheating.” You can let him know that you’ve completely missed the point by visiting his website (www.jeffkreisler.com) or Twitter (twitter.com/jeffkreisler) or coming to his show March 15 at the Aspen Jewish Congregation at the Aspen Chapel. Tickets are on sale at http://www.aspenshowtix.com and the Wheeler box office. Rabbi David Segal is off this month.
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