Sunday, January 19, 2020

Education or Catastrophe?

Three years ago, it was the Women’s March in San Francisco that turned me from despair to hope in the recent election of the wrong person for our country. He fulfilled every prediction I (and others) made and then some even worse ones. So here we all were again, still taking to the streets to exercise the voice that he hasn’t been able to shut down yet. And again, it felt good to be amongst such fun, interesting, varied and thinking people.

Quite a contrast to a Trump rally, where no one makes a personal sign and all wear the same Heil Hitler hat and follow the script of mindless cheering to any drivel that comes out of the guy’s mouth without a moment of reflection. And if they dare to think or look puzzled by something he says or whisper to a friend that they don’t agree and happen to be on camera (like the Plaid Shirt guy a year or so back), someone comes and escorts them out and replaces them with a Stepford-Wife cheerleader. Politics as a TV script and mass hypnosis. Full frontal public view of brainwashing at work. How is this okay?

But at the women’s march, people mostly make their own signs and they are often clever, witty, artfully designed, creative and thought-provoking. I found two others that almost matched mine exactly! (And for the public record, my wife actually made the sign that I suggested and the other side was her clever list). 

So who do we want to be? Independent thinkers or brainwashed goose-stepping yea-sayers? Which fulfils our country’s founding vision? Which fulfills Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World warning of a dystopian future society, now here and viewable on the TV news? Do we want educated people capable of distinguishing truth from lies or couch potatoes who believe everything FOX News tells them so that the rich and powerful can protect their unearned privilege to wreck the world and play golf? People capable of thinking for themselves or those who are easily duped by self-serving leaders? Do we want to educate people so they use the full measure of their faculties—intellect, imagination and humanitarian promise—or keep caring only about right answers on irrelevant tests? Two quotes:

“We are in a race between education and catastrophe.” — H.G. Wells

“Those who don’t stand for truth will fall for lies.” (This on a sign yesterday, but didn’t get a photo of it.)

Here are some of the gems from yesterday. Keep thinking! Keep speaking out! Keep taking to the streets as needed! If we’re so luck as to make it, be prepared to tell your grandchildren: “I was there. I spoke. I helped turn it around. And all for you. “










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