I read an article today in the New York Times magazine by Ann Hulbert that reminded me just how stupid we have become as a nation when the words "standards" and "education" are mentioned in close proximity to each other. My daughter just got back her SAT test scores and while I am proud of her for achieving the 97th percentile overall on her scores, the lack of serious talk between her and I over what counts for something in this world depresses me. Part of it is her decision to (for good reasons and bad reasons) to become involved with her boyfriend's family who are members of a mega-church. This means that my irreverance is not very welcomedby her because it causes her to feel like she must pick and choose. Which of course is the meaning of Christianity in the first place. Pick a side. Now arm yourself and get ready to kill.
The other reasons why we don't have the kind of debating society I had with my folks (mostly my dad) when I was growing up is that there is no value placed on debate by my lovely wife given the fact that her folks were not formally educated. This is no knock on them but debate is not something they really get. They take everything absolutely personal and they needed to given that they had to fight for everything they got in this world. They are winners, and they are honorable people. Just don't try to debate anything you really care about with them our you might end up missing some vital part of your psychological anatomy. Or you might get a knuckle sandwich.
As for that last reason, the fucking public school system has decided to make "No child left behind" into "we want your kids to be fucking robots." Behave, test, behave, study, behave, conform, drug test, conform, lick the boots of death, etc etc etc. So my good decent brilliant daughter has busted her caboose to make grades and learn her stuff and she will be rewarded, as will I, with bills the size of a Ferrari so she can learn something in the University that very well might make her take SSRI's or a heavy dose of Jesus to try to make sense of the fact that conforming to an insane society makes one insane. Rebellion is the normal coin of the realm in the free world. We are training our kids to be robots in the corporate world of profit and greed. To hell with all of us who think this will make us happy. And fuck those who sell it knowing it for the poison it is.