Miseducation of the children - A Comment

It all depends whose ox is gored.

DMan is obviously a sensitive and intelligent person who experiences the world in a textured and sophistcated manner. On many occasions I completely agree with his observations (I recently cooled his violin node), other times, I don’t.

Let me recount the experience of another sensitive and intelligent person:

I spent many years at the University of Toronto pursuing a interesting and eclectic program. After graduating, I spent several years taking further courses, and living in Campus Co-op on Spadina Av. I found the character of the students changed quite remarkably from the time before I graduated.

As undergraduates, many of us had also been involved in activities DMan would probably call liberal, but, no, I'm not a liberal, nor were my friends. In Canada, that term is attacked from both the Left and the Right. We felt ourselves concerned with issues affecting the welfare of all. We wanted to leave things, everything, everywhere, a little better, at least no worse, than we had found them.

During the seventies, the reaction to the limited gains of progressives, these as much in the realm of civil consciousness as anything concrete (where most political battles are actually fought), was quite successful. From my perspective, there has never been a liberal media; all political discussion in North America ranges from near Right, the far Right.

Those who came after me in the Campus Co-op were less concerned about anyone, or anything, other than themselves. They were at the University of Toronto to get ahead, not to better themselves, not to contribute. Even before the success of Ronald Reagan, the forces that would bring him to power were already at work.

Even teachers are subject to the mind-altering effects of media. None of us are exempt. It has always been my hope that true teachers would help their students protect themselves against the ideas that make great impersonal entities--corporations--much money, at the expense of eveything and us all. This struggle is the central narrative of our time.

As a somwhat older person than DMan, I have watched several cycles pass. Though the battles are not new, the weapons, the technology always is--and the advantage always goes to those who can buy the latest technology.

I have had time to read some history. I have had time to reflect upon a greater length of personal lived time. And it cheers my heart no end that young people today, especially in a family as intelligent and sensitive as DMan’s, have begun to see, again, beyond themselves.

We are always in the hands of those who come after. We can only hope that what we leave them is in no worse condition than when left us. We can only hope they will take their stewardship as seriously, as intelligently, as sensitively as we did.

We must always resign ourselves to the miseducation of the children.

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