Sometimes, I Hate What We've Turned Into

Mamacita says: December in an American public school classroom used to be so very, very special.  No matter what kind of families lived in the area, and no matter what a child’s family did about December at home, every child could count on some wonder and magic and twinkling lights in the classroom, and a present to unwrap and take home.  Nowadays, of course, most schools are too afraid of lawsuits and complaints to give a little child a chance to see his/her face reflected in a shiny ornament or give a little child a candy cane.  Many poor children had the only Christmas in their lives in the classroom; they went home to nothing.  Now, at least, it’s all balanced out:  Because a handful of families feared to expose their children to beliefs other than their very own, everybody’s children go without at school.  But that’s all right; there really isn’t time to feed a child’s imagination these days what with all the test prep and sports and reading short stories and essays about every culture except one.  It’s too bad that these people who throw themselves into political correctness with such vigor can’t find a better target for their energies; you know, child abuse, hunger, literacy, etc.  But I guess turning into a rabid weasel over a candle or a greeting or a card or a star garners more attention  Besides, any belief system too fragile to withstand a few honest questions and some exposure to new things, can’t be worth much anyway.  And what kind of people devote themselves to taking wonder away from little children?  Amazing.

Oops, forgot.  Imagination and fantasy and wonder are DANGEROUS THINGS.  They encourage chlidren to THINK and DREAM and possibly learn something their parents don’t already know or, more likely, that their parents don’t know the answer to.  DANGER, Will Robinson, DANGER.

At what point did the desires of a few dictate what the vast majority wished to do?  Whenever that was, we passed it and now, we’re so politically correct that we’re no longer a melting pot of Americans; we’re a restricted menu of food in plates divided so nothing can touch anything else.  It’s sad.

I’m hosting the Carnival of Education tomorrow and I thought I’d start out with some fighting words.  Bring it on.

And while I’m still mad, here are some more:  I really miss America.

I don’t care what anyone looks like, and I don’t care what your belief system is.  But I also know that if I lived in a country where the customs were different from my own, I would never presume to demand that an entire nation and culture change and adapt to my ways.  It would be my job to adapt to THEIR ways, at least in public. I could do my own thing at home.  And I was never afraid of new ideas, either.  Sad, sorry people.  I suppose some people worry that their children will bring home ideas that the parents don’t understand.  In the old days, that was a point of pride with families; they WANTED their children to know things beyond what the parents and grandparents knew.  Blending new ideas with old was encouraged.  It doesn’t mean wiping out anybody’s beliefs, but it sure did encourage people to look at other people with an unjaundiced eye.  Yes, I know there were bigots and idiots back then, too.  I think one definition of a bigot is a person who can’t accept anyone’s ideas but his own, and an idiot is just an idiot.

Please, wish me a Merry Christmas, and a Pleasant Solstice.  Tell me you hope my Kwanzaa is good.  Ask me what kind of menorah I use.  I have all kinds of friends and I’ve never been afraid of exposure to all kinds of customs and I have always WELCOMED the exchange of ideas.  A belief system that fears exposure and discourages exchange of ideas and assumes that everyone is a persecutor, etc, is a sad, sorry, paranoid relic of the past, encouraging followers to be ignorant and mean and suspicious and militant.

We live in America.  Pay attention to everyone.  Americans were never intended to be stifled.  Americans celebrate, and most of us are happy to celebrate yours as well as their own.

And as for you dour, sour, cranky, crabby whatever-the-opposite-of-a-ray-of-sunshine-is people who view a simple expression of good will as ‘fightin’ words,” shame on you.  SHAME on you.  How DARE you turn someone’s greeting into some kind of political bitchfest, with you as the bitch.  If you don’t like it, don’t repeat it.  Just say “Thank you” and remember the manners your mother certainly TRIED to teach you.

Of course, if your mother is the one who taught you to view everyone and everything with suspicion and assumptions and mistrust, then she’s a bitch, too.  Tell her I said so.

Yeah, I’m not moody.

Mean, hateful people are a waste of earth space all year, but in December, they come out in droves and try to bring the rest of us down, too.

It’s none of anybody else’s business “what” you are, if indeed you are “anything” at all.  That’s YOUR business.  But while we’re fiercely guarding our OWN business, what’s to keep us from enjoying things other people do, as well?

School was so intensely boring to me, K through 12.  Some days, I thought I’d die of boredom.  But when December finally rolled around, I perked up.  I perked up again in February.

But I keep forgetting.  Perking up over something YOU don’t approve of is a sin, innit.

I’m so sorry for you, even while I think you’re a horse’s patoot.

Nobody is trying to “turn” your children, ya big moron.  America is made up of everybody else on the planet, and we all have a lot to offer one another.  Why whine when we can share?

Someone I once respected has shown herself to be absolutely without reasoning ability or desire to have any.  I’m sad over that.  I hate discovering that about her.  Cloistering oneself and children must be a very lonely thing, except for the part where you become irate when someone innocently wishes you well, not realizing that you don’t TAKE that shit from ANYBODY because your BELIEFS encourage RUDENESS and hostility and, sadly, obscene name-calling.

I got a card today with an elf on it.  Mercy ME, how dreadfully politically incorrect.  I don’t believe in elves.  Short people’s feelings must be raw this time of year.  If my children saw that, they’d think it was FINE to photograph short people wearing striped stockings and slaving away in the Arctic for candy.  They might even decide to bow down and worship the elves, instead of the beliefs I’ve tried to instill in them from the day of their births.  How DARE this person send me a card that hoped I would be safe and healthy and happy this winter.

So I did what any American should do:  I phoned my friend and thanked her for thinking of me.

P.S.  If your nerves are too raw to deal with “Merry Christmas,” you can wish people “Happy Holidays.”  All of them are included there, and don’t give me any of that ridiculous “wahh wahh, you’re taking Christ out of Christmas” crap.  Not everyone believes in Christ, but surely all of us – at least, the nice ones with a sense of humor and proportion – can deal with people who hope we’re having a jolly time at whatever we might be doing, without going off like a volcano and bellowing the F word all over the internet.

Cripes.  What are we becoming?  Whatever it is, it ain’t human.


Comments

Sometimes, I Hate What We've Turned Into — 26 Comments

  1. Thank you ma’am. Can I have another?
    Benson school removes holiday decorations

    Instead of simply telling the kids “Sure put up decorations from whichever tradition you’d like” and letting them have at it, we must remove it all. Complete idiots.

    I like the comment “I just wish that we could give as much attention to eradicating drugs from our schools as we do to eradicating Christmas wreaths.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  2. Thank you ma’am. Can I have another?
    Benson school removes holiday decorations

    Instead of simply telling the kids “Sure put up decorations from whichever tradition you’d like” and letting them have at it, we must remove it all. Complete idiots.

    I like the comment “I just wish that we could give as much attention to eradicating drugs from our schools as we do to eradicating Christmas wreaths.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  3. Lindsey, thank you for that lovely greeting. Mamacita said, “Bring it on,” and I did. I do not agree with what she is saying, and I took her at her word. This column seems to be a response to something written elsewhere. Not being a regular reader, I don’t know what the something else is.

    Context, or naming that other piece, would have helped me understand. I hear anger in words like “At what point did the desires of a few dictate what the vast majority wished to do? Whenever that was, we passed it and now, we’re so politically correct that we’re no longer a melting pot of Americans; we’re a restricted menu of food in plates divided so nothing can touch anything else.”

    It goes contrary to my experience.

    Last year I noticed a few people saying “Merry Christmas” with a real edge on it, and the greeting seems angry rather than pleasant. I think it arises, though, out of sentiments like Mamcita expresses.

    Agreeing to disagree,
    Susan

  4. Lindsey, thank you for that lovely greeting. Mamacita said, “Bring it on,” and I did. I do not agree with what she is saying, and I took her at her word. This column seems to be a response to something written elsewhere. Not being a regular reader, I don’t know what the something else is.

    Context, or naming that other piece, would have helped me understand. I hear anger in words like “At what point did the desires of a few dictate what the vast majority wished to do? Whenever that was, we passed it and now, we’re so politically correct that we’re no longer a melting pot of Americans; we’re a restricted menu of food in plates divided so nothing can touch anything else.”

    It goes contrary to my experience.

    Last year I noticed a few people saying “Merry Christmas” with a real edge on it, and the greeting seems angry rather than pleasant. I think it arises, though, out of sentiments like Mamcita expresses.

    Agreeing to disagree,
    Susan

  5. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!!!

    I figure that, if my family’s beliefs are sincere, we will take our kids to church, to religious instruction and discuss what we believe at home. We do that. We send them to school in the hopes that they will learn things we don’t know/can’t teach them.

    It also gives us new things to talk about at the dinner table.

    If they aren’t exposed to new things, it reallly kind of defeats the purpose of sending them to an educational system.

    Jane

    P.S. I remember as child my mom greeting people with a Merry Christmas. It seemed to make the season brighter.

  6. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!!!

    I figure that, if my family’s beliefs are sincere, we will take our kids to church, to religious instruction and discuss what we believe at home. We do that. We send them to school in the hopes that they will learn things we don’t know/can’t teach them.

    It also gives us new things to talk about at the dinner table.

    If they aren’t exposed to new things, it reallly kind of defeats the purpose of sending them to an educational system.

    Jane

    P.S. I remember as child my mom greeting people with a Merry Christmas. It seemed to make the season brighter.

  7. Susan, you’re not a careful reader. No bitter there. All I see is a lovely person who like most nice people, wonders why people get irate when someone hopes they’re well and having a good day.

    You, for instance.

    Have a nice day, Susan. I hope you’re doing well.

    Now, blow a gasket. That was nervy of me to say that to you.

  8. Susan, you’re not a careful reader. No bitter there. All I see is a lovely person who like most nice people, wonders why people get irate when someone hopes they’re well and having a good day.

    You, for instance.

    Have a nice day, Susan. I hope you’re doing well.

    Now, blow a gasket. That was nervy of me to say that to you.

  9. Perhaps anger management classes could help with the bitterness that’s leaching all over this post. Or maybe a spiked egg nog would do it.

  10. Perhaps anger management classes could help with the bitterness that’s leaching all over this post. Or maybe a spiked egg nog would do it.

  11. I miss America, too, and I’m also glad to live in Texas where it’s not uncommon for people to tell you to have “a blessed day.” So Merry Christmas and may your new year be filled with blessings!

  12. I miss America, too, and I’m also glad to live in Texas where it’s not uncommon for people to tell you to have “a blessed day.” So Merry Christmas and may your new year be filled with blessings!

  13. It’s times like this I’m SO glad I live in Texas. Around here, we say “Merry Christmas” (even the retail workers to), we say “Bless you” when another sneezes, there are manger scenes and angels in plain view outside homes. There are also menorahs and other religions symbols freely displayed and nobody hassles anybody about their decorations or beliefs.

    People just need to lighten up and enjoy the season instead of making a federal case out of everything. I miss America too…when I go most other places. But it is alive and well here..deep in the heart of Texas. Merry Christmas, Jane!

  14. It’s times like this I’m SO glad I live in Texas. Around here, we say “Merry Christmas” (even the retail workers to), we say “Bless you” when another sneezes, there are manger scenes and angels in plain view outside homes. There are also menorahs and other religions symbols freely displayed and nobody hassles anybody about their decorations or beliefs.

    People just need to lighten up and enjoy the season instead of making a federal case out of everything. I miss America too…when I go most other places. But it is alive and well here..deep in the heart of Texas. Merry Christmas, Jane!

  15. Preach it sister! What a wonderful post and I could not agree with you more. This is almost entirely the reason I enrolled my children in a private school this year. Now they have teachers that pray with them and for them, and *Gasp* they are actually learning all about the birth of Jesus Christ this month (and are even reading Luke aloud in class). Imagine that! I know not everyone has the same beliefs we do, but as long as there are schools that support them, that’s where my kids will be!

  16. Preach it sister! What a wonderful post and I could not agree with you more. This is almost entirely the reason I enrolled my children in a private school this year. Now they have teachers that pray with them and for them, and *Gasp* they are actually learning all about the birth of Jesus Christ this month (and are even reading Luke aloud in class). Imagine that! I know not everyone has the same beliefs we do, but as long as there are schools that support them, that’s where my kids will be!

  17. M.E.R.R.Y. C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S Mamacita…please accept my most gracious wishes for a blessed and merry Christmas and a safe and sane new year.

    And may your heart be filled with the love the season brings to those who are willing to accept it.

  18. M.E.R.R.Y. C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S Mamacita…please accept my most gracious wishes for a blessed and merry Christmas and a safe and sane new year.

    And may your heart be filled with the love the season brings to those who are willing to accept it.

  19. Pingback:   Carnival of Education, #201 — Scheiss Weekly

  20. Pingback:   Carnival of Education, #201 — Scheiss Weekly

  21. I’m sending penguins this year. Everybody likes penguins.

    My elementary school was mostly Jewish, but nearly all the teachers were Christian. We sang Christmas songs — but the only religious song, Silent Night, wasn’t sung in English. I still know the German version, though I’ve forgotten the Spanish.

    When we made Christmas ornaments in second grade, I put a Star of David on mine, which became known in the family as the “ecumenical Christmas ornament.” We hung it on our Santa-topped tree. (My father had banned a star as religious.)

  22. I’m sending penguins this year. Everybody likes penguins.

    My elementary school was mostly Jewish, but nearly all the teachers were Christian. We sang Christmas songs — but the only religious song, Silent Night, wasn’t sung in English. I still know the German version, though I’ve forgotten the Spanish.

    When we made Christmas ornaments in second grade, I put a Star of David on mine, which became known in the family as the “ecumenical Christmas ornament.” We hung it on our Santa-topped tree. (My father had banned a star as religious.)

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