Apples, Oranges and Pomegranates

12 12 2006

AS the holiday blog-lull approaches, I find myself returning to cultural and religious traditions as food for thought:

We use apples to prove that The Doctor (unquestioned authority) is always right and to prescribe standardized accountability based on counting out one per day per person, while oranges have individually irregular navels (nature and motherhood as life itself) and dimpled skin that lends itself to enthusiastic “zesting” by hand – so obviously the whole “apples and oranges” frame represents the eternal conflict between public school and private home!

How do YOU conjugate the verb “to eat?”

As William Ralph Inge, the English essayist, wrote early in the last century, “all of nature is a conjugation of the verb to eat, in the active and passive.”

. . . Food connects us to nature, first and foremost, but it also attaches us to all the other large systems that organize our lives — from energy and economics to politics, public health and cultural identity.

Which first among systems that suck us in, spells S-C-H-O-O-L . . .





Fear of Fashion, And It’s Not Even a MAN-Purse!

12 12 2006

UPDATE: School Food Fight!

Oddly enough, once cupcakes were banned at school, she found herself baking them at home. For the first time in her life.

Cultural blogdiva Liza Sabater reports a hodgepodge of senseless holiday tidbits, among them the irrational truth that School can decide to ban or forcefeed anything or anyone, for the most stupid of “reasons.” It’s a real object lesson for Thinking Parents and Citizens, to understand that in the worst school bullying, SCHOOL is the bully.

If you prefer the ethical-moral view to the pragmatic, then I’d say school policy doesn’t have to be about religion — much less Christmas — to be soulless, and its targets aren’t limited to oddball minority kids who can’t or won’t conform to the congregational norm. School is universal, remember?

Sooner or later, unthinking policy at school or home — from labeling children to make them tolerant of differences, to hitting children to make them stop hitting, to clipping their wings to teach them to fly — achieves its own natural consequence, a new unthinking norm, normally to the detriment of the very children the stupid rules are meant to “save.”

Schools bag purses in class or, why it’s in the
little things like banning a girl’s purse, that schools demonstrate how
they are not about freedom of expression but about domination and
control. . .

So schoolfolk just “don’t want to take the risk” and “we have overcrowding” in school to the point that purses “were banging into people in our hallways” ??

Perhaps it will occur to some Thinking Parents, if not to well-paid school principals and risk managers, that the obvious problem is not the silly purses, and the obvious answer is to let the kids go free, not to evermore securely lock them up en masse away from everything — from sugar, fat, Harry Potter and evolution to their own pursuits, friends, music and feminine hygiene products

. . .but I won’t waste my Christmas wish on it.