We’ve Lost That Vision Feeling, Now It’s Gone Gone Gone

6 10 2007

Whoh-oh-oh-oh —


Columnist Bob Herbert actually sings it as Send in the Clowns today, but it’s the same song, especially the lyrics about education. Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns is irony coming just before the curtain; the singer is justifiably angry at the shortcomings of others while also realizing her own part as a fool:

“Americans have every reason to be concerned.

. . .In the first two or three decades after World War II, there was a broad sense of optimism, a strongly held belief, despite many crises, that Americans could achieve great things. Men and women of talent and vision gave us the Marshall Plan, the G.I. Bill, the interstate highway program, the Peace Corps, the space program, the civil rights movement and much more.

Where is the comparable vision for the early-21st century? Who is rallying America with the clarion call that we can do great things?

From the Republicans, we get the message that the most important thing to hold on to is fear itself. The terrorists are out to get us. From the Democrats, heavily armed with thermometers, barometers and windmills, comes the usual timidity. They behave as if their hearts would stop if they actually took a tough stand.

. . .Near-poor Americans live in households with annual incomes of $20,000 to $40,000 for a family of four. They work at jobs that are highly unstable and offer few if any benefits. . .

No wonder so many Americans are turned off to politics.”

As point of personal privilege, Snook’s header features an award-winning clown on the left — did you ever notice?

So anyway, here’s the columnist’s big finish, education as both overture and finale in one big three-ring circus of life buffet where food is edible art, clowns are funny, sad and creepy all at the same time, and the fish-tailed homeschool princess is beautiful, racially ambiguous and in a justifiable rage: Read the rest of this entry »