We Need an Outrage Scale for Viewing “The View”

20 11 2008

A certain conservative Christian cohort of homeschoolers venomously egged on by Michelle Malkin, is all up in arms about the latest Joy Behar utterance on The View, following what I heard as her surprising and  encouraging acknowledgment that our new president’s young daughters could be well-educated right in the White House, rather than attending ANY school, public or private.
(The school choice conversation starts at about six minutes into the video.)

I suggested White House homeschooling myself last week, while the outraged conservative cohort rushed to begrudge Mama and Daddy Obama the profound right and responsibility we all cherish, of choosing for our own children regardless of outside opinions and pressures:

Wouldn’t home education be great for them, though, with a brilliant, accomplished mom and also grandma there with them?

Heck, if it were me, I’d spend every day at the Smithsonian for a few years!
With the Kennedy Center at night.

And why spend $50,000 or $60,000 a year for the two of them to go be locked up with a bunch of other politicians’ kids all day? I’d pay NOT to have them enrolled, so we could be free in the city. . .
JJ Ross | 11.13.08

The View’s discussion was pretty balanced, all things considered. They managed at least a nod to every side of the argument, in only a couple of minutes.  Behar’s flip retort to Hasselbeck that “a lot of homeschoolers are demented” was clearly made in the context of children kept locked away and isolated.  Apparently she can’t imagine homeschooling as freedom and school as the crazy-making lockup? Maybe we should get Holly and Lucia invited to The View, to explain to Joy Behar how they unschooled in Paris, and their un-curriculum for New York City?. 🙂

Also this week, there is outrage over Mike Huckabee’s dissing of the gay civil rights movement on The View, about how the gay struggle doesn’t count as a real civil rights movement, like the 60s.

Here’s the factual response of a gay Catholic blogger, enumerating with heartbreakingly real detail why this minister’s morning show banter is an outrage. Seems like Huckabee isn’t just shooting off his own mouth in an unguarded moment of tv silliness; his View lines up with his party’s standard-bearer and (a lot of?) students of Christ who needed a much better education that they apparently got —

John McCain [wasn’t] innocent in these exclusionary escapades. He strenuously sought the endorsement of the Rev. John Hagee, even though Hagee had blamed gays for Hurricane Katrina. . .”

And don’t get me started on Sarah Palin.
No matter where we got our education or how we decide to educate our children, what distinguishes real education from training, schooling, standardizing or just shooting off one’s mouth in perhaps correctly formed yet outrageous-in-function utterance, is learning to think critically about important human questions, in ways a computer can’t:

“If it’s easy to test, it’s easy to digitize…” [so] if you can ask a person a question for which we know there is a limited number of appropriate responses, then we can teach a computer to run through those same responses and select what evidence tells us is the most correct response.

. . .The implications are profound: why in the world will we need to invest education dollars in preparing students with knowledge and skills that will be the domain of computers by the time they are ready to enter the world of work?
The Archer’s Dilemma, Hank Rubin

I think we should carefully consider these relative slights or slams, and compare their outrage worthiness on some sort of scale that can be applied fairly in our American consciousness from show to show.

By any scale I can imagine, the least worthy of outrage (even from the fiercest homeschool partisan pouncing on cue) has to be a president who might not send his own daughters to public school. This isn’t even logical; it’s a GOOD thing for education freedom that all the choices are part of the national conversation.

The worst imo, has to be the homophobic baby-faced minister and politician, sounding too much like Michelle Malkin.  The only one of the four nominated today — Malkin, Huckabee, Palin and Behar — who doesn’t seem likely to incite human emotions to the point of actual violence in the streets, is Behar.

So if I were making the Outrage Scale, as Daryl gave me the notion to do, I’d start with that hierarchy of offense and go from there. How about you?



11 responses

20 11 2008
Daryl Cobranchi

Huckster pegs the meter at 10++. And the women at The View rate almost as high for not calling him out on it.

Palin gets a zero because I am absolutely positively ignoring her. She could set herself on fire on live TV and I wouldn’t even bother to look up. 🙂

20 11 2008
Crimson Wife

The Obama girls sadly would require too much security for them to be “unschooled” out in the community. There are too many evil people in the world who would target the children of the U.S. President in general, and I suspect especially this particular President-Elect. I may not care much for their father’s politics, but it would horrible if something bad were to happen to those 2 little girls 😦

20 11 2008

I do feel so protective of them, in every way.

But this makes me think of the current VP’s lovely blonde daughter, Mary. I was really outraged on her behalf when John Kerry took a political swipe at her I knew he knew he was choosing to take, outraged to the point that I wouldn’t vote for him (oh, was I misled into greater evil by my outrage!) Wonder if she’s in any heightened danger these days, seriously, with all this gay rights banning and protesting and private info being posted for political purposes etc?

I was also outraged by the treatment I thought Bill Clinton gave another daddy’s daughter every chance he got, especially Monica Lewinsky; she was a ninny and legally old enough to consent, but that doesn’t mean the boss gets to misuse his power in the office, even if the intern is starstruck. (Anita Hill was an adult too, and was only spoken to in a suggestive way, not actually seduced.) I still dislike McCain for his dalliance with Cindy when she was so young, same principle, imbalance of power. . . all of this is outrageous to me and I have to work harder at always staying thoughtful and balancing out all the information and perspectives and cross-currents, not just letting that outrage blot out the sun of my otherwise dazzling intellect. 😉

20 11 2008
21 11 2008
betty malone

comments on the Homeschool Leadership Summit coming to my fair city in March 2009, Want to come?..Oops..only if you are a Christian White Male..who wants to define homeschooling in patriarchial terms…Arrgghhh

21 11 2008
betty malone

Outrage scale of 9 on the idea!!

21 11 2008

Betty, oh no, it’s in your backyard, really??

Patriarchal rule is demonstrably bankrupt right along with slavery as a social model. But it still lures in new generations, and not just with patriarchal religion per se. In homeschooling we see a libertarian-objectivist meme calling for America to return to true constitutional principles, which seems so stirringly patriotic and compatible with personal freedom, until you begin to notice it’s really just using the Founding Fathers as a patriarchal power play for their own clan and class advantage, and you see that telltale root “patri-” staring out from the very word patriotic, and wonder why it took you so long to put it together . . .

21 11 2008

Speaking of how to rank Christofascist patriarchs running homeschooling on the outrage scale, see my new guest column at Parenting Beyond Belief:

A secular network of trustworthy — preferably jaded — independent homeschooling parents doesn’t just connect us with the good stuff; it helps steer us around the bad. There’s the HSLDA to get to the bottom of, of course, which I won’t link because those patriarchs blot out the homeschooling sun without any help from me.

22 11 2008

Meanwhile, Christine Escobar as “urban left” Huffposter makes sure homeschoolers keep balance in our push-back:

. . .I think it’s healthy for people to see the flip side once in a while. It seems the problem with some folks who consider themselves open-minded, liberal and left-leaning, is that they think you aren’t for the people unless you are 100% behind public schooling. That’s utter nonsense.

Left-leaning people support the right for men and women to choose marriage, whether they are gay or straight. I support that too. They often support the idea that women’s bodies are theirs only and that the government must not make laws dictating their choice to have or not have children. I support that too. So, what’s wrong with having the freedom to choose your child’s best educational environment?

My kids, though we don’t spend much time at home, can be classified as homeschooled, since they don’t attend school for their education and never have. So would that make me some right wing, seclusionist nutjob whose only ideal it is to isolate my children and family from the evils of public school?

. . .Progressives, liberals, those who claim to rally against intolerance based on religion, economic status, gender, education, race, get over it already!

Go out and get to know some other families who homeschool, home-educate, unschool, whatever you’d like to call it, read up on it. There are plenty of varying methods and views, far beyond your mainstream stereotypes.

9 01 2009
9 01 2009

And she also blames society (that would be you and me.).

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