YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!

As soon as I read the headline and before I read the article, “Trump Announces, ‘Patriotic Education’ Commission”, I thought of Colonel Jessup’s tirade in the movie, “A Few Good Men”, “You Can’t Handle The Truth!”  I felt no different after I read it.

It seems our President and a good part of our population can’t or won’t handle the truth.  Worse, I believe a portion of our population knows the truth, they just don’t care to acknowledge it.  They like things just the way they are or rather they would like to cycle them back to those thrilling days of yesteryear. Am I cynical much?

I read the article but my thoughts continued to collide with the force of a cue ball breaking a rack. Dark thoughts of a time past that seems to be determine to resurrect itself.

“Trump Announces, ‘Patriotic Education’ Commission”. Hummm…I was a product of “Patriotic Education”.  It was called Civics, taught in the backdrop of the Civil Right struggle and the Cold War.  There was a lot of wrapping the Bible in the Red, White, and Blue to boot.  “Our God is better than your god,” with Biblical quotations to prove it. 

Civics wasn’t pure propaganda but there was propaganda.  I did learn about our constitution and our federal system, but I also learned that the self-evident truths of “All men are created equal” were weak aspirations in my part of the world, not necessarily a truth. 

As my blond haired, crew cut sporting instructor explained, “We have the retarded, the dummies and mute, ni@@#*s and Indians.”  Yes, he said that.  My memory is faulty, it could have been in US History rather than Civics.

One of the more troubling thoughts among many is how much this person meant to me.  How much I wanted to be just like him.  How I followed his lead to college and then on to teaching.  How I majored in history and taught it for most of forty-one years…most likely, because of him. 

It was the Sixties and as I have found in most men, there is good, there is bad, and I hope, there is change. Don’t you hate it when your heroes prove to be mere mortals?

In the article I read, President Trump decried what he called a “twisted web of lies” being taught in U.S. classrooms about systemic racism in America, calling it “a form of child abuse.” He made similar comments at Mount Rushmore in July.

“Teaching this horrible doctrine to our children is a form of child abuse, the truest sense,” Trump said. “For many years now, the radicals have mistaken Americans’ silence for weakness. They’re wrong. There is no more powerful force than a parent’s love for their children. And patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country.” 

At best, our President has an uncomfortable relationship with the truth. Most often, the truth and the President do not reside in the same zip code. I question what “hateful lies about this country” he is channelling.  It seems to me we are again wrapping the flag around our racism and using a religion to support it.

I do not want to beat a dead mule; I have written to this theme before.  Until recently, and even that depends on where you reside in our great country, we have never taught history from an all-encompassing point of view.  We have never taught history “warts and all.”  We seem to be afraid of the truth.

Most teachers try, but standards and textbooks have only recently begun to change, attitudes even less. Those teachers who don’t try should not be teaching. I still see a type of history being taught accompanied by cheerleaders sporting red, white, and blue pom poms. “Go, Fight, Win!”

Why would we not want to teach the truth?  Does truth somehow undermine our love for our country?  Am I wrong to believe we can be patriotic and love our country despite knowing we committed travesties along the way?  Can we not wish to correct those ills and make ourselves an even better country? Is it unbearable to admit to the wrongs of our forefathers?

Change. The word seems to be the truth we can’t handle and the resistance to change seems to come from my own contemporaries…those of us who were indoctrinated to believe “My Country, Right or Wrong” not that our country ever did any wrong.  Worse, many are not contemporaries but are those I taught.

Many former students have taken to pointing out, “We are not a democracy we are a Republic.”  To what end? Why do you make this argument?  Is there an ulterior motive?  Am I being cynical to believe people pointing this out have an agenda and a need to undermine?

The word “republic” has the same meaning as the term “representative democracy.” A representative democracy is a form of democracy in the same way that a ‘purple top’ is a form of turnip. We wouldn’t say it’s inaccurate to use “turnip” to describe a purple top turnip, so it’s OK to follow in the footsteps of many founding fathers, along with Webster, and Chief Justice Marshall and simply call our “representative democracy” a “democracy.”

I would also want to point out, at the local level many of our decisions are made as a ‘direct’ democracy. Again, I wonder about motives. I wonder about truth. I feel to the depth of my bones, many would rather have a more autocratic form of government even if it is led by a former reality TV star.

My brother will now say, chill.  Go out and walk, smell the flowers, have a beer, watch a football game.  He is right, and I will, but my cynical petty coats is showing cow poo and it stinks.  I have hope in our system but it is being undermined.  My truth is becoming, “We are what we are.  This is who we’ve been and we ain’t gonna’ change.” 

We are being taken advantage of.  I’m not the world’s most intelligent guy but even I can see the seeds of division that have been planted are flourishing, both within and without.  The far right and the far left are not our friends.  Neither are any of the autocratic leaders our President seems to want to cozy up to. 

No, not our friends. Neither is the media attempting to sell advertising, a President attempting to sell blivits, and congressmen and women attempting to sell themselves. (A blivit is two pounds of manure in a one pound bag. The origin is from Kalamazoo College around 1960.)

The President’s initiative to create “Patriotic Education” is a blivit and he is sowing more seeds of discord and playing to a base that includes those who believe equality for all is somehow taking their own rights away and an affront to God. 

Watercolor by John Coffee. Line from The Green Mile

***

Don Miller’s author’s page is found at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM?fbclid=IwAR22iSzDHKzxCzPBS64mqKyX_iqjwVDmJXrd_1iVmF5be_YAnetohuhpwQI

Article quoted, Trump Announces ‘Patriotic Education’ Commission, A Largely Political Move, from NPR, September 17, 2020, Alana Wise, https://www.npr.org/2020/09/17/914127266/trump-announces-patriotic-education-commission-a-largely-political-move?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR3pJHVlB7rxiAiDhMXODozLxk0my-rRZNfaA94Y7ekugnE5Zqr8EhJ08II

The image, from JoeBlogs

“If the Earth is Flat, Why is My Life Going Downhill Consistently?”

 

No, I don’t believe the Earth is flat but at my age, I need all the gravitational help I can get just to motivate myself…that might have been more figurative than physical…or not.

I saw the title on a stupid meme in and amongst other stupid memes I read today.  I  was perusing them due to lack of gravitational motivation as I waited for a friend to load and haul away my tractor.  The tractor must be a product of flat earth science.   For some reason, the meme resonated and sent me down a pig trail in my mind.

Did I just accuse Flat Earthers of being stupid?  No, I just don’t agree with their particular brand of science.  The meme did seem more of an attempt at humor…unlike others I’ve seen recently.  I’ve got to where I can’t recognize humor anymore.  Many people are posting propaganda so bizarre it should be humor.  I find their beliefs so sad.  Biggly so.  Don’t you people ever do any research?

Image result for flat earth meme

People are posting memes as truth that appears to have come from the Weekly World News.  What a severed leg didn’t hop its way into a hospital emergency room?  Duck hunters didn’t shoot down an angel?  I did see an old headline that gave me pause, “Face of Satan Seen Over US Capitol.”  Yeah, that one had me wondering but didn’t he land in Viet Nam?  It did say over and not in.

I enjoyed the Weekly World News. RT @AcidEater_Fusao: Face of Satan and Jesus #WeeklyWorldNews https://t.co/DRaW8QZXsd

I called someone on an untruth.  A derogatory meme directed at a millennial.  I posted, with citing, how untrue it was.  My time spent at research didn’t matter and my attempt to win friends and influence enemies went for naught.  His mind was made up and didn’t want to be confused with the facts.  His logic, “If she didn’t say what was attributed, she had said something else equally as stupid.”  My belief is she is everything my friend fears; a strong female, educated, and brown.

I saw a quote further pushing me down my pig trail…I thought about my children and grandchildren and generations to come.  I recognized it wasn’t humor.  A quote by Cicero, the Roman statesmen just before he was assassinated in 43 BCE or for those of you who think there is some cabal attempting to eliminate Christianity, 43 BC.  Anyway, his quote was made the same year as his death, “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”  My thought was that two thousand and sixty-three years later I could make the same quote. I won’t because a small part of me believes there might be a correlation between the quote and his assassination…and I’m writing another book.

I can’t deny that “some” children seem rude and disrespectful.  They seem to be the only ones we focus on.  We don’t seem to want to focus on all the young folks that are doing wonderful things.   They don’t seem to be worthy of our time nor do they fit our discordance.

“Well, there aren’t any are there?”  Good kids I mean.  After all, the youth of today are liberally educated (another term for stupid I guess), unmotivated, lazy, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum.”  No, I don’t believe that. I believe there is youth, in great numbers, who are educated, motivated, with a great work ethic…and damn your damnation of liberal education.  Their sin is they do it differently than we did.  They must do it differently, the world of today is different and despite your best efforts, will continue to change…as it always has.

The loudest shouts seem to be coming from my own generation.  The same late baby boomers who thought go go boots and granny glasses were cool.  As children, chased after trucks emitting fumes to kill mosquitoes.  We broke our ankles wearing platform shoes as teens and college students, played with sea monkeys while bouncing super balls to the light of a Lava lamp.  Should I leave out dropping acid and smoking weed while making love, not war?   Say nothing Gen Xers, two words, “The Mullet.”

mullet meme | Go ahead, bro..., Mullet over.

It’s almost as if the Boomers and Gen Xers think the world is going to hell as soon as we cross over to wherever we cross over too.  The world will probably end not due to the present generation but due to our own blindness and stupidity…and our greed.

Before the sun sets for the last time on humanity and if the present generation is so stupid, who are you going to get to program your next phone, remote or computer software?

Image result for old folks programing phone meme

Today’s generation is different…the same way we were different than the previous one.  Our parents thought we were headed for nothing, but they pushed and prodded.  They instilled a belief we could be better than they were and some of us were.  It seems to me that many of my generation and the next have forgotten that, choosing instead to malign and accuse rather than build.  We sit back on our ivory thrones and shake our heads and point fingers.  We discount different as stupid, that thinking outside of the box is somehow a communist plot.  To have a different thought is to commit treason.  We view a mistake as impossible to overcome and return repeatedly to point it out, picking at it until it bleeds.  I remember how we going to change the world.  We did, but I’m not sure if it was for the good of future generations.

I’m not going use a paintbrush and broadly stroke anyone,  but the complaints seem to be coming from one group and it is not the Flat Earthers.  They are friends desperately attempting to hold on to what is comfortable, the status quo, or attempting to return to the perceived good old days, “those thrilling days of yesteryear.”  Embracing an Earth that is all sharp angles instead of rounded corners.

For more foolishness go to Don Miller’s author’s page at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

The title  “If the Earth is Flat, Why is My Life Going Downhill Consistently?” came from a meme at https://www.pinterest.ca/alfiepancakezz/

Title Image http://trn.trains.com/railroads/2013/07/lustig-movie-review

2nd. Image  https://braincharm.com/2018/06/29/26-flat-earth-memes-to-send-to-your-friends-that-think-the-world-isnt-round/

3rd. Image https://www.scoopnest.com/tag/WeeklyWorldNews/

4th. Image https://www.diylol.com

5th. Image https://www.pinterest.com/nerdybff/tech-jokes/?lp=true