Friday, August 21, 2009

Writing About Education: Is it Worth It?

As this blog has evolved (devolved?) into more of a single-issue entity, there are little things I miss. Like illogically criticizing Mayor Marty, unconvincingly lampooning those running against Mayor Marty, and putting up photos like this:

I really do miss it. But since 98% of the world's non-porn websites are devoted to snark about politicians and "morans", maybe it's better to stick to tilting at educational windmills instead. Maybe that's what the Internet is supposed to be for across the issue spectrum, and we've simply lost our way (as we always do).

I don't know. I do know that sticking almost exclusively to issues in public education that piss me off doesn't get near the "page views" that a post saying Mayor Marty is a "moran" gets. But is that the point?

Is popularity ever a truly good thing?

Over the last 20/30 years there has been a dramatic shift in the news focus toward films and the film industry. In olden times, much discussion took place on the controversial trails blazed by risk-taking directors, censorship issues and film's ability to impact social mores and public policy.

Now, about 95% of news stories on movies talk about the box office. How much money did the film make? Receipts trump whether the film is good or bad. Discussions of advancing ideas and/or art through cinema almost never happen.

There are many reasons for this, pandering to a youth market infused with guilty parents' cash prime among them. But another reason is the fact we all want simple answers to complex questions. I, for instance, love the "Youth in Asia" sign as a simplistic distillation of the idiocy rampant in the complicated health care "debate".

Writing and reading things like "Marty is a poopy-head" is pleasant. Reading 1,500 about exactly why Marty is a poopy-head...not quite so pleasant.

And then there's public education. It is certainly more popular to stick to simple phrases like "public education sucks" or "won't somebody think about the children?!?", instead of reading/writing 2,500 polysyllabic words about how AYP scores are manipulated.

Yet, something beyond my own egocentrism tells me the 2,500 polysyllabic words need to happen. Of course my egocentrism tells me this as well, although I think my ego could handle passing the "work" off to someone else. My ego would quite like writing "Feudal Prince Marty Is a Poopy-Head" posts, actually.

Have a good, polysyllabic weekend, everybody.


Abuelita2 said...

You know, there are some of us who like the polysyllabic writing. Really. I appreciate the time and effort you put into it.

Anonymous said...

Please keep up your educational babble. To me, you are the John Stewart of Education with your wit and humour. You have the ability through sarcasm to hit the proverbial nail on the head, and leave us all laughing, while "getting it"! I only wish you were on TV nation wide.

jscotkey said...

Isn't it pathetic that I write these "anonymous" comments to myself?

Seriously, thanks both Abuelita and Anon for your kind words. Whoever you are.

Abuelita2 said...

And also, please go ahead and poke at Mayor Marty, and anyone and anything else. We enjoy it. Also, we need to laugh and have light moments in this time of "educational" insanity.