15 February, 2007

"You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to..."

As you may have read from one of my previous blog entry, two sets of parents in Lexington, Massachusetts are suing a kindergarten for spreading, what they decided to call, "gay propaganda" using children books. You can get all the details from this news article.

The parent's lawyer have stated that his clients do not wish to dictate the curriculum of the education board, they merely want to yank their children out of the classroom anytime and every time when "homosexuality or gay marriage is being discussed" while in the care of the school. The lawyer further quoted:

"What they fear is that their children are being brainwashed."

Hmm. This pose a very intriguing question to me: How do you separate what is Learning and what is "Brain Washing"?

This is an utterly serious question.

On the day we are born, we all begin as blank canvases. And through the many life lessons we encounter, we will paint and repaint every part of our cognitive map. We will be continuously learn and relearn every part of our understanding of our world, of our ideas and of our assumptions.

So isn't the entire human experience just one massive brain washing session?

I understand that those parents in the US are disapproving of the school's attempt to open the minds of these young impressionable children to a world that their parent frown upon. But is there a possibility that this is just a matter of education of young minds? Could the parents be preventing the children from learning about reality?

Also, every time the dad storm into the kindergarten, huffing and puffing, fire and brimstone, dragging his kids out of the classroom by the arm before the teacher can begin to discuss about homosexuality, could this be brain washing?

I guess it just depends on the perspective of the speaker when using the word education and brain washing.

"I am right, therefore I am teaching the kids the right things. They are wrong, therefore they are a bunch of brain-washing tree-hugging hippies."

Well, my perspective is simply that we are all brain-washers and we are all being brain-washed at the same time. It is all one big sud party, yeah... and I am just going to hang mine out to dry right now.


GL said...

Brainwash doesnt work well on you. You were working in the beef industry for how long? But your eating perference never changed.

Gord said...

Are you kidding?? Working in the primary industry focusing on beef production is a great motivation for remaining a vegetarian.

Do you remember how the cattles are harvested? A steel bolt shot into the skull, if they are lucky they will die instatntly, their throat slashed to drain the blood and hung upside down to be processed. All the while their bovine brethens watch in horror of the fate that awaits them.

Red Meat... Are we really meant to eat it?

ln said...

There's a disctinction betwen brain-washing and teaching.

Teaching is when you're being told what considered as society norm, i.e. the majority of the population follows/believes.

E.g. God is real and he's kick your arse if you misbehave is considered as teaching because the majority of the population believes in a God that rewards the goodies and smite the baddies. However, if you said God is an alien and he's comming to pick us up in a spaceship is consider as brain washing because everyone knows that God doesn't need a spaceship to travel, he does not have green tentacles and he's not custom to give away free ride...you'll have to at least chip in for the petrol :)

I considered teaching gay relationship to the littleones is like gordon's vegetarianism...In your guts you know it's not right but that's the way things are, it's not harming anyone directly, so let it be. If it's illegal then outlaw it.

gl said...

I just want to say that I doubt spaceship uses petrol...

If they can build spaceship they must be a lot more advance than us and they would not need to use primitive energy fuels like petrol, or it could've been already depleted many centuries ago.

Gord said...

LN: "Teaching is when you're being told what considered as society norm"

Implicitly, you are saying that brain-washing is being told what is not societal norm...

So, what happens when society norm shifts towards the 50-50 mark?

Then what is society's norm? Whose opinions are proper teaching and whose opinions are brain washing?

I believe that the issue of gay-rights is an area that is approaching some level of parity in modern society. A lot of people is supportive of gay's right to equality in society. Others are still holding onto their old values and fears of the unknown.

I am not a gay-rights activist at all, far from it. I am merely amused that some people choose to slander others as an "evil brain washer" just because they share opposing views on the same subject.

As if anything that they say on the subject is not of equal brain-washing ability...

The hypocrisy and irony of their position is glaring.

ln said...

society norm does not demand 50% acceptant. When you have passionate supporters on both side of the argument, then you take it to the court to make a decision. You have lobbist voicing their opion to make a political change, to "normalise" it.

If it's legal then it ain't evil :)

P.S. god has a very efficient petrol engine. It does a couple hundred light years per litre :)

Gord said...

is downloading illegally pirated mp3 evil?

ln said...

it's only illegal if you get caught :)