Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Stay in school and follow your dreams? How dare he?!?!

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

From the text of my president's address to returning school children, set for today

OK, I try my best to keep the politics out of this, because it really has no place, but I really think civility in our country is about to take a turn for the seriously worse, so bear with me for a few seconds.

As part of my ever-shifting duties at The Telegraph, I now deal with the letters to the editor, and I have to say it truly tries my patience, especially when the subject is U.S. President Barack Obama (many of the people who I have to hear from daily don't even except that that's even his true title.) I can usually just grin and bear it, but the comments that have come in about Mr. Obama's desire to address kids returning to school have just been a whole new breed of hate, and its very hard to take.

I'm not sure if it's something being coached by Rush, Hannity or anyone else, but I've never had to read the words "indoctrinate," "socialism" and "government schools" as much as I had to late last week. As you read those words, please take a second to compare them to the actual wording of the president's address, an excerpt of which you can read above (and you can read the whole thing here.)

Has there ever been a bigger disconnect between reality and what a seemingly growing segment of the U.S. population now believes is happening simply because we have a black president who's actually following through on exactly what he promised to on the campaign trail? (I used to believe it was more complicated and less hateful than that, but when you really object to the president of the United States urging kids to stay in school, study and follow all their dreams, I really think it's time for you to look pretty hard in the mirror.)

I can't imagine how much of a thrill it would have been if something this historic had happened when I was in elementary school (though it would have been Jimmy Carter then, not anywhere nearly as exciting.) I know I certainly would have paid a lot more attention than I did on a normal day, which was sadly at the time just about next to none.

OK, enough of that. I apologize to anyone who might have been offended by any of that, but sometimes I just wake up in a cantankerous mood and have to let it out somehow. When I went to bed last night, too late after watching the Canes take out the Noles in a truly great game, this was supposed to be about how, after watching it for a second time last weekend, I'm now ready to declare Quentin Tarantino's wild "Inglourious Basterds" the best movie of this summer, and therefore of the year thus far (dethroning "Sugar" and then "The Hurt Locker," the movies in chronological order that had previously held the top spot.)

I'll get to that tomorrow if I can manage to concentrate on it long enough, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with this can't-miss entertainment tip: Even if you didn't watch the first season of "Sons of Anarchy," take a chance and tune in as the show returns to FX tonight. The motorcycle drama slowly just got better and better last year as it built to a genuinely explosive finish, and from what I've read from folks lucky enough to have seen the first five episodes of season two, it's gonna get even better. Bring it on!

Peace out.


Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Nice piece, Keith!


Just sit back and relax, folks. Barack Obama is only performing a routine presidential duty that has been performed by presidents for generations. There's nothing to be afraid of. He's not trying to turn your babies into mini Marxists. This isn't the Trotsky For Toddlers program. The president of the United States merely wants to have a heart to heart talk with the children of America about the importance of a good education, that's all. I promise you, we Progressives do not believe in evil, subliminal messages. Chill out!


Just kidding.


Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks, Mr. Degan ... Like I said, I really try to stay out of all this stuff on this site because it seems so out of place, but on certain days I just can't fight the urge

Chalupa said...

I'm totally with you dude. It's pretty ridiculous that people are objecting to the leader of our nation addressing school children. I bet these same people wouldn't have a problem with George W. Bush talking to the children about something.

Seems to me they have a problem with the person, not the title or the subject matter, or anything else.

valereie said...

Just watched it online with my son. It was even better then the outline.

What did my 7 year old come away w/? Treat others as you want to be treated and to not give up, even when it is difficult.

I seriously contemplated writing a note of encouragement to the prez and his family this morning. (That would be so NOT a me thing to do). Some of the rhetoric must be really hard to sit back and take.

Chalupa said...

I'm sure they would appreciate it Valereie

Reel Fanatic said...

Glad to hear that your youngin managed to escape without becoming a fully indoctrinated socialist, Valereie .. I watched more than a little bit of it on my lunch break, and I thought it was great

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