Monday, January 21, 2008


Hyperbole is defined as "a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated," and is generally reserved for folks who are describing something fantastic or impossible. Generally, hyperbole is a literary device used in conversation or poetics.

So I'm a little surprised when I find it in today's Clarion-Ledger. After all, news and literature are two different things. No, it's not about how awesome Eli Manning is, or how heartbreaking it was for Brett Favre, or the climate in Green Bay, which would have made the Abominable Snowman cringe.

That's hyperbole for you, folks.

In this morning's editorial, we find the phrase "anti-public education folks." Now, let's be honest: Who wants a dumb population? I don't, and I don't know many people who do. Dumb people do dumb things, and the less dumb we have the better. After all, I watched and liked Idiocracy, but I don't wanna live it, you know?

And let's get this out of the way: If you're not thrilled with, say, military spending or intervention, you're a critic, a wizened and enlightened soul who merely wants to improve the efficiency and use of our men and women in uniform. If you maybe don't go aloing with the establishment on some sacred cow? Oh, you're against it, you want it to fail, and what's more, you want people consigned to poverty, and you hate old people.

I'm not against public education. I'm against waste, I'm against redundancy, I'm against the hoops a teacher has to jump through just to get in the classroom. I don't blindly follow the pied piper when it comes to the prescription for fixing schools (and generally, that means not throwing good money after bad).

So go ahead with your hyperbole, Clarion-Ledger. While you sit in your ivory tower, and you strategically move your kids into higher performing schools (wonder how many of the editorial boards' children go to Lanier, or Wingfield?) some of us are voices crying out in the wilderness, trying to stop the runaway train that is leading us to a place we don't want to go. We spend plenty on the education establishment, and our superintendants are exceedingly well paid. There are umpteen dozen useless or redundant positions within every school district. There's a lack of emphasis on actual learning and more on social indoctrination. So you tell me what's more important, oh great and powerful advocates for public education: Spelling or reading Heather Has Two Mommies?

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