I took yesterday off in honor of Labor Day. Labor hurts pretty bad and is messy, but the 3.25 times I was in it were the coolest.
Kids go back to school today, but more importantly, today we’ll hear the much-hyped Obama “Back-to-School” speech that has had parents nation-wide in a tizzy of fear that their precious spawn will be indoctrinated by The One. Yawn. I have no idea if my district will show it or not, but having read it this morning, I wish luck to any teacher who decides to play it for any student below the seventh grade. It’s typical-Obama long and just begs for farts, spitballs, and “accidental” chair falls, all standards for the bored elementary set.
The speech in its current state is lovely (read it here). The underlying message is one any good parent would teach. One has to wonder, however, what was removed last week. Consider the suggested lesson plan questions fed to teachers by the White House. One question deleted from the activities asked students to: “Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” Help the president with what? I don’t read anything in the speech today that asks kids to help Obama with anything. Point: clearly some of the overtly narcissistic elements were removed from the speech. Bummer. In the future I wish folks would just let Obama be himself. Ed Morrissey points out something amusingly trivial:
I’ve run the speech through a word frequency counter and found the following results:
* 56 iterations of “I”
* 19 iterations of “school”
* 10 iterations of “education”
* 8 iterations of “responsibility”
* 7 iterations of “country”
* 5 iterations each of “parents”, “teachers”
* 3 iterations of “nation”
In other words, Barack Obama referenced himself more than school, education, responsibility, country/nation, parents, and teachers combined. And to think that people accused Obama of self-promotion!
Anyway, it’s a nice speech, especially for high schoolers. I don’t see anything wrong with the president, any president addressing school kids. It was stupid when Democrats blasted Dad Bush for it in ’91, and it’s stupid now. Parents who are so outraged should let the kids hear the speech (all this keeping kids home from school nonsense is nonsense) and then TALK with their kids about whatever they find is so threatening. The parents who are so scared to let their kids hear this speech that they are either keeping them home or sending them to an alternate location during the speech would be hard-pressed to find anything objectionable here. Maybe that’s what scares them?