Friday 14 March 2008
Rant: reading really is the basics for all learning
U.S. president George Dubya Bush is so well known for being both wrong and saying his wrong things incorrectly that government spoof site www.whitehouse.org has probably made a billion billion dollars off of him. They sell a wide variety of t-shirts, button, bags, stickers, etc., many with choice Dubya quotations designed to make Democrats laugh self-righteously and Republicans start repeating "Mea culpa, mea culpa!" while whipping themselves with cat o'nine tails.
I personally have a t-shirt featuring the infamous Dubya quotation "Reading is the basics for all learning." While I certainly prefer the Democrats to be in power down south, my interest in such bloopers is much more sociological than political. When I wear said t-shirt, I watch for people's reactions and then depending on the outcome either rejoice or despair about the state of literacy in this country.
Now, it's not that I expect everyone to be a vicious copy editor with a bad attitude and an uncapped Sharpie pen. I just want people to catch gigantic errors when they're surrounded by only a total of 6 other words. I feel that if adults can't do that then the school system has really screwed them over (see below about TDSB's decision to cut back its reading programs).
When I wear this shirt into a bookstore, I always get laughs, appreciative comments, and inquiries into where it may be purchased. When I wear it into other venues, for example the grocery store, I get comments like this: "Reading is the basics for all learning. Yeah. I really believe that. Reading is like so important for childrens to do good and stuff." Damn, you can't know how much I wish I were joking now!!!! It's funny when Dubya says it, but in a really painful way, because he's a role model for many people. When some normal person says it it just makes me want to cry.
The evil masterminds over at www.whitehouse.org won't let me weep for long, however, because they keep satirizing the current U.S. administration with captured quotations and entirely juvenile mockeries of its policies. Until November they'll just keep on making money, we'll keep on laughing/crying, and Obama and the Clintons will continue to remind the world that being hyper-literate doesn't mean you're nice. I feel hopeful, don't you?