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December 09, 2003
Sprinkling in the Gus Van Sant to get your article against school compulsion published in the NYT

Joanne Jacobs has more comment on that NYT piece by Emily White about e-schooling which I also linked to on Sunday.

Commenting on this kind of thing:

Yet it is also true that there is a beauty in high school: those long, exhausting hours full of other kids, everyone trying to interpret one another. It's a beauty that Gus Van Sant evokes in his new Columbine-inspired film, ''Elephant'' -- kids break dancing and taking pictures and making out, even as the school day is headed for darkness.

... JJ says:

Some students like the social interaction of school; others can't handle it or prefer not to or go to schools where the danger is too dangerous to be beautiful.

I see why I've been unable to break into the New York Times Magazine. I lack the right mentality.

Quite so. When I read those bits about Gus Van Sant I thought, yes, Emily White has indeed got the right mentality that you need to smuggle anti-school-compulsion anti-government-meddling stuff into the New York Times, and good on her. You nod towards matters artistic, of the sort that Middle America wouldn't have heard of or wouldn't approve of if it did hear of them, but concede nothing of substance.

It's true. Many kids do enjoy their schools. So admit it, and let that be the bit where you sprinkle on a dash of Gus Van Sant, and making sure also to splash in the word "Columbine" itself, which as we all know is an issue which proves beyond doubt that everyone in the world should vote Democrat and read the New York Times every day for ever. It could well be that those very paragraphs clinched it for this article getting published by the NYT.

(Actually, Columbine is the case against compulsory schooling and government meddling in hundred foot high flaming letters, in about five distinct ways, but simply to mention Columbine is to score NYT brownie points. We're talking about a conditioned editorial reflex here, not a conscious thought process.)

But, as Joanne Jacobs agrees, what White's article actually says is that many kids don't like regular schooling, and that if that's so they shouldn't have to submit to it, and they don't have to submit to it.

I wonder what Gus Van Sant thinks about that.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 03:01 PM
Category: CompulsionPolitics
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