Thoughts on #occupywallstreet

What these protesters are is a group of kids who can see that something is wrong, that stodgy old men are the cause, they feel injustice, they have teen angst (or 20something angst, which is teen angst with a bottle), they face a craptastic future, and they are poorly educated.

The worst part is that they are poorly educatd. All the prior points were shared by their grandparents and parents in the 60’s. The difference is, the overall engagement and awareness of fact is not there. So these kids latch onto whatever pseudoinellectual philosopher that they can find on the internet, because what they hear is logical in their narrow minded view.

We created this problem. All of us. I am a product of the shoddy public school system, where learning has become an exercise in dancing around censored information. When American literature is taught, it is taught with the more light writings of Mark Twain and Nathaniel Hawthorn, with barely a mention of Emerson, Thoreau, or the true Twain, Samuel Clemens. The discussion invariably centers around the apparent racism contained in the otherwise quaint life of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, staying away from works of deeper meaning like Walden. So most of these kids, being a product of this school system, have become masters at the rote memorization of facts, but very poor an their logical and analytical skills.

Deep thinking has become an exercise in delving into a filosophia of pop culture. To most Americans, especially the younger ones, “rights” are something you are given, not something you just have inherently. They don’t see the completely asinine notion of being able to take someones rights away for what it is, and seem to comply (often “for the greater good”).

So what do we expect? We have all watched as our schools create worse and worse product, often through little fault of the teacher. When you are given such a fact based curriculum, things are bound to end up worse. We teach kids WHAT to think, not HOW to think. And in so doing, make them easy prey for the next person able to put pretty words together in a way that tells them another “what” to think. Since they don’t know how to think, they just fall in line.

To be honest, while it is somewhat sad that the OWS demands are the way they are, I see the same “fall in line” attitude spread across the population of our country. Very few people, while locked in the faint blue glow of their television, care about how to think. They are all being told what to think.

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