The Sum of All my Fears

Let me be clear. I am not afraid to die. I am not afraid of the end of life on Earth. Even though I am just atheist enough that I don’t believe in an afterlife or rewards for being good after I am dead. I am also not afraid of turning evil in old age. My life is centered, peaceful, and grounded in a positive, life-affirming moral philosophy. So, why would I choose to write about fear if I am not afraid of anything?

But, that’s just it. I am not immune to fear.

I am sometimes afraid to watch Cardinals’ baseball games. It seems like, during playoffs and playoff runs, if I watch the ballgame, the Cardinals lose. I am afraid of being the cause of them losing important games, as if they would’ve won if I was not watching.

Of course, I listened on the radio the night Bob Gibson pitched a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 70’s . I watched the day Mark McGuire broke Roger Maris’s single-season home-run record. I watched the Cardinals win the World Series in 1982, 2006, and 2011. I followed the series in the newspaper in 1967. So, my fear is really a matter of being determined to overcome superstition. 1985, 2004, and all the other lost playoff series were really not my fault.

But a more real fear is my fear of stupid people winning the War on Ignorance that I have been fighting all my life, especially from 1981 to 2014, my teaching career. I am concerned that our education system is intentionally being driven into a dogma of only producing docile, controllable adults that will work hard and not demand a living wage, fair treatment, and equal rights with the privileged and wealthy minority. I labored for years to promote creativity, critical thinking, research skills, and reading-and-writing skills in students who come from poverty, Spanish-speaking homes, and who sometimes misbehave because they are not treated as well as their white, wealthy peers. Those are the hardest things that a teacher needs to teach. But the stupid people are demanding that we ban books and eliminate any idea or literature that might make privileged white kids feel the least bit guilty about racial attitudes, historical treatment of Native Americans, Slaves, and their descendants that their own ancestors might have had something to do with. And the feelings of those kids descended from those same oppressed peoples are disregarded. Stupid people would prefer that events like lynchings. the actions of the KKK, and other outrages committed in the name of racial hatred just be completely ignored and forgotten about. That is not how culture flows in a positive direction in a free democratic society.

As a retired teacher, I wish this meme had better spelling and was less true.

Stupid people are not only enacting racist book-banning crusades against straw men like CRT, Pro-Gay and Antifa terrorists, and liberal pedophiles, thus succeeding in firing black educators. banning the books of Alice Walker, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin, and preventing teachers from answering questions about sex. But also in getting stupid and violent radicals elected to offices they have no ability to handle only so they can do hateful things to the people their voters hate… mostly the poor minorities and marginalized immigrants, LGBTQ people, and even liberal educators like me that FOX News and Mark Levin tell them to hate.

I definitely fear having to live the final years of my long life under the rule of Trumpists, racists, narrow-minded stupid people, and Ted Cruz.

Oh, and I am afraid of being watched by ducks. Beady-eyed, soulless mallards, pintails, mergansers, Muscovies, and other kinds of ducks. Even though it was actually a goose that caused my preschool trauma and current phobia, it is a mallard with teeth that haunts my nightmares.

1 Comment

Filed under angry rant, humor, inspiration, irony, Paffooney

One response to “The Sum of All my Fears

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