Tag Archives: Betsy DeVos

Here Comes DeVos and Her Army of Orcs

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This is not a picture of Betsy DeVos.  This is an orc used as a metaphor, something children will no longer learn how to use in the dark new future of education.

Orcs, as depicted by Tolkien in his epic work The Lord of the Rings, are an unhappy lot, hating everyone, especially themselves and their masters whom they serve only out of fear.  Sound like modern-day Republicans?  Well, that’s probably not a fair comparison.  Shame on you for thinking like that.  Although, I must admit, looking at the Secretary of Education that Donald Trump has foisted upon us with the aid of senate Republicans, there is probably good reason you might think that.

Orcs, according to Tolkien, create no beautiful things.  They live out their lives violently destroying everything and everyone they touch.  They are greedy, corrupt, disloyal, and generally the very definition of ugliness.  And they have been the opponents of good public education for as long as I have been associated with schools and teaching.

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Here is an actual portrait of DeVos.  Sorry to spring something so foul and gut-wrenchingly horrible on you, but I thought you ought to have some idea how hideous this orcishness really is.

Orcs always tell me, “You can’t solve education’s problems by throwing money at them.”   What they really mean when they say this is either, “I can afford to put my kids in a good school that will only teach them what I want them to know, and I don’t think any of my money should be taken from me by taxation to pay for the education of poor people’s kids, especially not stupid poor people’s kids.”  Or, more likely, “I am too dumb not to believe rich white people when they say the world will be better for me and mine if I let rich white people keep all the money they make and make all the money they want.”   Either way, in Texas where the orcs have ruled since the Reagan Revolution first won over the rich white orcs that carry their orcish tribal banners all over oil-rich Texas, money has never been an issue for Texas public schools.  There simply is no money for public schools in Texas.  Over the past decade the State has always chosen to cut school funding before dipping into their vaunted billion-dollar rainy day fund whenever the Republican legislatures create a huge budget shortfall.  And whenever there has been a budget surplus, education funds are not restored.  Things like the fight against evil Planned Parenthood clinics take precedence.

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Members of the Texas State Legislature

Now Betsy DeVos, who became our current Secretary of Education despite resistance from all non-orc members of the US Senate, plus two orcs, will now give the orc hordes everything they want for education.  The federal Department of Education will be dismantled from the inside.  Privatized for-profit schools will become the new normal and receive funding disproportionate to the work they actually do.  All the cream belonging to rich folks will be skimmed off the top of the educational milk vat, and the rest will be left to fester and spoil in public school vats, becoming, at best, really really stinky cheese.

And so, let me end by saying, “Thank you, orcs, for doing such a wonderful job of protecting my children and grandchildren from the horrors of education and the ability to think for themselves.  You have protected them from ever learning enough to pull themselves out of the poverty and slavish lives you have put them in.”

 

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Filed under angry rant, education, feeling sorry for myself, humor, metaphor, monsters, politics, red States, satire

Betsy De Vos and the Golliwogs of Education

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I have often said that I don’t really approve of insult humor.  I don’t think calling someone names really adds to the discussion in any useful way, and the real point of humor is to reveal the truth in a way that is palatable because it is surprising enough to make you laugh.  Revealed truth is much funnier than calling someone names.  So when I call Donald Trump the king of rotten cantaloupe rinds, I am really being no more clever than he is talking about Lyin’ Ted or Crooked Hillary.

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Three of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, (from left to right) Famine, Cinnamon Hitler, and the Pale Rider, Death.

So, what in the heck am I doing talking about Golliwogs in this post?

A Golliwog is a Raggedy Ann-type rag doll from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  They were a common doll type for typical little white girls in typical little middle class families.  My Aunt Jean, my father’s sister, had one as a child.  A female one with a red dress with black spots.  You could flip that doll over and underneath her skirt was a different doll, a yellow-haired white girl in a blue and black dress.  The image has become poison in modern culture because the blackface-minstrel roots of the character is now deemed racist and offensive. The Golliwogs in the children’s books of Florence Upton and Grid Blyton, though, were actually quite heroic, good-hearted and kind.

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As much as we vilify people for having them nowadays, there are many people who secretly adore them and wish to collect and preserve them.  I have long been enthralled by the brilliant 1920’s newspaper cartoon, Little Nemo in Slumberland by Windsor McKay.  But there are many who would lecture me sternly about that because there is at least one Golliwog character in the cartoon strip, and it is even debatable that the main character of Flip, the “bad kid”, is just another kind of Golliwog.

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Now, the point of this article is to make relentless fun of Betsy De Vos, the harpy that Donald Trump has put in charge of the implosion of the Department of Education.  There are a number of very bad things about this wicked witch and her policies.  Diane Ravitch does an excellent job of explaining what’s wrong with De Vos and her wicked witch plans in Ravitch’s education blog, linked here.  You should read all about it so you know why I am regressing into vacant-headed teacher burblings about her, and resorting to the kind of insult humor you find me committing in this blog post.

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Betsy De Vos looks at public school children and sees Golliwogs.  She is suspicious of their pedigree and basically doesn’t like them.  Remember, we are talking about public school children, not the children in upper class, rich private schools, the only kind De Vos actually touts.  She wants to give Golliwogs only the minimums absolutely necessary, the spoiled and the spilled milk.  The cream belongs to rich kids.  And she’s not prejudiced or racist, oh, no.  She sees poor white kids as just as golliwoggie as poor black kids, and she would have no problem pandering to Ben Carson’s kids.  Ben has lots of money.  He can be Sleepy McBoing-boing as much as he wants, and take off after phantom luggage whenever he wants, because money keeps you from being the detestable Golliwog.

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But the secret… the revealed truth is… Golliwogs are worth loving and educating.  Diversity and the resilience learned from hardship and poverty are priceless things, resources too rarely put to good use.  Most of the kids I truly loved as a teacher were Golliwogs.  Not just the chocolate-flavored ones, though those were very precious and precocious children, but also the vanilla-flavored ones, the caramel-flavored ones, the blueberry-flavored ones and the grape-flavored ones. (Okay, maybe they were only blue and purple in my crazy old head. And maybe I shouldn’t be making metaphors that suggest I am promoting eating school children.  That was Jonathan Swift’s thing.)  But Betsy De Vos and her boss, Donald Trump, will never understand that, and never see the true value in them.  If we are ever again going to have a fair and just system of education, we have to give value to the Golliwogs.

 

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Filed under angry rant, commentary, compassion, doll collecting, education, humor, kids, Liberal ideas, teaching