Wednesday, June 27, 2012
My Three Year Old Could Paint That
The Washington Post published my letter to the Editor yesterday, (That’s Ancient History) and like Pinocchio, I felt like a real person momentarily. Classics and History majors don’t get no respect sometimes, and it made me burn to see my major disrespected by the kind of people who always ask, “But what use is it?” These Practicality Police also say the same line about Art, (my 3 year old kid could do that), quilting, (why cut fabric into small pieces only to sew it back together again?), sewing, (you could get that cheaper at Target), cooking (why bother? It messes up the kitchen and takes too much time out of our busy schedules). (What on earth are they so busy doing?)They are the same kind of people that cut the budget for schools so deeply that the schools have gotten rid of or cut back on classes for Art, PE, Music, Home Ec and other valuable subjects , yet not perceived as necessary to the Budget Hounds. Listen up, Modern Spartans, because I know who you are now – I recognize you from my Classical education. You are the kind of people who take all of the joyful, beautiful things out of life and replace them with grey dreary usefulness. The Spartans lived only for War. Women were prized for their usefulness at bearing and raising strong sons. Men were admired for their skills in battle. Sons were told to come home “with your shield or on it”. They did not have dinner parties with friends; they ate in useful, practical mess halls. They did not invent delicious recipes, they ate gruel. It was practical. They did not sew lovely clothes in beautiful colors; they wore plain serviceable cloaks and tunics. It was a grim existence enlivened only by going to war and fighting. Currently these grim Spartans have been trying to seize control of our schools and state and national government. They claim, like the ancient Spartans did, that anyone who disagrees with them is effete and an elitist, and the things that we like are useless. Like the Spartans of old, they do not care to take care of the old, the sick or the disabled. Like the Spartans of old, they want to devote all of our resources to preparing for War It’s time for all of us who believe in a better life and better way to push back against their grim vision of the United States. We can all start by registering to vote, and making sure everyone we know does as well. And by doing something impractical today and every day, just to shake them up.