Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Public schools, alien overlords, and banned words

I am happy to be able to tell you that we finally have figured out what is wrong with the public education system in the United States: it is being turned into a factory for brainwashing children by our elite alien overlords.

If by now the name "David Icke" comes to mind, you have evidently escaped brainwashing yourself, possibly by going to private school.  David Icke is the conspiracy theorist's conspiracy theorist.  His ideas are so bizarre and abstruse that they probably are secrets even from himself, and his book The Greatest Secret has been called "the Rosetta Stone of conspiracy theories."  This seems fairly generous, frankly, because most of what I've read by Icke is patent horse waste.  My favorite example is that various public figures are actually reptilian aliens masquerading as humans, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie.

I bet you thought I was going to say "Okay, I made the last one up."  Nope.  That is the level of conspiracy theory that David Icke has reached -- he says even the world of washed-up folk singers has been infiltrated.  Next thing you know, we'll find out that Snooki is actually a reptilian alien.  And then all of a sudden the fact that her baby is due on December 21, 2012 will make terrible, terrible sense.

In any case, David Icke has now come forth with a new claim -- that the American public school system exists solely to turn children into obedient little automatons, because that's what the Archons want.  (Source)  You really should watch the video clip attached, which contains quotes such as, "These guys, the manipulators (the Archons) know it's an illusion, know reality is all in our minds, so they know that if they program our minds with the right illusion, we'll create it physically.  The educational system is massively, massively part of that."

All I can say is, if I was creating an illusion with my mind, it wouldn't be this one.  The illusion I want to have is me on the beach in Costa Rica, clad in nothing but swim trunks, holding a margarita.  But maybe I wasn't programmed properly, so what I got was upstate New York in March.

Be that as it may, we will leave behind David Icke for a different sort of wingnuttery -- the kind that comes out of the actual educational system.  Perhaps you haven't heard about it, but a story broke a couple of days ago about a policy by the New York City Education Department regarding fifty words that are banned from appearing on standardized tests.  (Source)

If you immediately thought of George Carlin, so did I; but interestingly, only one of the banned words is even vaguely naughty, and that's "sex."  Mustn't find out if children understand how humans procreate!  The other words fall into a few loose classes:
  • Words that someone, somewhere might take exception to, on religious grounds: dinosaurs, evolution, Halloween, the occult, fortunetelling, parapsychology, witchcraft
  • Words describing things we'd like to pretend that children don't know exist: alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, junk food, pornography, rap music
  • Words that get people emotionally stirred up: abuse, cancer, catastrophes (tsunamis/hurricanes), crime, death, homelessness, poverty, slavery, terrorism, war
Yes -- in New York City schools, standardized tests can't mention slavery, terrorism, or war.

I wish I was making this up.  The powers-that-be in the New York City School District think that it is somehow acceptable to give children tests, and (worse) use those test scores to evaluate not only the children themselves, but their teachers, school administrators, and schools as a whole -- and never once ask a single question regarding war or sex, which are the two biggest drivers for human history I can think of.  We are successfully creating a school system that is so bland, mechanized, and PC that it merely labeling a word as "controversial" can get it banned from appearing on the test.  Did you know that "hunting" can't appear on standardized tests in New York City?

And don't even start with me about eliminating any mention of evolution.

You know, it pains me to say so, but I'm beginning to wonder if David Icke might have a point.  Not about the Archons; why would we need reptilian overlords to destroy public education, when the people we've elected to oversee it seem to be doing a damn good job of it without any alien intervention?


  1. I don't for a minute believe that about Kris Kristofferson.

    I always wonder about people who say reality is all in our minds, how they think they can exist when I'm around. And who they think they're talking to.

  2. Doing the logical degrees of separation for why our Federal Government would want to remove thought provoking subjects from our curriculum, leaves me with a profound sadness.

    Then again, I wonder how gentlemen like Noam Chomsky have the wherewithal to get out of bed in the morning, being as relevantly informed as they are. Greater men than I. You as well, Gordon. I know you are a scholar, so I'm aware of your ability to parse the de rigueur shitty news of the day, replete with all it's over-arching implications, compartmentalize that which burns you up inside, and still pay it forward to a class of students. Our intellectuals are the crux to the placation of the American mind.

    The more convoluted our society becomes, the more mental fortitude is required from our teachers, to maintain solace and teach without cynicism. Teachers are the bedrock of education. Society should place more value on the teacher than the curriculum... and when that curriculum gets an injection of political/socioeconomic subtext, we've just gone off the deep end.

    If any of this rambling was at all therapeutic, I feel accomplished.