Two Google headlines–one focusing on Rene Zellweger’s cosmetic surgery (This is newsworthy?); the other on women getting this kind of surgery to please some men (This is hard news?). There are very serious problems in our society–e.g., Ebola transmission and home-grown terrorism–that are far more significant than this sort of distracting, trivial, infantile crap. One manifestation of our society’s increasing irrationality is the inability for the media and media consumers to distinguish between what is important or incredibly dumb and trivial.
Education today has likewise failed tragically, steamrollering kids en masse, stylistically, with bells-and-whistles e-gizmos and catering to the lowest denominator from an uncritical thinking perspective. No longer are distinctions made in classrooms because of political correctness, a lack of diverse viewpoints, and the replacement of books and themes by dumbed-down e-centered curriculum that no two schools, districts, or provinces can even agree on. Frankly, secondary education in Canada is rapidly becoming thoroughly rudderless in terms of teaching important works or themes, serious issues, true media literacy or in developing truly autonomous, critical-thinking students.
As long as kids are required and encouraged to become career-techies for the business world and allowed e-machines to use carte-blanche at school, “The centre cannot hold”. Subject matter and significant content have died on the trendy airless altar of with-it style and delivery systems. Indeed, some educators today are often little more than shills or propagandists for e-machine corporations–a major disservice to our youth in terms of teaching traditional literacy and broad-based (i.e.,historical, integrated, print-based) consciousness.