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Monday, November 4, 2013

Everybody Must Get Stoned (actual title "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35)*

And this has NOTHING to do with marijuana, trust me (and neither did the song--more about that later).

I'm reading Facebook posts during some down time in the library this morning and I come across a post by what's become one of my favorites--"Chicks on the Right"--which, as the name implies, involves a couple of women holding forth on things political, social, cultural, etc. Today's post particularly hit home with me.  I'm very close to graduating library school and actually getting to call myself a librarian, and one thing I love to do is read book reviews. 

That said, I read this review for a book entitled Three Hens and a Peacock, a fish-out-of-water tale (forgive the analogy) about barnyard critters getting a taste of another bird's travails and vice versa.  Perfectly harmless, you'd think; a charming children's story, right?

Not according to two young reviewers giving their PC vocabulary lists a workout.  Some of the terms used in reviewing this children's book included the following:

covert bigotry
inferential level of comprehension .

in a review of a children's book.  Really?

Two quotes:
"Of course, the more aggressive of the apologists state here that nature - by its very nature! - is sexist. True, of course, but what they have either purposefully forgotten or blissfully, ignorantly never known is that when an author chooses to anthropomorphize animal characters; the story melds the laws of nature with the very essence of what it means to be human."

and the winner of the "pot calling the kettle black award" goes to this synopsis of the story--

"Drab, petty, jealous hens (italics mine) (females who don't know their place) are taught by the dog & farmer (wise in-charge males) to get back to laying eggs after they temporarily replace a peacock ("p" is for "phallus" - paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Sigmund Freud) who has fallen off a truck and instantly made the farm a success by drawing in the crowds (and the stuff that makes the world go 'round - $$$.) No thanks!"

It would be laughable if the given address of this contributor wasn't Ann Arbor Michigan--home of the University of Michigan, my undergraduate alma mater.  Even my Che Guavara-loving, Com-simp history professor Norman Owens had to be cringing about this and saying, "no, really, they go to Washtenaw Community College!" the "p" in "peacock" stands for phallus? Really?

And to top it off, the first reviewer listed her occupation as "kindergarten teacher". Really? In what parallel universe's seventh circle of hell is this happening, and whose children are the unfortunate victims (especially the boys) of her venom, hate and wrath?  I especially love that she chose to include the phrase, "as a teacher".  I always tried to avoid that phrase when expressing my opinion, lest it became meaningless or, worse yet, to give the impression that I spoke for all teachers.

Note to precious young things (male and female) majoring in education (God help you) out there:  Promise me that you will never, EVER, use that phrase ("As a teacher,...") at the beginning of an expression of your opinion.  To wit:

"As a teacher, I'll order the meatloaf"
"As a teacher, I think that all of my students will win the Nobel Peace Prize after 11 days on whatever job they're doing"
"As a teacher, I speak for the entire educational community when I say that testing is an evil foisted upon us by the conservative establishment., in spite of the fact that we haven't had a Republican president since January 2009--oh wait, can I still blame things on the last guy? Better ask my union rep"

And THEN--especially this part--

Don't act all surprised when people disagree with you.  The "getting stoned" Bob Dylan refers to in the song meant taking criticism--verbal, physical, emotional, spiritual--and coming up with a way to deal with brickbats thrown your way, and not toking till your mind is blown.

Ladies, your profession is already under a lot of scrutiny.  Don't make a dicey situation worse by babbling like idiots.

Onward.  40 days till graduation.  Back to work, damnit.

*--Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde, 1966.

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