I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. But I came across something today that just made me sick. Now, I’m not one of these uber-PC liberals who thinks that everybody should never ruffle feathers. I get that the world we live in is WAY more complicated than that. However, there are times when I see something so pandered that it makes me think that America deserves to fall into the global disregard that we slowly are.
See, there is this new ad by Toys “R” Us (linked here) that has a bunch of kids get on a bus. They think that they are going on a field trip to a place called the “Meet the Trees Foundation.” An organization that is so boring that what class would actually go on a field trip there? The kids are totally bored by what they can tell is going to be boring. But instead, the man who is taking them there suddenly shows that he is a Toys “R” Us worker. Yay! All the kids go nuts, because he tells them that they get to go and play around in the store and get any toy they want. The kids are happy because they get a free toy and I’m assuming a little pocket change for helping this company whore out its anti-science advertisement. This ad, to me, says a lot of REALLY bad things.
The first is that science is boring, and kids should totally not care about it. I remember being a kid. I remember loving to learn about stuff. At the age that these kids are, I remember me and my friends loving science. We wanted to learn all we could about the world around us. Which, by the way, is fucking normal! Normal kids want to learn! It’s part of growing up! Something that Ritalin-riddled America and its desperate attempts to rob children of their childhood has forgotten. America is now so scared of education and letting kids be kids that we are now doing everything we can to rob them of their chance to live a little. Kids want to learn. Kids do care. As an environmental scientist said in the article linked above, the data has shown that kids do want to learn.
The next thing is that it promotes a kind of blind commercialism and consumerism. I mean, sure, that’s the society we live in now. Americans find it so fucking hard to think for themselves these days that whenever someone has a thought posed to them that they don’t immediately understand, we run to Google. It’s like using these brain things we were born with is too much work. Why think when the Internet can do the thinking for you?! 😀 Then there is the fact that ads like these are basically saying – the outdoors suck! Go shopping instead!
The insult to science and science teachers also can’t go unnoticed. The lack of respect for modern teachers is something that always grinds my gears. The modern conservative talking point is that teachers are all over-paid and under-worked propaganda machines that are turning our youth into liberal demagogues! When the truth is that teachers are actually over-worked and horrifically under-paid essential parts of American society that get so little respect that you have them having to apologize when parents are yelling at them for flunking their little dumb-shit kid who constantly acts up. Back in my parent’s day, if a kid acted up, they got the ruler! Or something close to that. You didn’t fuck with teachers back then. It was assumed that if your kid wasn’t measuring up, then it was your kid’s fault. A good teacher would do their best to try and work with the kids, but in the end, they could only do so much. There were only so many hours in the day. Now, thanks to the god-awful self-esteem movement, if a kid’s feelings get hurt, it’s the teacher’s fault. Because little Billy or Jane would NEVER be idiots, right? So when we advertise that they are just as pathetic as the subject they teach, then it becomes pretty clear that we are insulting them and their profession even more.
The last thing I want to touch on is the offensive portrayal of nature. At a time when 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is a real issue, that man is helping make worse, and we aren’t doing shit to change it, we are going to tell our kids – don’t pay attention to nature. Who cares about it?! It’s like the people who rule this country literally do not care that the world that we are leaving children will be shaped by what we teach them. So you want to show kids that science and nature suck. After all, who cares if the world turns into toxic sludge. They have a new toy!
Oh yeah, and this ad also says something bad about field trips! I remember some of the field trips I went on back in the day. My favorite was going across the state to see the Alaska Sealife Center while it was still under construction. I got to see how it functioned and how it was being built. That was so cool! It was a little kid, and it was awesome. My old man thought it was awesome too. He went with us on that trip. This idea that all field trips are these boring wastes of time annoys me so much!
Look, I’m not some psychotic hippie who believes that the end of the world is around the corner. But who among you can look me in the eye and say that the decisions we make now, and the priorities that we make today are not going to be relevant in future generations. The climate is changing. The youth are being robbed of their childhoods. Worst of all of that, to me, is the fact that science education is so pathetic in this country. We have the Christian-right, most of whom believe that evolution is a myth, climate change is just a “theory” and these teachers are all trying to turn their kids into atheist heathens who are going to burn in hell! When the truth is that they are simply trying to teach them what’s real. What is real based on VERIFIABLE FACT! Not a book! Not a myth that you choose to believe in because it makes YOU feel better! Fact! These people are woefully underpaid, overworked and get so little respect for it from the government and parents of stupid kids. And American deserves to get left behind by the rest of the world in science and mathematics. We are becoming dumber and dumber, because no one will champion intelligence.
Is this the kind of world that you all want for your children? If so, when it all goes to shit, if you live to see that point, know this – it’s all on your heads. Last I checked, there is no God, so he isn’t coming to save you all from the world you make.
Until next time, a quote,
“Now, speaking of parents and speaking of bullshit – two ideas that aren’t always mutually-exclusive, by the way – I’d like to mention a special kind of bullshit that has taken hold in this country in the last 30-40 years. It’s a kind of bullshit that can only be called ‘child worship.'” -George Carlin