18 September 2010

What She Believes

Mt local NPR station, the 13,500 watt flame-thrower known as WHYY-FM (90.9 on your dial, but #1 in your heart), airs little essays that serve as a bumper between stories from NPR on Fridays afternoons during All Things Considered (the last great source of news on NPR since Steve Inskeep took over Morning Edition, which is still good but has become decidedly worse).

Anyway, the essays, called This I Believe are harmless little vignettes featuring local people with some sort of back story and, well, what they believe. I heard this one on the way home yesterday. The woman's main point, what she believes in, is that the ability to think critically is an important lesson for children to be taught. Which is fine so far as it goes, though I've found that those who often lecture others on their inability to "see" that which is plainly in front of them are so ideologically screwy that it beggars belief--e.g. 9/11 "truthers," Obama "birthers" and Michael Moore to name just a few.

Almost on cue, the woman proves my point. The teacher helped foster this in our local artist, who taught her to see "propaganda in all forms," who dared to be "liberal" (in the 60s?), he "fought alongside Castro and Che, in the Cuban Revolution, against the dictator Batista."

I almost drove off the road. Batista is described as a dictator, accurately. He was a bad dude and America did itself no favors by any support it ever provided to his regime. But she mentions only Batista as a dictator. She either failed to mention or, more likely, doesn't see that Castro and Che were both almost incomprehensibly evil men, one of whom still graces our good earth. Both revelled in and thrived on the use of propaganda and killing those that had the temerity to see through the disgusting, harmful bullshit they were selling and question or try to stop it.

Did her dear teacher ever realize what he helped bring upon the good people of Cuba? Did he ever feel regret over the thousands of lives that were taken in the name of the socialist revolution he helped bring about? Did she ever realize that her teacher was, in reality, a dunce?

This is the kind of idiocy she believes in. Good for her.

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