As I have said before, my life has been lived to a soundtrack. Growing up in an age of ubiquitous car radios, restaurant juke boxes, record players and later stereos, it seems like the popular songs of the day were always playing in the background, over and over. Marshall McLuhan talks about the “retribalization” that is the “water we swim in” in an age of ubiquitous electronic media. Said McLuhan in his 1969 Playboy magazine interview…
The electronically induced technological extensions of our central nervous systems… are immersing us in a world-pool of information movement and are thus enabling man to incorporate within himself the whole of mankind. The aloof and dissociated role of the literate man of the Western world is succumbing to the new, intense depth participation engendered by the electronic media and bringing us back in touch with ourselves as well as with one another.
Recorded music has certainly played a critical role in my own development and even survival. In my own life my deepest emotions and passions have been captured and recalled by a catchy tune, mostly recorded popular music heard on the radio or played on a record (and later tape or CD) player. Lyric, melody and rhythm have continually inspired me to live more fully or (in those most difficult of life’s moments) to keep on keeping on.
The first such piece of music that I recall playing such a role in my life was Petula Clark’s 1965 hit, “Downtown”… Continue reading →
With all due respect to my comrades plthomasEdD and catwho (who also contribute to the Daily KOS “Education Alternatives” group), and the thoughtful pieces they have recently posted on the group’s list, I wish to put forward a very different thought on this issue of what are appropriate and inappropriate venues for trying to fix our society’s problems. In particular, I want to challenge their assumption that we can not “fix” schools until we first address the underlying issues of poverty and inequity that make our society dysfunctional.
Blogger catwho sums up this position I am taking issue with in their piece, “The Myth of Failing Schools”…
You cannot fix the schools until you fix the students. You cannot fix the students until you fix their parents. You cannot fix their parents until you fix society. How do you fix a broken society?
PlthomasEdD said in theirs, “Don’t Ask Schools to Fix Society’s Problems”…
First, we must acknowledge, as Traub did in 2000, “The idea that school, by itself, cannot cure poverty is hardly astonishing, but it is amazing how much of our political discourse is implicitly predicated on the notion that it can”
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One thing you will probably notice in my prose (including the language I use throughout this blog) is my minimal use of the words “child” and “children” while substituting for both with words like “youth” or “young people” or the more colloquial “kids”. I have become more and more uncomfortable with the “C Word” since its varying forms are often used to describe immature or unmediated behavior, dependence, or otherwise convey a derogatory context. Whenever you hear, “You are behaving like a child!” or a description of “childish behavior”, you can bet there is a criticism involved. Continue reading →