William Safire would have certainly criticized my use of the verb dumifying- when addressing the current national culture epidemic as the Dumifying of America. It is certainly a bastardization of the English language. Sorry Ms. Dowd- no intentions to offend, but I don't care. Hey,that's what I do. I'm a self proclaimed scholar of pop culture, entitled to take liberties in shaping the psyche of America with semantic liberty. Isn't that what the America Dream is currently all about? Aren't we told by Tony Robbins that one should not allow intimidation to our importance in life? I possess the ideal expressions of everyman. My adamant pronounced self interests are the defining tenets of the people, and, therefore, all contradictions to my values must be condemned as irrelevant and mocked or, more importantly, eliminated from society.
Bravo Tony Robbins; NLP has awakened the giant within. I am king ding-a-ling; hear me roar!I'm a WASP male, therefore, all other cultures, ethnicity, religions, and sexes must be inferior. I must not cater to learning from opposing values or attributions, for that would compromise my own. I must stay ignorant in order to preserve my superiority. I must not shake hands with the little green man from Mars, for they have come to earth to rape my children and begin a cross breeding that will topple my Tony Robbins endorsed superiority. I hate your Martian ambitions to degrade me and take over my universe.
I'm not suggesting Robbins intentionally set out to advocate this distorted logic. I'm implying regions of America have accepted his celebrity to pattern a distorted logic of their own self avocation. The 41st President didn't help matters much with his "either your wit' us, or ag'in' us" rhetoric. The Dumifying of America has taken hold of the wheel of the machine, as it speeds through the labyrinth of America, with enlightenment and logic, panicking, in the back seat of the vehicle.
I was educated in an elementary school environment, patterned after the Summerhill Academy, where I was taught to break free from coercion. I was encouraged to live life independent of the aspirations of others, including my parents, and was encouraged to challenge authority and test the accountability of absolute truths. It is the road that leads to enlightenment, but along the byways stand critics determined to direct the flow of traffic, who define all pursuits alien to their own as rebellious acts of defiance.
Although my parents were devoted Episcopalians, I'm relieved they weren't rigid disciplinarians of the Bible in the strictest sense. For the principals taught in my school would have violated the commandments of the Lord: Deuteronomy 22; verse 18-21, and I would have assuredly been stoned by the elders of my father's city. I'm also relieved the students of the Dumifying of America have not condemned the Bible for its abomination of their own chosen lifestyles: Leviticus 20; verse 27- don't shave your head; Leviticus 20; verse 28- no tattoo's; Deuteronomy 14; verse 8- no pig roasts; Exodus 2o; verse 10- no football on Sunday. There's lots of violence, avarice, corruption and other misconducts proclaimed in the Old Testament, but I wouldn't want the masterpiece seen thrown into the fire.
It would not be the Christian thing to do.
It is 9-11; nines years from that horrid morning when America's routine was disrupted by senseless acts of violence. It was an attack on our soil; a rage against the empire, but not against the republic. There is a distinction.
Factions in third world countries react violently to America the Empire's global expansion, fearing American dominance will destroy their way of life, while many citizen of those same countries long to gain access to the freedoms of America the Republic. They seek the place former President Reagan described as "the shining city on a hill, built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace. A city with free ports that hum with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here."
I believe book burnings have ways of closing those doors.
Those opposing a mosque being built blocks from the site of the 9-11 destruction are wrong. Go home. Build a cathedral across the street from the building; temples next store. Turn the entire Battery Park area into a religious exchange where ideals of enlightenment can be tested and challenged, where new theologies can be spawned and new understandings of God's relationship with man can be mastered. You cannot alter defiance with animosity; passion begets compromise. You cannot champion bigotry with rage; only love can conquer hate. Let us not forget those lost souls of varying cultures, ethnicity, religions, and sexes that were lost on this day nine years ago. Let us remember them, this day, in the spirit of peace!
"No one is wise enough or good enough to mould the character of any child. What is wrong with our sick, neurotic world is that we have been moulded, and an adult generation that has seen two great wars and seems about to launch a third should not be trusted to mould the character of a rat"