Mis-Educating Ourselves

Barb Wire

By the time young people get to college and make headlines for behaving like jackasses, they’ve had at least fifteen years’ worth of garbage stuffed into their heads. This is how you wind up with a student “in her fifth year of undergraduate studies” (remember when it only took four years?) at Columbia yowling about the “anguish” and the “trauma” she suffers because she has had to read books written by white people.

Now, no one is born that big a muttonhead. No natural talent, unassisted by thorough training and constant practice, can propel you to such heights of tomfoolery. Just wanting to be a complete idiot is not enough. You have to be taught the finer points of it.

Most of us spend, or have spent, thousands of hours in public school, prior to college—but tens of thousands of hours wallowing in what we are pleased to call our popular culture. Here we find the rarest treasures of ignorance, the most priceless gems of misinformation.

Let us pretend to take leave of our senses, and suppose that public schools offer a decent education. If that were so—please stop laughing—how do you think some 10,000 hours’ worth of education would stand up against 60,000 or 70,000 hours of brainless movies, cheap TV, and febrile fiction produced by moral imbeciles?

But the schools do not provide a decent education. In fact, you can just tack the school time onto the popular culture time, because it’s more of the same. And college is just there to complete the student’s transformation into an ignorant, fear-biting monkey with a king-sized chip on her shoulder and an outsized sense of entitlement that’s nothing more than another kind of learning disability.

If you don’t want your child to grow up to be a whining nincompoop who can only read or hear or see things that conform to her own prejudices, and throws a tantrum if she’s exposed to anything but that, there are two things that you have to do.

First, remove your children from the public schools. Those schools are great for teaching transgenderism or Environmental Justice, whatever that is, but are otherwise quite useless. Your child will do much, much better in a home school or a Christian school.

Second, find some movies, TV, or books he can consume without being poisoned by it. Don’t try to find comfort in saying, “It’s only a movie” or “it’s only a science fiction book.” When you inject it into the space between your ears, it’s bound to have an effect, good or bad.

The more time anybody spends consuming what is good, the less time he has available for what is bad. If your 12-year-old is reading “The Hobbit,” or a G.A. Henty historical adventure, that’s time he can’t spend reading “Maze Runners” or “Spirit Animals.” This will require parents to cultivate an ability to discern the message carried by any movie, novel, or TV show—but isn’t that worth doing?

As some of you know, I write fantasy novels. I try to do my bit. I grant you it’s a small enough bit—just one of those little people hurling himself against the gate so King Kong can’t break through. But there are quite a few of us, and we pray there will be more.

My newest book, “The Temple,” has just been published, just in time for Christmas. It’s No. 8 in my “Bell Mountain” series—fantasy-adventures steeped in a Biblical worldview. You can find out more about them by visiting my blog, and clicking “Books” for covers, blurbs, and sample chapters.

Sorry for the commercial, but I do make a point: there is stuff out there that is edifying and wholesome, and the consumer ought to seek it out. Everything doesn’t have to be the Kardashians. You don’t have to settle for novels about high school kids who have sex all the time and discover they are the offspring of pagan gods, and therefore have super-powers. I once read a book of that description, but I have mercifully forgotten the title.

Really, it does matter, what we consume as “entertainment.” When you watch a movie, or a TV show, read a novel, or play a video game, it’s a form of self-education.

This is what you’re putting in.

Our debased culture is what is coming out.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Lee Duigon
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com.

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