Putting the “duh” back in “education”
The other night I was reading this great post on the Tao of FAU, which supports my long-held belief that senators shouldn’t run for president, and in which FAU gives a shout out to Bill Richardson. I forwarded the link to our friend, who works for the Dems in NM, figuring he’d be interested.
He wrote back, “Hey man, shouldn’t you be watching the State of the Union?”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I meant to, but I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts.
But seriously, 3B’s been going to bed at 6:30 or so, and sleeping until 7:00 in the morning, so I couldn’t even use the excuse that I didn’t want to expose him to TV or stupid people or is that redundant?
So I relented and turned the tube on, although I have to admit that I couldn’t bring myself to watch closely. My head did snap up, however, when I saw Shrub giving the presidential shout out to the founder of Baby Einstein. Say what? He really believes that she’s on a par with a soldier who took rounds in his chest to save his comrades? Or the recent subway hero, who left his children on the platform and leapt into the path of an oncoming train to save a stranger?
Someone who makes mediocre products that prey on the fears of parents and who sold out to Disney?
No offense to the many people who have bought us Baby Einstein products as gifts. They are solid, if ordinary, books, toys, CDs, and DVDs. As with other product lines, we like the products that 3B appears to like and ignore the ones that he ignores, which goes to show that BE products are not consistently brilliant. Nor do they make your child brilliant. In fact, according to this article, the BE site states that “Baby Einstein products are not designed to make babies smarter.” Funny, you can’t tell that from their marketing.
I could go on about this–remember, I’m still self-medicating–but fortunately for you, Timothy Noah, over at Slate, already wrote an article about this. Noah employed all kinds of tricky journalist techniques like punchy writing, research, and solid editing, so it’s a far better read than what I would have produced using slacker blogger techniques like hackneyed cliches, specious rumors, and a half-assed spell check. You can tell his article is good because he uses words like “mountebank” properly (Google it yourself, you knob).
And, hey, don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on the “walk it off” school of parenting.
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