American Elephants

You Have an Obligation to Read by The Elephant's Child
May 10, 2021, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

In the United States of America, we offer free public school for all children for grades one through twelve. Of course it’s not really “free”, we pay for it with our taxes to the federal government, the state government, the city or local government. We have direction from the federal government, the state government and the local government, and elect a school board for close local control.

You have probably noticed even if you do not have a school age child, that Covid has played hob with the schools. School has essentially been moved online, the schools are closed, teachers still get paid for “teaching” online classes though it’s uncertain who is learning what, if anything. Schools remain closed. The assumption that everyone has a computer and access, is clearly wrong, since when there is a riot and looting, computers seem to be the object most looted. Do we know what proportion of households have no computer access?

That aside, the assumption is that having taught young Americans to read and write, and supposedly to think, they will do so. After 12 years of being taught how to read, you have an obligation to read and be informed. I’m not convinced that is happening. I am a reader, always have been, and never without a book at hand. My dad liked Westerns, which he called “Blood and Thunders” and when I ran out, I’d read his. I grew up very rural, and there was no library, but the State had a “traveling library” in the basement of the Capitol building, and I’d borrow a stack and mail them back. I notice that many websites include with their news stories a note on just how much time it takes to read a particular piece, which suggests that they aren’t getting read. How much time to you spend online and how much do you read to feel informed?

You have probably noticed that most every online website now wants you to subscribe. They had been counting on Google advertising to pay them for their website efforts, but Google advertising is not working as well as was expected. There are only so many people who want a tee shirt with a cute saying, or a printed kitty climbing out of a printed hole in the tee. Products to be sold successfully online and online method of advertising have not come to a friendly relationship. I have never responded to an online ad, though I was once tempted by a company that makes and sells toy soldiers, but decided I already have too many tsochkes. I’m a sucker for anything elephant or pig. Home office is all elephant and kitchen is pig.

What percentage of American homes have a computer? When there are riots and looting, computers seem to be the most looted objects. Are they getting their first computer or simply upgrading? There are some people who really do not like to read, are they simply ill-informed, or do they rely on radio? You see pictures of people at sidewalk tables or in parks, reading a newspaper obviously just purchased at a stand. I no longer subscribe to a newspaper, though I receive free ones in the mailbox, weekly? monthly? Not sure. I’d love to hear what you think.

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