Associated Press news photo
“Freedom from indoctrination”? No, it’s that we’re to practice the Repugnican-fascists’ blatant indoctrination. Their backasswards, far-right-wing indoctrination is so good and true that it’s not indoctrination, you see, and every other viewpoint is “indoctrination.” (Repugnican-fascist Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a serious threat to our freedom despite claiming to be all about freedom, is pictured with his human props pushing his anti-freedom agenda in April 2022.)
Growing up in the Arizona public school system in the 1970s and 1980s, I was, indeed, indoctrinated.
Among much other bullshit, I was taught, at least indirectly if not also directly, that homosexuality is bad — sick, criminal, sinful, etc. (Mostly, it just wasn’t brought up at all — the erasure of an entire group of people is fun!)
Today, of course, we have same-sex marriage as the law of the land — and he-man Nick Offerman just very effectively played a gay man in a long-term same-sex relationship (with Murray Bartlett of the first season of “The White Lotus”) in the zombie-apocalypse TV series “The Last of Us,” a turn that no television show ever would have taken when I was growing up* — and in many if not most parts of the United States, many if not most of the homophobes who still remain among us keep their ignorant, hateful, bigoted, homophobic thoughts to themselves in polite company.
I was taught in the public school system that capitalism is perfect — Godly, even (in high school I had to take a pro-capitalist course propagandistically titled “free enterprise”) — and essentially I was taught that there is no viable alternative socioeconomic model, and that you’re crazy and/or evil for even suggesting (or even thinking) that there could be or should be (Love it or leave it, Commie!).
Seriously, though — how nice it is for the sociopathic profiteers among us to ensure that our public schools teach that our socioeconomic exploitation, in which millions of us are just wage slaves who in a nation whose beyond-ludicrous degree of income inequality grows larger and larger with each passing year are barely surviving, is the only option available to us.
This degree of mass mind control is nothing if not fucking Orwellian.
American history was taught to me in public school as an ever-progressive** march forward by overwhelmingly white people with a few minor oopsies and boo-boos along the way, but overall, God bless (white [that part always was understood if not always spoken aloud]) America, land of the free!
Conservatism, being all about keeping the stupid white man firmly entrenched in power and dominating the rest of us in perpetuity, still believes that today’s public school students should have the same experience that I did in the 1970s and 1980s. (Well, actually, I’m sure that even the public education that I received in the backasswards state of Arizona in the 1970s and 1980s is too “liberal” for them.)
It’s funny, because despite the right-wing attempt to indoctrinate me with the “right” sexual orientation, I’m nonetheless an out gay man in a long-term same-sex relationship. The years-long attempts to indoctrinate me didn’t succeed; apparently I am immune to such toxic indoctrination. (I’m an atheist, too, so “Christo”fascism, of which homophobia is part and parcel, didn’t get to me either; “God” and “Jesus” to me are on par with other mythical figures, such as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny…)
And for decades I have had deep issues with capitalism — which for the most part is just systemic, legalized thievery that so often results in injury, destruction and even death — and I would much prefer to see a hybrid socioeconomic model in which the essentials of life are not for-profit and in which OK, sure, the non-essentials, including the luxury items, can be capitalized. (And I’m a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders, of course.)
And yes, American history, as it is taught in our public school system, is, of course, whitewashed, to say the least; I seem to remember one U.S. history textbook with the maudlin title of The Pageant of American History or the like. I’m sure that Nazi Germany taught the history of Germany something like this: The nation was forged by strong, manly, God-supported white men! Get in line behind God’s soldiers or die, unGodly bitches!
So of course I oppose Repugnican-fascist Ron DeSantis’ fascist attempts to control what is and what is not taught in the public schools of Florida — in the name of “freedom from indoctrination.” (Indeed, you’re free to believe and to teach whatever you want — as long as stupid, evil white man Ron DeSantis agrees with it. Freedom! Yay!)
If our public schools don’t give our students the tools they need to be well-adjusted and successful in modern life, then our schools are failing them (which, of course, they are, but that’s another blog piece…).
And teaching like it’s still the fucking 1950s is not setting up our students for success. It’s setting them up for failure as future wage slaves to our corporate overlords, believing that the socioeconomic exploitation of them is what God wants and is the only kind of life that they ever can have.
On a related note, Advanced Placement courses are high school courses for the college-bound and are voluntary, and so their curricula should be hands fucking off to opportunistic political swine like the First Amendment-hating and freedom-hating Ron DeFuckingSantis, whose attack on the Advanced Placement black American studies course induced the College Board, which created the course, to water it down.
Of course, what DeSantis would prefer is that black Americans (as well as other non-white and LGBT Americans) just be erased entirely, so I doubt that the AP’s watering down of its black American studies course will please Gov. Florida Man.
As the Advanced Placement cave-in demonstrates, DeSantis already is winning his war to control all American minds.
Obviously I agree with age-appropriate teaching; of course your average kindergartener won’t understand the nuances of human sexuality, socioeconomic systems, the good and the ugly of U.S. history (including, of course, racism and the struggle for women’s rights and for LGBT rights as well as for non-whites’ rights), debates around religion, etc.
But an Advanced Placement student should be mature enough to handle the more adult topics, and further, DeSantis is trying to limit not just what Florida’s public elementary and high schools may teach, but what Florida’s colleges and universities — which are supposed to be bastions of independent thought and free speech — may or may not teach.
Former “President” Pussygrabber, at least, is so juvenile and self-absorbed (he’s the fucking poster child for the baby boomers) that he doesn’t bother to attack our public schools and universities; he’s too busy pettily attacking his legions of enemies (and as it is with every dictator and would-be dictator, it’s very easy to get on his shit list: just refuse to ardently lick his ass) like a petulant, perpetually miffed teenaged girl, apparently unaware that the majority of the nation is way, way beyond his endless grievance bullshit and knows fully well that he lost the 2020 presidential election.
That Ron DeSantis wants to institute mind control not only in the nation’s third-most-populous state, but in the entire nation as president, makes him much more dangerous than is Pussygrabber, in my book.
DeSantis’ goal is to indoctrinate all Americans into believing that any kind of life outside of the fascist hellscape that he has in mind for all of us — with him as our Dear Leader, of course — is our only fucking option.
Thankfully, barring one of the many criminal probes into his many crimes actually taking mob boss Pussygrabber down within the next two years or so (I’m not holding my breath), I expect Pussygrabber to win the 2024 Repugnican presidential nomination.
Because too many other deluded narcissists within the Repugnican Party apparently also are going to run for the Repugnican presidential nomination for 2024 — including people who have a snowball’s chance in hell, such as Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence — and, because the Repugnicans anti-democratically award all of a state’s delegates to the Repugnican National Convention to whichever Repugnican presidential candidate garners the most votes in that state, in 2024 Pussygrabber would benefit from a crowded Repugnican presidential field, just as he did in 2016.
Could Pussygrabber win in November 2024, though?
Further, Pussygrabber eked out a “win” in 2016 only because of the anti-democratic Electoral College — and he did even that well only because at that time he was largely unknown, as least as a U.S. president.
Two impeachments, the deadly January 6, 2021, insurrection that he treasonously led, and innumerable investigations into his mob-boss-level criminal activity later, the kind of “president” that Pussygrabber was and would be again no longer is an unknown; we know the treasonous asshole abundantly well.
Therefore, no, I can’t see Pussygrabber winning the presidency in 2024. (Well, maybe he could if he were running against Kamala Harris, who we’re still waiting upon to finally find her political legs, but that’s another blog piece…)
Pussygrabber and 2024 aside, Ron DeSantis must never be president of the United States of America — and so I hope that Pussygrabber beats DeSantis for the Repugnican presidential nomination, because I can’t see Pussygrabber winning (well, “winning”) the White House ever again.
I can, however, see a fascist demagogue like DeSantis, who offers cut-and-dry, “common-sense” “solutions” to our problems and who freely and giddily scapegoats others for his own political gain, winning the presidency, especially when as a president he is unknown, as Pussygrabber was in 2016.
Our freedom of thought, on which all of our other freedoms depend, depends on those of us who truly value freedom — including, ironically, freedom from (fascist) indoctrination — stopping the fascist, anti-democratic, freedom-hating DeSantis in his fucking tracks.
DeSantis is a cancer that must not be allowed to spread outside of the backasswards state of Florida. He must be contained within that fucking swamp.
*Seriously, though, the only reason I started to watch HBO’s “The Last of Us” is that it received good reviews, and I find the angle of zombification via fungal infection to be an interesting twist on a worn-out genre. (I tried to get into “The Walking Dead” several years ago but just couldn’t; I found the zombie genre to be tiresome already.)
So after two episodes of the establishment of the fungus zombies in “The Last of Us” (an aside: Can you kill them by spraying them with an anti-fungal, such as for athlete’s foot or jock itch?), I was surprised to see this “Brokeback Mountain”-like storyline plopped into the middle of the zombie action, and it actually works.
And while I had known that Nick Offerman would be in the third episode, I’d had no idea of the direction in which they took his character.
I mean, I imagine that plenty of homophobes have stopped watching the show after that third episode replete with man-on-man action, but to me, if you can drop in a gay love story in the middle of a zombie-apocalypse story and do it in a way that’s not too cheesy and actually works, then you’ve reached peak TV, in my book…
**”Progress,” you see, was white people taking over more and more of the nation under “manifest destiny.” The land’s natives had to be dispensed with and their territory taken from them, slaves from Africa had to be instrumental to profiteering, environmental destruction for the purpose of profiteering had to be done in the name of “progress,” etc., etc.