Monday, May 23, 2011

A Conspiracy Theory Post Card

This morning's P&D contained a note from William Collen reminding readers that those who can't do, teach.  That cliche has been around for a long time.  The first person to hear it allegedly died after laughing too hard and falling off his dinosaur.

Because the morning letters were a bit stale, I was thrilled this afternoon to get a post card from Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, CFSE outlining a new conspiracy theory.  I think I was supposed to be left out of the loop on this particular theory because the postcard, like last Saturday's yellow mailer, was addressed to my wife's ex-husband.  I love conspiracy theories, so I couldn't help myself; I read the post card.

The plot goes something like this:  there is a giant, nebulous organization school district trying to hide facts from common ordinary citizens.  The ringleaders are church officials respected community members and a cardinal/pope school superintendent.  At first, I thought it was a bit to derivative of Brown's other works CFSE's yellow pamphlet, but John Wayne made both Rio Bravo and El Dorado, and the plots of those films are nearly identical.  If it's good enough for the Duke, it's good enough for me.

This particular theory has some big holes, however.  The first lines describe a cruel school board that crushes the hopes of its teachers.  Then a few lines later the school board treats its employees to "plush" benefits [emphasis in original].  Good conspiracy theories usually have more consistant character development.  Then, this same board is so incompetent that it doesn't know that it must be told to cut spending while at the same time it's so intelligent it creates a slush fund that no one will ever discover even though all of the financial dealings have to be published in legal notices and audited yearly.

Maybe Brown CFSE can put that story together using church cardinals or scientists who work at CERN but these evil antagonists, opposed only by an Iowa based consultant, are TEACHERS, those people who can't do anything else.  And the mastermind, the man behind everything, is a school superintendent who began his career as an elementary teacher, the lowest of the low.  No one would ever believe that plot, would they? Seriously?

On a serious note, look at what Matt Michels said last Friday,
“It’s not them and us — it’s us. It’s us working together to either improve lives or advance causes to make sure people are well. To have a gap, and have a view that people who are serving us in our state government are leaning on a shovel, is wrong. I’m not saying that’s a pervasive view. I have just taken it upon myself to say we are blessed.”
I know he doesn't mention teachers.  The view that state government workers are lazy is just as old and pernicious as the view that teachers can't do anything else.  Both should be rejected.  The new permutation of the tale, that the Yankton Board of Education, not the "YSD board of directors," as page 4 of the yellow mailer called them, is bilking Yankton residents in a manner that would make Bernie Madoff blush should be rejected as well.

Let's decide this election civilly and use facts not conspiracy theories.

No comments: