Friday, May 19, 2006

Youth Culture - Putting on the Ditz?

Rebecca Traister of Salon (I'm a member but I think viewing a mere advertisement can get you a day pass) gives us "Return of the brainless hussies: From "American Idol" to Paris Hilton to an army of jiggly video stars, vapid females seem to be everywhere these days. Have we really gone this far backward, baby?" that is worth a visit. Not great yet solid. While Ms. Traister focuses on young girls/women the same could perhaps be said for the roosters. Parents and corporations looking for sales and/or ad dollars have plenty of the blame. Not that all kids are idiots as some, such as Alabama's own Ava Lowery, are doing great thinking and work. Yet, does our mass culture really reward that sort of conduct? Has it ever? I still think the PBS "Merchants of Cool" series is as solid as anything I've yet to run across on this issue. As an educator working in the trenches it often seems like kids that have "it" are really special but also that the vast majority are incredibly limited in range and talent and capacity and ... The thing is that often our teachers can't really run with or push the truly talented as we are so caught up in dragging the wounded along in our often misplaced efforts at "no child left behind". Peace ... or War!