Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"X" is for "Xylem" and Other Ways to Warp Children

I heard about this on Garage Logic the other day on the way home from work. Daughter #1 and I laughed our collective asses off.

Pictured is "The Alternative Alphabet Poster For Little And Big People," brought to you by the caring, diverse, and thoughtful people at Syracuse Cultural Workers. Thanks to them, "A" is no longer for "apple," it is for "Africa." "C" now stands for "compost," not "cat." "R" is for "reduce, reuse, recycle," and "E" is for...ready for this..."echinacea."

Daughter #2 seems pretty sure that "E" used to stand for elephant, which is a large gray mammal with a long trunk which has long fascinated children. Echinacea is apparently a plant used in herbal remedies few 5-year-olds have ever heard of. Thus it is easily identifiable to children, and after all, isn't that the point?

Why do we need the alternative alphabet?

The alphabet poster is a time-honored part of our children's early learning. Unfortunately, these posters are often neither multicultural nor inspirational. However, the eye-catching Alternative Alphabet Poster is both, and thought-provoking too.

Ummm...ya. Alphabet posters aren't supposed to be multicultural or inspirational. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO TEACH CHILDREN THE ALPHABET! How exactly are we supposed to do that when "K" stands for Martin Luther King and "J" stands for Mother Jones?

Somehow I get the impression that this group of freethinkers has missed a very important point in all of this. Than again, it might just be that teaching children the alphabet is not real high on SCW's list of priorities.

Our mission is to help sustain a culture that honors diversity and celebrates community; that inspires and nurtures justice, equality and freedom; that respects our fragile Earth and all its beings; that encourages and supports all forms of creative expression.

The reason this came up the other day was because a caller saw a copy of it at his kid's elementary school. And they say public education is in trouble. Pish posh.

Other creative and positive messages from SCW include "Defy Corporate Domination" and the ever present "Che Geuvara" to my personal favorites "Things You Can Do To Eradicate Gender Or Multiply It Exponentially, " and "You Can't Be All You Can Be If You're DEAD." SCW's "terrorism" section mentions only the U.S.

At least SCW got one thing right. They know, as do most hard-core leftists, that change begins with the brainwashing of children to a particular worldview in which the U.S. is a terrorist and Che Geuvara is a hero, and it begins as early as possible.

Now if only kindergartners could vote, SCW and their ilk would have it made.

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