My good friends Killcastro and Charlie Bravo have been babysitting this week despite the fact that Killcastro just landed a great new job and Charlie is in the process of moving to greener pastures in another state. I also love children, but I love children who don't speak back to me. And Killcastro and Charlie's kids do nothing but and with foul mouths, too. I mean their adopted blog children, the kids from Mr. Turner's class at New York's Castro-friendly Beacon (to Nowhere) School. It is at times like this that I believe in Divine Providence, for what else could have directed these young rebels without a clue to the two people on earth most adept at scrapping the plaque from the brains of those afflicted with cranial Crohn's disease?
With one exception (a Cuban-American student who didn't go), these kids might have profitted from their trip to Cuba if they had been able to enroll in the Literacy Campaign, not as alphabetizers but as the alphabetized. If this is the kind of education my taxdollars underwrite, I am all for cutting off funding for public education. Truly, if I were their teacher, I would probably have ended up a suicide. The funny thing is that they don't seem to have any inkling of just how stupid and illiterate they are. I guess this can be explained by the media's description of their school as "special" (in a good way) and "prestigious." They may be under the misapprehension that these juvenile delinquents are attending Stuyvesant or Bronx Science, but I am not. Those venerable NYC high schools have produced more Nobel Prize winners in the areas that count (that is, the sciences) than have most countries in the world. Their students are the real wunderkinder, not the denizens of the Beacon School, which is an "elite school" only because the parents are "elite" (read monied).
If the students from Beacon School are in the mood for a revolution, I would suggest starting one against this Mr. Turner and all their other teachers who have so ill-served them. And, yes, their parents too for shortchanging them one chromosome. "Oh, my God, you are a monster, how could you say this to kids." Perhaps because I care, and it's about time that someone did. Most of them are already 18 or older and will soon no longer have the excuse that they are "kids." Read their idiocies and inanities at Killcastro and then wonder why their Mr. Turner even tries to transform these hamburger brains into the new cadres of world revolution. Some conscripts and some revolution!
I also left them some advice at Killcastro, which I reproduce here:
To the best of my knowledge no New York City school teacher ever took his class to South Africa during the era of apartheid. If one had been so reckless as to try, he would have been immediately denounced by the principal and every other teacher at his school and known in the full extent of its meaning what it is to have the world fall on his head. The trip, of course, would never had happened even if it had cost the kids absolutely nothing. No right-thinking (or should that he "left-thinking") parent would have wanted to inject his son or daughter into such a volatile situation much less condone tourism to a country whose people could not travel abroad or even within the boundaries of their own country (as, incidentally, is still the case in Cuba, North Korea and nowhere else).
Although this hypothetical trip may not have been intended as an endorsement of the Afrikaaner government, it would certainly have been used for that purpose by its officials, as Beacon School's trip to Cuba was used by Castro's propagandists.
No doubt the visitors to South Africa would have returned extolling the beauty of the country and hospitality of its "beautiful people." And these students, too, would have defended the white supremacist teacher who "opened their eyes" about the "reality" of apartheid in South Africa. They may not all have become fans of Botha as all of Mr. Turner's students appear to have become fans (or apologists) for Castro, but they would certainly have taken from that trip perverted notions about human freedom which, if unchecked, might have made them photographic negatives of the pathetic Mr. Nat Turner.
Mr. Turner, incidentally, is the least vulnerable of all to the effects of this decision. Even if he is fired for violating the regulations of the NYC Education Department and the laws of the United States (which every American is free to question but not to break) that simply means that he will be sent on a sabbatical for life at full pay, which is the closest that you can come in NYC to firing a teacher who puts his students' lives in danger and brings discredit on his school and the entire system.
To the students of the Beacon School: You all agree that your trip to Cuba was an "enriching experience." How "enriching" was it? Surely at least $65,000's worth? Surely your parents can afford such a fine, or, if not, their salaries can always be garnished by the government and you can go to CUNY instead of Darmouth (though all but Devon are hardly fit for community college). And remember when you are undergoing those small economies that you have one man to thank for it — your beloved Mr. Turner, who cares as much about you and your future as Castro cares about his people.
P.S.: You all might consider getting jobs yourselves to help your parents pay the fines. Aw, forget it. Now I am being stupid.