Gym Teachers: Are They Disguised Gerbils?

The Curious Sources Of Moral Philosophy

Date

I read that a bunch of gym teachers all across the country have a knot in their knickers about, yes, dodgeball. They think it's bad juju. See, it's violent, like World War II. It teaches kids to be mean and hurt people and not be democratic. Worse, the kids might notice that some play better than others. Inequality. Uh-oh.

Anyway, they reckon we have to eliminate this scourge. I've got a better idea.

We'll take all the gym-teacher guys and gals and tie them together by their lingerie. The women may not have any, but we can send out to Victoria's Secret. We'll cover the whole cluster in sorghum syrup, roll them into a ball, and maybe sprinkle flour on them so they don't stick to things. Then we'll take them to Brazil and leave them in the rain forest.

There's got to be a gadget, like a duck call, that works with army ants.

Okay, boys and girls. Why, according to "education officials," is dodgeball the work of the devil? Here's a hint: The answer is that, if kids lost frequently, it might damage their. . . what?

(a) anterior zygopophyses

(b) complex body piercings

(c) CD collections

(d) self-esteem

How did you do?

A gal, name of Judith Young -- it says here she's honcha of some aggregation called the National Association for Sports and Physical Education -- allows as follows: "The notion of throwing things at people, pegging people with other objects, is a thing contrary to what we're teaching elsewhere in school -- being supportive of each other, working together." ("Peg" used to mean "throw," not "hit." Has the usage changed, or has the PE lady never played sand-lot ball?)

Anyway, that's what athletics is about, I guess, and school too -- being supportive. Not competing with the other kids and having a good time, not strength of character, or learning anything, and especially not, heaven forfend, excelling. No. Being supportive.

I imagine the beginning of the next Super Bowl, Cowboys against the Redskins. (Okay, that takes a lot of imagination). The announcer: "The coin is in the air . . . The Redskins have won the toss. . . they elect to have a good cry. The Cowboys will murmur support into their ears . . . ."

It gets worse. According to Judy the Nemesis of Pegged Objects, "strategies that compare one child's or one team's performance against others" are, uh, inappropriate. Some guy named Gubbine, a gym teacher, says you "want to keep away from competition." Sports without competition. Got it.

What's going on here of course is yet another effort toward impregnating the society with the three R's of education: Repressing of differences in performance, disguising differences between sexes, and infliction of psychotherapy.

The latter means the inculcation of the politics of, well, Judy. Which annoys me. I don't recall asking PE teachers, notoriously dumber than turnips, to instill granola-head values in my children. When you want profound questions of ethics and direction in life answered, do you go to some twittering emasculated bull-rabbit of a track coach?

Why, of course. Who else would you ask?

What we're really seeing is the discovery that, by taking away local control over schooling, morals, and behavior, and putting it in the hands of remote, unreachable organizations that often few have heard of and none can talk back to, you can reshape the nation against its will into whatever you want.

Judy is important not as a gym instructor, but as a representative of the Ruling Gas, the amorphous cloud of what are usually called "politically correct" people. They have insinuated themselves into the controlling bureaucracies of the nation. Their power is immense, and beyond influence. You may agree with their social philosophy. You may detest it. But you can't do anything about it. Judy, Hollywood, and the Supreme Court determine the things that really matter in this country, and they do it without the least need for your approval. They, not the president, not Congress, determine what we are.

The leveling and psychotherapy go far beyond the usual effort to make boys act like girls. One encounters the same homogenizing drive in the classroom. In particular, we must hide anything that suggests that one student is smarter than another. This haunting fear, that someone, somewhere, might be superior, and might know it, is the bedrock of education. If you looked at the average SATs of ed majors, you'd know why. While there are certainly exceptions, from whom I will get angry letters, on average teachers dislike academic excellence because they don't have it, can't teach it, haven't the foggiest idea what it is, and consequently resent the whole idea.

Children aren't fooled. They know who the smart kids are, and the dumb ones, and which ethnic groups perform and which don't -- and they know the same things about the teachers.

The schools can keep children from learning. They can't keep them from noticing.

The homogenizing impulse now runs through the entire country like bilge. We must all be identical. Notice that the male models in ads have smooth, hairless chests (nonthreatening, sexless if not feminine). In those dimwitted action movies with all the explosions, there has to be a 120-pound woman who slugs a bad guy with a punch that would frighten Mike Tyson. Men are urged to get in touch with their feminine side and be gentle and nurturing. Women are encouraged to become infantrypersons. Affirmative action achieves leveling by unabashed pretence.

Now what, I wonder, will happen when sexually homogenized kids with third-rate educations graduate from dumbed-down schools that have taught them that you don't have to compete -- and discover that you do? The government can't hire everybody.