Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Hidden Curriculum: A Social Factory

A rant by Yours Truly, Perpetually Bemused

                Within the institution of modern education lay two separate, yet equally pervasive, curriculums which prove to govern the lives, present and future, of our youth. The first, the advertised set of classes such as mathematics and history, is insignificant for the purposes of this discussion. The second, the hidden curriculum, is the one we need to recognize and is, in my opinion, perhaps the single most defining obstacle to social and moral progress. The Hidden Curriculum is ubiquitous in its quest to force a set of social expectations upon children when they are at their most malleable. The Hidden Curriculum can differ between schools depending upon the prevailing social status of its students, in order to fine-tune its social structure to perpetuate a system of inequality across the board.

                The unfortunate truth is that the hidden curriculum itself teaches ignorance of its own existence, and most people therefore do not recognize it as a harmful manifestation of the sociopolitical dominance of those in power and the perpetuation of a system that caters to the few. The largest problem is that what is “taught” are considered societal norms, and are therefore difficult to argue against, especially for a child, and the curriculum succeeds in masking itself in this way. Few are exceptions to this rule. Rebecca Walker, a premiere activist for feminism and equal rights, writes about this very subject in “Putting Down The Gun” when her son approaches her with problems. “Maybe girls will like me if I play sports” Rebecca Walker’s son confides in his mother, the hands of the hidden curriculum at work. “In a nutshell, the girls liked the jocks the best, and sometimes deigned to give the time of day to the other team, the computer nerds”. But why?

                The hidden curriculum seeks to enforce familial expectations, social roles, obedience, gender status, and the idea that dissent is unacceptable. In doing so, the education system acts as a factory; it pumps out “clones” if you will, who all share similar ideas about what is socially acceptable and what their place is within society. There are exceptions, of course, but not nearly enough to combat the problem. The majority of the population ends up behaving and believing the way the government wants them to. Girls like boys, boys like girls, men must make money and seek high paying jobs (private schools, upper middle class neighborhoods), no one must question the higher ups and men must do labor to be happy (working class families, inner city schools), men must be tough, aggressive and competitive, women must be devoted and emotional. A dichotomy is taught to form between man and woman. They are taught to be emotionally, physically, and “aspirationally” different. Men are prepared for office and war while women are prepared for motherhood. Walker recognizes this problem, though does not use the term “hidden curriculum” to describe it:
         “It occurred to me that my son was being primed for war, was being prepared to pick up a gun … It is a war against vulnerability, creativity, individuality, and the mysterious unknown.”

                From things as simple and difficult to argue as depicting a family as mommy and daddy, with daddy in a suit and tie and mommy in an apron, to things as difficult to spot as implied racism. But it is all taken in on a subconscious level by the student.

                Try to imagine a world without this hidden curriculum. A world where man and woman have more freedom to choose how they live their life and what they believe. A world where students are taught that dissent is to be celebrated, that gender is far more ambiguous than it is allowed to be, that men can be emotional and women can be competitive. Would there be a need for feminism? Social progress would be an inevitable byproduct of an enlightened people. The possibilities for humankind where man and woman are not shaped to perpetuate a broken system are endless. New governments, new economic systems, a renewed respect for the environment, a greater and more widespread, enlightened morality; these are all, as I see it, inevitable under a system without this hidden gender manufacturing.
If only.

PS Americans - Did you know that the Equal Rights Amendment, proposed way back in 1923, has yet to be incorporated into the Constitution? Ratified by 35 of the necessary 38 states, the equal rights amendment seeks to enforce equal rights for both sexes. That means equal pay for equal work, no discrimination on grounds of gender, and a general step in the right direction for moral and social progress.
It hasn’t passed yet. An amendment seeking equality HAS NOT PASSED. Way to go America.
Spread the word.
Also, this wasn't supposed to be funny so kiss my ass.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shitstorm incoming

I'm going to make a post soon. But not right now. I'm not even going to apologize for being gone for so long.

But I will say I'll try harder to be a better dad for you all.

Also I'm sorry I've been gone for so long; college apps and midterms wilted the erection that is my devotion to this blog. But they're done now, I was accepted, so I'm back.

I'm not even going to apologize for apologizing when I said I wasn't going to apologize.

Also, I was in New York a while ago, and this homeless guy looks straight at me and says
"Men get menopause too! I'm horny as a motherfucker!"
I didn't give him any money because the homeless should know about menopause.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Attempt At Being Funny And Entertaining

Oh wait nevermind. We all know that's not possible. So instead, I'll list out my favourite movies in no order because I know everyone cares. :)

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Now, Kubrik is kind of an awesome as hell director. He has the balls to make movies that are 1. creepy (The Shining, Clockwork Orange), 2. Unbelievably un-understandable (2001:A Space Odyssey [and don't even argue against this. Not possible]) and 3. What oh my god my eyes are in heaven (Full Metal Jacket). Dr. Strangelove is the best (yes best) black comedy that exists that I have heard of, and no doubt will it rock forever. The sympathetic president, the crazy german scientist, and the silly captain Mandrake. And all three men are played by the same man. That's how bad-ass this film is.

The Room
What? The Room? This monstrosity? How could this at any rate be called a good movie. Because so many critics have had their say about this movie, I will spare myself the time and recommend you watch the Nostalgia Critic's review of this wonderful movie.

Instead I give you: The Room: The Drinking game.
Basic idea of the game is that one drinks whenever:
1. "Oh Hi ...."
2. There is a spoon visible in the shot
3. "Tommy is such a good person", or any variation of this
4. "But Mark's Johnny's best friend!" or any variation
5. "Don't worry about it!"
6. Lisa is beautiful
7. Horribly awkward sex scene with amazingly sensual music in the background. (Bonus Round: Every thurst into a navel is double the drink)
8. People take surprisingly dramatic news with casual nonchalance
9. Every time Lisa is bored
10. The Golden Gate Bridge
11. Nonsequitor football throwing (Bonus Round: double drinks for every person in a tuxedo while throwing said football)

So to be expected, that night did not end well for anyone involved.

Shaun of the Dead
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are not a force to be reckoned with. I love zombies, and I love Simon Pegg, there is no reason why this is not a funny movie.

Speaking of zombies, although this is a classy and entertaining 'spoof' of the whole genre, I still doubt anything will ever beat Night of the Living Bread (1990).

And now because I am incapable of writing anything of proper length, I'm going to not write anymore. Also because I am lazy. Ha ha.

Monday, October 11, 2010

List of Soil-your-pants-Awesome people I met in Australia

Okay, first of all, I would like to denounce some rumours that has been floating around.

I've heard a person say that I am not the funniest writer in this blog, and that the only thing I do is make excuses for myself not to write.

First of all, fuck you, dear reader.
I am what is keeping this blog alive. You see, Perpetually Bemused (i.e. Travis) has gone AWOL, and Niina (i.e. Nina. Originality is not a virtue given to all creatures in this world, I do not judge) is simply a complete waste of space.

Therefor, I am god as far is it comes to you, dear reader.

Now, about my trip to Australia!
There were four highlights to this trip. Or rather, four people who made me need to change my pants, simply because anyone in their close proximity soiled themselves out of sheer awe for their awesomeness. I will now list them in the order of awesome.

4. Turban-Pilot.
Turban-Pilot was the guy who flew us from Cambodia to Malaysia. You might not think much of him, being a pilot for a shitty low-cost airline company, however, he has one major thing that makes all your arguments invalid.
He has a turban. He isn't Indian, so he's not Hindu. He isn't Arab, so he's not a muslim. Why does he have a turban? Because FUCK YOU, that's why.

3. Homeless and Potentially mentally ill Afro-dude.
HPA (Homeless and Potentially mentally ill Afro-dude) doesn't give a shit about what you think. He's 70, he's white, he's Australian. But he really loves Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction, so he will have none of your shit. He wears a gray jumpsuit and sneakers, has a goatee and an Afro. He also talks to himself in a scary manner, but we'll leave what he said out of the blog, as it will seriously make this post less humerous and a lot more sad.

2. Construction-Worker Santa
Exactly what it says on the tin. He's a construction worker. Who looks just like Santa. Except he's a construction worker.
I actually saw a fucking kid yell "IT'S SANTA!"

Yes, kids! During the other 11 months of the year, Santa works as a low-payed construction worker in the shithole that is the Australian outback. The more you know!

1. Redbearded Muslim Dude.
RMD is the king of awesomeness. This dude has the whole boring, Muslim style over himself. The classical white clothing, the hat and HOLYFUCKHEHASAREDBEARD!
This guy has colored his black, long, thick beard entirely red.

.... Do I need to say more? This dude is fucking hardcore. He fights the system, and with a beard like that, the system doesn't fight back.
Appearently, The Ginger I have living in my closet (others call it my brother, whatever) tells me that appearently the Prophet Muhammed colored his hair red, and not only with the blood of his enemies! (Though, knowing muslims, that was probably an essential part in hair dye.)

Appearently, long before the Dead Kennedys sang about Holidays in Cambodia (approximately 1600 years), the Muslims were rocking red beards, fighting the Christian Regime, having like 16 wives and just doing all this crazy ass shit. Dear god, I had no idea Islam was so Punk Rock.
Thank you Redbeard Muslim Dude! Thank you for enlightening me.
Now we know!

See? I told you....

Well, that's all folks. For now.
I'd like to see Niina sit down and write a post with more than 20 words. In your face, bitch!