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Jane-Howard Hammerstein: "You Can’t Handle the Truth" … Col. Jessup (a/k/a Jack Nicholson)

By Huffington Post
October 29, 2010

And we the people of the United States of America can’t handle democracy. After 234 years in the attempt, we’ve never met the challenge. High-tech evidence and low-tech proof are all around us. In 3-D, Dolby 0.5 and 24 MP; on furious faces and hateful placards, in frustrated screams plus shallow stentorian hate mongers/hucksters/rainmakers/preying mantises up close and personal. Don’t for a minute think winning wars and conquering polio alter that.

Most of us came here ignorant and, with the soothings of a second sons, stayed ignorant, bred for stamina and guts, never knowing about The Big ToolBox that would have aggrandized those qualities.

Tools aren’t prissy or elite. Tools and the skills for using them give us choices; without them (tools) we have few or nil (choices). And, no, we’re not Just As Good As Anyone Else if we settle for being denied by the anyone elses our needs for full and satisfying participation. Toolbox, toolbox, toolbox. And “world class education” is the same meaningless blather as “our brave soldiers …”: a catchphrase to cover lack of contact with the worlds behind the words. Start talking about it. In houses, beds, boardrooms, bars, trains, buses and churches. Or don’t: default. Your/our choice.

One big tool in the box: no children should ever be told they have to go to school: they get to go to school. Parents must cheer them on, and parents must learn from what they bring home … not that they have to either, but that they get to as well.

We’ve been and remain sucker-punched by our lazy frightened willingness to accommodate ignorance, hoping for bliss. It hasn’t happened; it won’t happen. Multitudes yowl to throw this congress out, the very one we each voluntarily put in and empowered. Are we having a good time with it all?

I’ll quote my father when I asked if 3rd year Latin …. sorry, the story won’t work without that reference … had made a wonderful difference in his adult years and career. “You’re not in school to learn Latin; you’re in school to learn how to learn.”

The Big ToolBox.

Start demanding it and facilitating it now. This year, this week, today. It’ll serve us better than any other example of might and power. And it will teach us something new: the calm and adventure of wisdom.

Few of us are stupid; most of us are ignorant. Few can shift that dynamic; all can. Or demand and effect nothing and yet again stumble into petulant seething marginalized mobs. Your/our choice.

From The Huffington Post