Whee, this is fun. I hate to go two political entries in a row, but this is necessary. I think my brain just went "China Syndrome." (Sorry, Rod!)
I guess humor has found its way into the kiddies' section at your local Barnes & Noble Bookseller. Katharine DeBrecht and Jim Hummel have written and illustrated a book titled Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed! I saw this on the news today and couldn't help but sigh. Parents, you can combat liberal indoctrination perpetrated by 99% of today's media by purchasing this little book, reading it into your iPod, and setting the looped recording at your sleeping children's bedside 7 days a week, until like a miracle, your children will begin quoting long passages from the book without knowing how they knew all this stuff!
Seriously, I'd rather teach a child to think for himself, and try showing him/her both sides of the political spectrum, than practice any sort of preachy indoctrination. That way lies madness. But then again, by asking them to choose, aren't I (gasp) practicing liberalism? Oh no!
Just for shits and giggles: take out "liberal" from the title and insert any describer that happens to apply to you. Would you be offended? Chances are you aren't alone.
No, I haven't read the book, and apparently the people who "reviewed" it on amazon.com are all bald-faced liars, because on said news program, they said it doesn't come out until late September. Anything I say now, those unaffiliated with my liberal leanings will say, is rampant speculation and is ugly, ugly, hideous ranting based on conjecture rather than fact. (paging Mr. Hannity...) I say the mere fact that there is a book out there whose purpose is to convert young, impressionable minds to a specific school of thought, no matter whether conservative or even liberal, is wrong. That's called propaganda, folks, and it doesn't get any wronger than marketing it to kids. Kids who cannot possibly understand the complexities of what it means to be "left-wing" or "right-wing." You know, little future politicos (not present ones) who think wings are things associated with flying animals and angels?
And if--if--this is a satire, then it's in poor taste, because kids don't recognize satire. Not only that, the best satires, the best expressions of views, are done quietly, subtextually, slickly. From the information I've seen so far on this book, it's got all the subtlety of a door spring-loaded with spikes from a James Bond movie, or the laser Goldfinger had aimed at 007's crotch. This book just perpetuates the hideous stereotype of conservatives as illiterate lunkheads. (Which they are, but--aww, skip it. Hiya, choir! I preach to thee!)
Life experience is a better teacher. Indoctrination at an early age is a tactic used by people fearful what their children will grow up to become. It's a tool of the weak. (It was also a tool of the Soviets, and the Nazis used it on the Hitler Juden with anti-Semitic stories.) Why use obvious parodies of Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy as shining examples of "the enemy" if not to breed contempt in young minds for the real people? (Hint: one of them's on the Presidential short list for '08.) A better question to ask in this instance is: why are conservatives such as the authors of this book so afraid of letting their children grow up and think for themselves? Why do they want to instill this kind of hatred and cynicism in their kids?
Kids, if your parents try reading you this book, get the gun out of their top drawer (crawl up so you can reach), and shoot them. Parents, if you are thinking about getting this book to read to your kids, take some Zoloft, and if that doesn't work, refer to what I'd have your kid do.
Remember folks, smart people are not (necessarily) evil. Dumb people can be leagues more dangerous.