Middle Schoolers vs 20th Century Music

July 12, 2012

Class with the middle-schoolers is going as well as could be expected. They’ve learned the basics of an argument and how to transition from one point to another. They have a good grasp on grammar and what I expect from them. Today, we had one final assignment to see how well they could articulate an argument…

I played clips of pop songs from the 1950’s onward, everything from Chuck Berry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, and Lady Gaga. They had to either explain why one era was better than another, which one was the worst, or some other argument that brought the history of American pop together.

In case you’re wondering, we played “Johnny B. Goode” (Chuck Berry), “Under My Skin” (Frank Sinatra), “Folsom Prison Blues” (Johnny Cash), “Hard Day’s Night” (The Beatles), “Sympathy for the Devil” (The Rolling Stones), “Purple Haze” (Jimi Hendrix), “Paranoid” (Black Sabbath), “Last Dance” (Donna Summer), “Sweet Home Alabama” (Lynyrd Skynyrd), “Thriller” (Michael Jackson), “Walk This Way” (Aerosmith and Run-DMC), “Master of Puppets” (Metallica), “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana), “Changes” (Tupac), “You Oughtta Know” (Alanis Morissette), “Seven Nation Army” (The White Stripes), “The Stranger” (Perfect Circle), “Bad Romance” (Lady Gaga), “Party Rock Anthem” (LMFAO), “ET” (Katy Perry), and some Arcade Fire.

For the most part, the kids did pretty well. They put forth coherent arguments for everything from why the 60’s had the best music to why Lady Gaga ruined pop music and why Michael Jackson was the epitome of 80’s pop. I may not have agreed with them on everything, but they had a solid grasp of the mechanics.

And I also found out I am getting old. And now cue the inevitable “Kids Say the Darnest Things” list.

  • Jimi Hendrix died ten years ago.
  • Lady Gaga ruined music forever! I just don’t know how to explain it.
  • This music is really bad. No one remembers Sinatra, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones!
  • That’s Mitch Jagger?! How old is he? (The clip was from the mid-60’s)
  • Wait, that’s not a new video! It’s black and white!
  • Nirvana popularized heavy metal.
  • Which one has been performing longer? Aerosmith or Steven Tyler?
  • I like the older music because they don’t curse or talk about bad things (We had JUST finished listening to “Sympathy for the Devil).

Now, most of these aren’t really their fault. They’re young, but their reactions to music made before 2000 was the kind of reaction I had watching a Lady Gaga video. It wasn’t pretty. It does, however, follow the pattern of my students either not caring or not appreciating older styles and songs.

Or maybe I’m just getting old.

I was going to try and put the video they watched here, but the file’s too big and Youtube won’t let me post it for copyright reasons. Still, feel free to look up the songs yourself. The playlist is right up there.

See you after the weekend, folks!

Private Tutors Make HOW Much?!

June 28, 2012

Ever get the feeling you were really in the wrong job? Okay, maybe that’s too broad a phrase, so let me put it another way. Ever have the feeling that you loved your job but would be so much happier without certain individuals?

Okay, that just makes me sound like a psycho-killer about to gun everyone down in an orgy of violence.

Let me rephrase that.

I love tutoring. I love helping others become better writers. I enjoy making presentations and teaching SAT classes and teaching middle-schoolers, and running an ESL class and-

Are we seeing the pattern?

Recently, though, this article struck me like a hammer full of Thors. That were also trains. It seems that, in New York City, a private tutor can get anything from $150 to $300 per hour. Let me put that into perspective. If I were to privately tutor here, I could be expected to charge anywhere from $15 to $25 depending on the subject, time, and a host of other factors. Even teaching a class pays about $30 an hour when you average it out. Oh, and my regular job pays even LESS than private tutoring. And it’s part-time only. Because the university can’t afford to pay us full-time wages.

The article raises a few points. The tutor who is the central focus of the article claims that sometimes it’s not so much tutoring as it is managing. She does basically what a parent would do in a normal situation: make sure the kid got his or her homework done.  That’s not really tutoring. That’s… well, that’s babysitting.

The article also mentions something which I wish parents would get through their heads: not every kid is special. Some eat paste. Some don’t want to try. Some are so thick-headed and spoiled from years of their parents giving them everything and treating them like royalty that we, the tutors, are seen as little more than “the help.” I swear to you that one kid at one of our camps was given a brand new car when he was fourteen. FOURTEEN! He totaled it (as one would expect), and his parents just bought him a new car.

If I could get paid even $30 an hour for the job that I do, which is WAY more than resource management, I would be happy. I realize a private tutor makes more because the hours are not consistent and they often-times see one or two students a day, and this may only go on for a short while… but WE have to see hundreds of students every semester on top of creating the content for presentations, then giving said presentations, reading their books to make sure we’re caught up, and many of us are also qualified to teach as instructors.

Stories like this make me sick. It’s one thing to be wealthy. If you earned your way to the top, good for you, but please understand that this colossal waste of money makes those of us living on a bean and rice diet out of necessity a bit uppity. It makes us uncomfortable. It lets us now that as the middle class suffers, some people can still dole out a week of our pay for a single hour of glorified baby-sitting.

There’s no moral here. Just needed to get this off my chest.

The Evil Cult of Lenoir City, Tennessee

Not pictured? Evil secular people who want to overthrow Christianity by practicing their own beliefs in private. MONSTERS!

May 8, 2012

I think I’m starting to realize that a lot of religious people seem to be confusing “religious persecution” with “I’m not the center of the universe.” Case in point…

A school in Lenoir City, Tennessee has found itself in some controversy. Atheist students have complained that it’s very difficult being a non-believer in a school where teachers and students are encouraged to pray and Judeo-Christian worldviews are expected of everyone. Obviously, a place so entrenched in religious fundamentalism would not be a comfortable environment for… well, anyone who was not Christian. Did I mention this was in the context of a public school?

Well, as you can imagine, the fine folks at Lenoir City saw right through these heathens’ plot. By asking to be treated as equals and for the First Amendment to be enforced in a public building, they were obviously looking to ban Christianity from the world.

Rowan Atkinson on Freedom of speech by ~AAtheist on deviantART
Let me explain this one more time for the children.

A public institution cannot show preference to any single belief system. That means government bodies, schools, and others cannot make religious practices part of their official policy. However, individual members can still practice their religion as long as they don’t encroach on the rights of others to practice, or not practice at all, whatever they believe. For some reason, Christian conservatives take this to be an attack on religion when they’re free to worship as they see fit. They just can’t force others to do so.

I have a question for all these fundamentals. Do you think that not making something mandatory will force people to do it? Will making gay marriage legal make us gay? Will allowing others to practice their faith and not feel persecuted make them leave Christianity?

Actually… that may be it.

Church attendance has dropped in recent decades. At the same time, religious fervor has increased. It’s the death throes of a wounded, dying animal. As secularism and multiculturalism take hold, religious bigots see that behavior they once saw as taboo is becoming accepted and their fear they may give in to their own urges. Maybe they really don’t believe and make religious claims out of social pressure. Maybe they want out. Maybe they’re really gay and that self-hatred gets projected.

Atheism Collage by ~Mcnicky on deviantART

Maybe they’re just idiots. Actually, this reminds me of when Hannity was appalled that liberals had the audacity to speak out and fight back against conservatives. If these religious idiots are right, the atheists are going to spend an eternity in hellfire. What el

Whatever the case may be, they’ll lose in the end. With that being said, enjoy the weekend, I’ll see you Monday, and stay tuned. “Élves With Shotguns” will premier as soon as it gets the go-ahead from RPGNow.

Here’s the cover, for anyone interested.

It's either a small elf... or a BIG gun.

Bill Nye vs Texas and Conservatives Try Science

It's clearly Photoshopped. There are no stars! (and if you need me to explain why that's so stupid, please consider why you can't see stars during the DAY)

May 4, 2012

Now that “Elves With Shotguns” is in the final stage of production and all I have to do is wait for RPGNow to approve the pdf for publication, I can finally sit back and enjoy the fruitful political and social discourse streaming through America’s media.

By that, of course, I mean foam at the mouth at the utter lack of comprehension at 3rd grade science. Three instances in the last few weeks have left me wondering why conservatives want to gut education since, besides a mountain of evidence that shows a strong public education would help our country, conservatives themselves show their own glaring ignorance of basic scientific concepts.

Limbaugh’s Concept of Science

Rush “Hindenburg of Sexism” Limbaugh is no stranger to denying climate change. He took it a step further recently when he claimed that global climate change created by human interference was a fraud because so many scientists agreed on it. It must be heard to be believed.

Here’s Rush’s argument. Science is not based on opinions. He has that part correct. No self-respecting scientist would agree with a new theory based solely on popular opinion. Here’s the part Rush left out: so many scientists agree with climate change because they have analyzed the data or otherwise performed their own experiments based on repeatable observations. That’s what scientific consensus means.

Scientists get behind a theory when a LOT of them can replicate experiments or verify that data and experiments were accurate. It’s not a popularity contest. By this logic, here are a few more things Rush must not believe in:

  • Evolution
  • The Big Bang
  • Geologic models of the earth
  • Gravity
  • The existence of extra-solar planets
  • Pi
  • The effectiveness of modern medicine

It does, however, reflect modern American conservative thinking: if there is evidence you are wrong, the evidence itself must be wrong.

abortion by ~marsmar on deviantART

Arizona Protects Imaginary Babies

The debate over abortion and taking away abortion rights is part of the larger war on women the GOP has been waging in recent years. Arizona also has the distinction of having some of the dumbest lawmakers in the country. Now that’s something to be proud of. This one, though, takes the cake.

From the Huffington Post:

Aside from banning all abortions after 20 weeks, defined from the date of the woman’s last period instead of conception except in the case of medical emergency, it will force women considering abortion because of fetal abnormalities to have counseling [sic], and for women having an abortion to have an ultrasound.

It also says the age of a foetus [sic] is “is calculated from the first day of the last [woman’s] menstrual period.”

Got that? In Arizona, you can be legally pregnant before you conceive. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Aside from the morally reprehensible act of denying women a basic medical treatment that is legal in the rest of the country simply because one ideology is against it, let’s consider the ramifications of this, okay? A woman can now retroactively be considered pregnant when she wasn’t. This opens up a whole can of legal worms. If they’re so set on making sure the potential for life remains, why not make it illegal to have wet dreams while they’re at it?

Seems as logical.

Bill Nye funny by ~Irish156 on deviantART

Bill Nye vs Texas

Bill Nye is one of my childhood heroes. The man made science fun and he’s been going and teaching for years now. The man will become a legend in his own right.

But Texas doesn’t like him. In fact, it seems Texas doesn’t like science.

Nye was in [Waco] to participate in McLennan Community College’s Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.

But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”

The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled “We believe in God!” and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they’d always suspected.

Yes, folks. It appears that pointing out the moon does not glow, a fact we can prove because we have PICTURES TAKEN ON THE SURFACE, is now an affront to Christians. Let me tell you something… if your beliefs are so fragile that having someone call out a two-thousand year old document that uses poetry to describe the world as being a two-thousand year-old document that uses poetry to describe the world… you need help.

And Bill Nye, I know I wasn’t there, but being a resident in this state, I feel I should apologize. Please come back. We have beer and brisket and Mexican grandmothers that know how to cook.

And now, let’s enjoy a trailer for a horror movie that actually looks interesting. See you Monday, and stay tuned for more updates and news on Randomology Games and the upcoming “Elves With Shotguns.”

You CAN Make Stupidity Legal!

Show here? A typical school where creationism is a viable theory.

April 18, 2012

Let’s make a deal, conservatives. You get to teach religion in science class when liberals get to teach science in church. You get to preach creationism if we get to come in and explain the inaccuracies of the sun standing still, a world-wide flood, and a six-thousand year-old planet with sentient life.

Tennessee has what it calls an “academic freedom bill.” They want to make sure teachers have the freedom to teach and question, to make sure children are exposed to new ideas so they may have a well-rounded education.

Sounds good. Except for the part where everything about it is actually an attempt to teach creationism in public schools. Let’s break this down.

Creationism Disclaimer by ~muxis on deviantART

The bill specifically mentions “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” as theories and concepts that need to be analyzed and questioned. That should already make alarm bells start ringing in your ears, but here’s the kicker: the bill was based on legislation drafted by the Discovery Institute. This is a group that’s been pushing for intelligent design for years and, time after time, it gets its hide handed back to it by judges who know what they’re doing.

This bill, though, is intelligent design wrapped up to look like “freedom.”

It’s the same call of “freedom” that the 1% wants when it insists it can’t pay its fair share. It’s the same “freedom” libertarians want whenever they say they want to get rid of social programs and regulations in the name of ideology. It’s the same freedom espoused by racists when they claim they want to right to treat others like crap.

A science class is a place where facts are shown and theories discussed. It is a fact that the Earth has been getting much warmer than previous centuries. It’s also a fact that the geologic formations on this planet required billions of years to form. The theories that explain these observations are based on decades of investigation. To throw them away and put them on the same level as unproven, unscientific theories based on religious teachings is to put science on the same level as the guessing game involving a jar of jelly-beans.

Frankly, I thought Texas and Arizona were tied for “Most Willfully Ignorant” states. Arizona is already going to teach the Bible as it pertains to science. Looks like it’s a three-way race now, folks!

And now, let’s all bask in the glory that is the King of Pop versus the King of Rock.

Laredo Students, Listen Up

This is your load of expectations from me, your teacher. Wear a cup.

April 12, 2012

I make no secret out of the fact that I can’t stand stupidity. Stupidity, as I define the term, is willful ignorance. This can be either not wanting to learn something you need to know or simply ignoring what has been established as reliable information. Not everyone can know everything. I know this. I’m ignorant of cellular biology mostly because it’s not something that I’ve had to learn in my career, for example. I know enough to know what cells are and how they work, but I couldn’t name all the parts of the cell and their functions if I tried.

That being said, I do expect my students to at the very least pay attention and learn what they need to learn from me so they can become better writers.

Writing may seem like an easy class or something you just have to take for the sake of getting that credit, but it’s more important than that. I’m going to speak specifically about the experience I’ve had in Laredo, Texas over the last six years, but I’m sure teachers in other parts of the country can attest to what I’ve seen and heard.

Students, listen up.

Wisdom by ~MothersHeart on deviantART

You have a LOT of options. If you decide you want to get the most out of your schoolwork, ask questions. Talk to professors, tutors, instructors, anyone and everyone who can help you. You’re supposed to learn critical thinking. It’s not about memorizing facts. Anyone can learn basic sentence structure. It takes creativity and critical skills to make a poem, though.

That being said, I’d appreciate it if some students would please at least work on the appearance of giving a crap. This doesn’t apply to everyone. Don’t take it that way, please. I’ve had wonderful students, both as a writing consultant and an instructor. I’d say most of my students are either curious to learn or genuinely didn’t know that they didn’t know they didn’t know something.

I don’t even have to forgive that. There’s nothing to forgive.

What I can’t forgive is the student who is told how to do something, in various ways, and refuses to do so out of sheer laziness or a misplaced sense of wisdom grown from years of being a teenager. I’m sure writing Facebook posts made you learn all kinds of fun emoticons, but your other instructors and I did a little more work learning our trade.

Even worse is the student that knows he or she can do better but does just enough work to get by? That’s insulting. I put in good work to teach a class. I use videos, music, and anything and everything to make the learning experience stick. If I have to come in dressed as a hobbit, damn it, I will come in dressed as a hobbit if I think it will help. I put 100% into every class.

And I know my students have resources. You have the internet, tutoring centers, office hours, and your teachers. There is NO reason to not try. It’s not like there are no options.

Let me put it this way. Three years ago, I taught a Developmental English class. Basically, the students in that class did not have the necessary writing skills to enter the university, but the university let them in on the condition that they pass said class. In other words, they didn’t meet minimum requirements, and the school let them slide if they improved WHILE THEY STARTED TAKING CLASSES.

For the most part, the class went well. Then, I gave a simple homework assignment that could have been done in two hours. Four people turned it in.

I let them have it. Let me paraphrase what I told them…

Anger by ~velinov on deviantART

How DARE you not try? How dare you walk into a class, unprepared, and expect me to respect you? You didn’t meet the requirements to enter this institution, and yet we have policies, and an entire department, devoted to whipping you into shape to make it as a productive member of this school so you can learn and earn the degree you need to pursue your career… and you have the BALLS to walk into MY class, without your work, and expect me to teach you?

I don’t know everything, but I know this. I have three simple rules in every class I’ve ever taught: give me your best, respect everyone in the room, and do not interrupt me. You break the first two at the same time? We have problems.

School costs money. If you’re not paying for it, you’ve got loans, grants, or your parents are paying for it. Someone is bleeding money so you can study. How dare you not try? It’s not like the resources aren’t there. Sure, some subjects are harder for some people than others, but at least try.

Like I’ve said before… if you stop trying, you lose. Simple as that.

Now get back out there and show me, and every other educator you’ve ever had, that you at least give a damn.

You don’t buy a diploma when you enter college. You buy the opportunity to earn one. At least make an effort to pretend you care.

And to those of you that DO care and try… you make my day every time I sit with you and see how much you’ve learned. To all of you, thank you.

You’re the students that make teaching worthwhile. Keep it up.

Now enjoy one of the most epic pieces of music from one of the most epic songs of the last decade…

The Ultimate Writer Confession

There are a dozen reasons I should quit, but...

March 27, 2012

Whenever my students tell me they’re scared to try, I laugh inside. They tell me they’re afraid of looking stupid. They don’t want to feel bad if things go south. If something happens and they don’t succeed, they’re afraid of what others will say.

Really? Let me tell you how the adults play…

In 2005, I asked one of the most highly acclaimed experts on speculative fiction in the country to be one of the men in charge of grading my thesis, an anthology that is now the upcoming Charcoal Streets. He and two other men who were experts in their fields had very good things to say, but some not so nice ones, too. This was one of two theses I had to write in the span of one year.

Stress by ~DinoChocoholic on deviantART

Two years later, I moved to Indiana for all of a week before getting a call from a United States congressman who wished for me to write speeches for him. After packing up, moving to DC, and following a series of events I cannot discuss due to some legal documents best left unmentioned, I had to leave, thousands of dollars in debt, in what I can only describe as a humiliating experience that left me battered and emotionally and financially wrecked.

I had one strand of hope, though. A motivational speaker, one of the best in the country, hired me to edit his novel. After some work, I suggested he get a ghostwriter and get sections rewritten since, as a writer, I could not give the final product my okay since my job was just to check for minor errors. He hired me on the spot and I rewrote a good third of his novel. It’s now one of his top sellers.

After contracting me to ghostwrite a new novel, from start to finish, he ended the contract because he wanted to go in a different direction. There went a good $35,000 dollars and six months of work.

A year later, I got work with a man who wanted me to write for him. He and I collaborated on a documentary I wrote and narrated after he and his crew went on what can only be described as guerilla filmmaking. In a span of a few hours, I wrote the script, we later recorded it, and we put it out for the world to see. I was in for a job writing for documentaries that exposed the things people didn’t want to see… and that ended in a meltdown that I chronicled here

Combine that with the three family members I lost last year, the stress of teaching, only being able to find part-time work, and you’d think I would have given up by now.

Hope by ~AmateurExpert92 on deviantART


Randomology Games is up and running. The first gaming book, Elves with Shotguns, is in the final phase of writing and art design, and I’m planning future books while working on the anthology Charcoal Streets, due out in the fall come hell or high water.

Why? Why do it? Every other major financial and professional break has gone bust and left me broke, depressed, and at the edge of my rope. Every one of these jobs ended due to petty egos and greed. I’ve been used by people and left with nothing but enough gas to get home, sometimes not even that.

Why should I hope for more out of this next venture?

…Why not?

Mamma didn’t raise no fool? No. Mamma didn’t raise a quitter. I’m going to keep going as long as I can type. I’m going to make something of myself, I’m going to have my name in print, and I’m going to look after the people close to me and the only way someone’s going to stop me is by killing me. I’m not going to stop. I’ll type with broken fingers in a burning house, but you can’t stop me. No one can. I’ll fail, I’ll get drunk, punch the wall and break my hand, but I won’t stop.

That’s why I laugh when students tell me they’re afraid to make a mistake. They should see how the big dogs play. We make mistakes all the time.

If you can’t take it, don’t even play. I’ve failed dozens of times. I only have to get it right once.

Conservatism and Low IQ Link?

I wasn't about to waste an egg on this. I like eggs.

February 3, 2012

You know that stereotype that you have to be really dumb to be racist in a world as connected as ours? That it takes a really thick skull to not accept that we are all more alike than different? Even better, there’s my theory that you have to be purposefully ignorant to vote Republican when the entire party’s mission is to give more money to rich.

We now have proof that not only are conservatives dumb, but racists are also dumb. And we did science!

It seems a new study shows that low IQs are linked to racism and conservatism. Let’s make one thing clear, though: IQ tests are very controversial. They don’t account for cultural or socioeconomic background. That being the case, I should also point out that it’s almost impossible to completely account for every variable in a study dealing with people over such a long stretch of time.

A Decaying Mind by ~snowbean on deviantART

However, it looks as though the researchers did a pretty good job, and they’re not claiming that all conservatives and racists have low IQs. I think this gentleman here put it best. Correlation is not causation. It’s too early to tell if a low IQ really does link to conservatism and racism, but for me, I’ll take it.

What? I’m ignoring the scientific method in order to broadcast my own beliefs about someone? Have I gone over to the dark side?!

No. I’ve lived. I’m basing this on my own first-hand experiences.

Losing My Mind by ~57RIK3R on deviantART

One of the early articles on this site explained that most liberals had a college degree. This, conservatives claimed (and still claim) meant that universities were indoctrinating students into a liberal mindset. Another likely explanation, though, is that an education and being forced to live and work with people of varied backgrounds help people to be more open-minded. Exposure to new ideas allows us to see that there are more than just simple answers to complex problems. From my experience, such an environment can change a conservative into a liberal, or at least make a conservative more centered.

The crux of the explanation is that a low IQ can translate into low critical thinking skills. Lacking such skills, someone tends to gravitate towards simple solutions and simple worldviews. Conservatism and racism both offer the easy view that things are the way they are or entire groups of people can be classified by a few simple stereotypes.

This IS USA by ~tim-grave on deviantART

America is great (if we ignore the genocide thing).

All Mexicans are lazy (except they do the back-breaking labor Americans won’t do for the same price).

We need to defund Planned Parenthood because they do abortions (even though abortions are a tiny percentage of the health care Planned Parenthood provides to women who can’t afford that healthcare otherwise).

This is a Christian nation because “In God We Trust” (ignoring the fact that our founding principles are actually counter to key Judeo-Christian beliefs).

Lack of critical thinking is a terrible thing, but the Right’s actually turned it into a positive trait to have. Don’t go to college. Don’t read liberal websites. Don’t think about it too much. Be as the children. Also, don’t expose the children to any new information or else they’ll start question the beliefs we’ve forced on them.

Does a low IQ mean you’ll be conservative or racist? Not necessarily. But it helps.

See you all on Monday, and don’t forget to visit the Youtube channel, share those videos, and keep sharing links!

Let’s all now share some Jason Statham playing the same character he’s played in 95% of his movies.

Tennessee Will Make Your Children Dumb

Proud patriots! All of them. And none owned slaves*

January 23, 2012

I am not part of American history. My ancestors fought and toiled and help build this country into the superpower it is today. Two hundred years ago, slaves built this country on orders of men who claimed everyone was equal. The vast expanse of our nation was cleared of the indigenous populations to make room for a newly born democracy. The thousands who died so colonists would have free land are now remembered with shame. While America has many great qualities, its history is filled with blood and hypocrisy. It’s not that we can’t be better, but to ignore the past is to live a lie.

That lie, it seems, is preferred for the Tea Party. Go figure.

FRANKLIN by *INFPartist on deviantART

In Tennessee, the Tea Party is trying to remove all mentions of slavery and genocide from American history. Why? To make the Founding Fathers look good. According to the so-called patriots:

The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

“The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at,” said Rounds, whose website identifies him as a Vietnam War veteran of the Air Force and FedEx retiree who became a lawyer in 1995.

Let that sink in. We want to tell the truth about our country’s history. But the truth is only whatever these clowns want to tell. “Truth,” then, is a purposely distorted view of history that leaves out parts the Tea Party doesn’t even contest are false. In the same breath where they whine about distortions, they want to leave out key facts they acknowledge to be true. I have written about this before, and I’m glad Tennessee is continuing the grand tradition Texas began of dumbing down education for the sake of politics and ideology.

WW2 – The Golden Age of Propaganda – No. 8 by ~violinmerchant on deviantART

There is, of course, a difference between “facts” and “truth.” A fact is a universally accepted piece of evidence. Was JFK shot? Yes. Did the Founding Fathers have slaves while they wrote “all men are created equal”? Yes. Do Michael Bay movies almost universally suck? That’s a given.

“Truth” is what you make out of the facts, and the more facts you have, the better the “truth” becomes. It was once truth that the sun revolved around the Earth. We worked with the fact that sun moved through the sky and we didn’t feel we were moving. Eventually, we learned more facts and the truth become more complex, culminating with our current cosmological models.

If we cut enough facts for convenience, we can make any argument.

Jeffrey Dahmer was a great cook persecuted for his unorthodox lifestyle.

Bush developed a strategy that good troops into the Middle East and secured much-needed oil, helping American businesses.

Stephanie Meyer wrote a series of books praised by millions.

Newt Gingrich would be a great president because he is charismatic and women love him.

That last one, by the way, has also been argued.

I wish I could stop being surprised at crap like this. I wish I could say I wasn’t shocked to hear that someone wanted to stifle actual education and replace it with a political agenda. The sheer blatant lie, the fact that the Tea Party wants to lie about history and is up-front about it because they don’t like what actually happened, shouldn’t shock me like this.

I guess that’s what I get for still having faith in my countrymen.

Let’s wash all that bad mojo with Liam Neeson fighting wolves. He truly can make anything ten times more awesome.