On Blogging in the Late Weimar Republic
Reading the headlines of Alltop.com’s “top education” sites‘ ((and we all know what a debatable claim that “top” is)) brings to mind the cover of the old Supertramp album, showing a man sunning himself in a bathing suit on a lounge chair, surrounded by grimy industrial waste. The album’s title? “Crisis? What Crisis?”
Economically, American banking deregulation has dragged the US, and the rest of the world, into a crisis creating comparisons to Depression Year 1937.
Politically, the McCain/Palin campaign is whipping up hatred that makes such sober and respected political commentators as conservative David Gergen openly express fear that civic violence could be the result – and others worry that the unthinkable return to political assassination is now possible.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration continues its assault on the constitution by violating the 200-year-old law of Posse Comitatus, which protects US citizens from being oppressed by their own military, by deploying an Army Brigade to police American streets, and be answerable only to him. Soldiers disobeying, say, an order to arrest members of Congress, or citizens protesting Wall Street, would be court-martialed and serve prison time for serving their democracy instead of their dictator.
And Sarah Palin, the naughty librarian (who can’t name anything she reads, and who may as well gyrate while she winkingly chants “Drill, Baby, Drill”) doesn’t care about the causes of global warming – a position I’m sure would not be shared, could we ask them, by the 25% of mammals now endangered worldwide.
Everything is Political – Except Edubloggers?
So how many education bloggers show the slightest indication, on their blogs, that they find addressing these crises worth “suspending their edublogging campaigns”?
Answer: a whopping 17 – out of the 130 blogs with over 600 posts on Alltop’s education page.
So without further ado,
The “I Didn’t Wordle as Rome Burned” Award
- The Chancellor’s New Clothes (Our Political Role Models: recommended)
- Iterating Towards Openness (Scary Sarah: recommended)
- ODonnell Web (McCain’s hate speech: recommended)
- History is Elementary (close reading of rescue bailout bill: recommended)
- Borderland (always recommended)
- Stephen Downes’ OLDaily (economy: recommended)
- Joanne Jacobs (on Ayers as still-revolutionary)
- NYC Educator (McCain’s anger issue)
- Piloted (teaching campaigning)
- My Wonderful World Blog (foreign policy debate)
- Assorted Stuff (on This American Life’s Wall Street podcasts)
- Facing History and Ourselves (educating about campaigning)
- Factchecked (gasoline as political issue)
- Education Week (Ayers smear)
- ASCD: In Service (education debate)
- The Fischbowl (debates 2.0)
- MindOH Blog (vote)
A Maverick’s Plea for Reform
I’m aware of the many reasons that educators might not openly advocate their political views. I can only hope it’s ye olde self-censoring fear for your jobs that causes this silence, instead of indifference or worse.
All I know is, for this month at least, there are more important things to spend time on than writing about classroom blogging policies, PLNs, global collaborations, Moodles and Nings and Wordles. ((Anyway, haven’t they all been written into the ground by now?))
A bit of reading on the Weimar Republic‘s failure, and replacement by a famous military dictatorship in the midst of an economic and military crisis – accompanied by extreme racism – might be a good place to start.
I’ve also enabled Diigo to post my daily bookmarks and annotations here. I’m on sabbatical this year, so decided to share what I have time to read. Feel free to check out my Stumbleupon bookmarks too.
I hate feeling like some silly Cassandra.
But I’d hate even more to be one of the Trojans who laughed at her.
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