Friday, October 21, 2005

The Long Bow

Poetry is in many respects the art form of the "long bow". Hence the expression "poetic licence". And that's what this little blog is going to be all about - the breathless leap into the abyss, the "big call" - anything but the "well-that's what the computer is telling me" 21st century drone.

On the subject of which, I saw an article in the Sydney Morning Herald today headed "Schools failing to pass on values." There seems to be an entire industry based around stating the BLEEDING OBVIOUS. A lot of grant money goes into uncovering the link between ADD and 16 hours of television viewing a day from the age of 3, etc, and the Herald has taken it upon itself to be the purveyor of such moribund fare. According to Professor Brian Hill, branded in the Herald article as "a Christian", "we are producing young people focused on the immediate satisfaction of needs..." He makes a valid point, of course, but it just strikes me as a little late, by about a generation, if my arithmetic can be trusted. What I gather the good Professor would like to see is a more holistic approach to secondary schooling, with a more cohesive (read traditional)humanities-based syllabus,and less stress on the vocational as it currently stands. What he sees at the moment is "students surrendering to the dominant value system peddled by the media, which is instant gratification and do your own thing." Here, here Professor! But where were you and your Christian buddies twenty years ago when modernism (the last great positive/alternative "ism")was being wheeled in for its lingering post mortem? If memory serves me right, the church and the mainstream media couldn't wait to see the entire movement dead and buried. If the ensuing cultural trend has proved more enervating than edifying, more industry than individual, then who's fault is that exactly? George Bush is as much a product of post-modernism as he is of the Christian Right, ersatz BIG BROTHER and ADD. There's my big leap for the day.

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