Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Uniformly Bad Behavior...

For how long have we equated appearances with truth? When will we wise up?

It seems like profession sports associations are jumping as fast as they can to nail dress codes on their players, dictating how they can dress off the court or field. How this started, I'm not privy to but I'm guessing it is the result of yet another player misbehaving and those who make the real money hoping to redirect attention. But are we really that stupid? Do we really think that a man in a suit is above blame? The problem of anyone's failure to behave stems not from what they wear but what they do and why they do it. Why don't we consider why someone does something? Maybe then we'll begin to see that boys with pituitary conditions and anger issues paid so much that they're out of touch with reality may not be the way to go... and maybe we'll see a return to sanity in, perhaps, this one area.

I'm not a big fan of dress codes of any kind, especially when it comes to school uniforms. The idea that uniform clothes with create uniform behavior is not just delusional; it's dangerous. That kind of thinking is a white flag - it says you don't know how to get kids to behave so you just hope that the herd mentality will keep them in check. In some cases, this might be right. I'm not going to say that school with a dress code don't keep their kids in check. What I will say is that should not be the priority.

We don't send kids to school to keep them in line. The goal of education is to learn to think, to empower the mind. You don't get kids to think by making them into automatons. You only get them to behave, and for all the wrong reasons.

When behavior is just about behavior, you see a disconnect between action and consequence. The reasons why are lost. So, kids play the game and behave at school or on the field but don't know what they means in their personal life. Why it is wrong to hit someone is not because you were told not to but because of many other reasons. Why it is wrong to lie is not because you were told not to but because of other reasons. (I won't give you those reasons. Try to think of some.)

When our schools are so under funded, however, that they don't have the time or the staff or the facilities to teach children, but only hope to get them to behave, we end up with the dress code mentality. And it's just plain wrong. Of course, you'll hear politicians talk about tax cuts and get you in line for the new tax cut, feeding your sense of greed and self-interest, and you'll forget that your self-interest is best served when everyone pays their share of the taxes.

And yes, that means a progressive tax, because the rich can afford to pay more. Robbing from the rich to help the poor was once a virtue because it does make sense. With the vast majority of this nation's wealth held by the mega-rich, the super millionaires, the top 1%, they can afford to do their share.

There's nothing wrong with taxation, you shouldn't fear taxation, when it is done fairly. Taxes pay for police and firemen, parks, clean street, and schools - and that is fair. That is right. We should pay taxes for these things and we should pay more. We are not overtaxed, as you can see when you look at other countries who are better off with a higher standard of living. When taxes are unfair, they go to pork for big business, welfare for the wealthy, and an illegal war that has already killed thousands.

Yesterday, the Senate was held in a closed session over the lies we were told about the war. The Republicans came out and said it was much ado about nothing. Was it? The proof of their lies is insurmountable, undeniable by anyone with any capacity for good, and yet people continue to die.

The starve our schools to pay for their unjust war and give us the same solution the Nazi's had: dress codes. And, if that wasn't enough, in the coming special election in California, they try to remove the blame from their failed policies of under funding the schools and put it on the teachers. They are now trying to blame the teachers.

Is it any wonder basketball players misbehave in a society that so obviously does not know right from wrong?

No comments: