17 September 2009

Propagandizing

So, I think we all do it. I think even those who say they aren't, still are. To what am I referring? Propaganda, of course. I think every parent, by virtue of their position as child-instructor, participates in the propagandizing of their child to a certain viewpoint. Even a parent who preaches tolerance and acceptance of all is doing so. Of course, I know that "propaganda" is a strong word, with certain assumed attributes, which as I see it, boil down to the phrase "entity of power indoctrinates ignorant to their view."

So, I did a little propagandizing of my own the other day. First was an "indoctrination session." For this, my children and I spent the majority of the day at a total stranger's house, watching their four-month-old and cleaning house so that the mom could recover from open-heart surgery. In as near-silence as they could manage. Then, as we drove away, I was placed in a situation ripe for dissemination of propaganda. We were stuck behind a school bus for about 4 blocks as it emptied. First, we watched a father wait as the bus approached the corner where he was waiting. It took forever for him to come back into view, but he finally did, following a little boy (3rd grade?) and holding a little girl by the hand. She was probably a kindergartner, had blond hair and her face was all blotchy. She was crying- really wailing. The father was doing the back-and-forth thing where he was pumping the older brother for info and consoling the little girl. "Oh, that poor girl!" I said. "Something must've happened to her... She's probably only in kindergarten. That's sad that something happened on the bus." (envision 8 eyes focused in sympathy upon poor girl)

I thought I would end the speech then, so as not be too obvious, but another opportunity presented itself almost immediately, so I took it. An older girl got off the bus and RAN to her mother and they embraced like they missed each other terribly. Maybe the mom just got back into town? Who knows. But the propagandist doesn't reveal all her information. "Look!" I directed their attention to the girl "That poor girl hasn't seen her mom all*day*long! She must have really missed her!" (wipe tear from eye)

What's really funny is that I mentioned the idea of propaganda to another homeschool friend and she immediately offered up her latest indoctrination methods. They included one of my favorites, which was Approved Speech #R731, as follows: "Wow, you did your schoolwork so fast! Yep, you can go play. No, you can't have another snack, we're having lunch soon. If you were in public school, you'd have 4 hours left of school. And then homework. So be thankful and go get dressed."
poster images from here.

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