Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the vast majority of those friends of the decanter who have had or cared for small children have spent numerous hours reading to the little “blessings” at bed-time. I know I have, starting out with “‘C’ is for Clown” and “There’s A Monster at the End of this Book” (I can do a kick-ass Grover voice) and working up through Seuss and the Berenstain Bears (gack!) to Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Narnia Chronicles.
Well, guess what? Apparently, this makes you and me Haters. Because Social Justice or something:
“Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?” asks a story on the ABC’s website.
“Should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?”
The story was followed by a broadcast on the ABC’s Radio National that also tackled the apparently divisive issue of bedtime reading.
“Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t — the difference in their life chances — is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,” British academic Adam Swift told ABC presenter Joe Gelonesi.
Gelonesi responded online: “This devilish twist of evidence surely leads to a further conclusion that perhaps — in the interests of levelling the playing field — bedtime stories should also be restricted.”
Let that one sink in for a few moments. Go on, I’ll wait. Imagine getting fined or thrown into the hoosegow for spending a cozy half hour reading “Madeline” to your daughter because it might give her a leg up in the world.
I mentioned the article to Mrs. Robbo this evening and she simply couldn’t believe it. But this is yet another marker of where dying Western Civilisation stands at the moment, even if most of us are still too fat and happy to see it. Granted, the piece comes from Australia and the “academic” involved is a Brit, but I’ll bet you it wouldn’t take me long to find some Progressivista here in teh States nodding at the “wisdom” of such a proposal.
They’d say, of course, that it’s “for the children” and the promotion of “fairness”, but that, if I may say so, would be a God-damned lie. The real motivation, as is always the case with statists, has nothing to do with empowerment or equal chances, and is instead the beating down of all individualism, self-improvement, personal responsibility, and reward for hard work and merit, and the replacement of a free association of autonomous citizens with an army of mindless
drones slaves serving the collective.
Swift said parents should be mindful of the advantage provided by bedtime reading.
“I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said.
Yeah, right. By this reasoning, it could be argued that I also “unfairly disadvantage” other people’s children by staying faithful to my wife, working hard at my job, providing the gels with a roof over their heads, food, clothing, religious grounding, and the best education we can manage, and trying to instill in them the same set of values and skill sets that my parents hammered into me and which have allowed me to do these other things for them.
Maybe I ought to knock off all of that, too?
Gelonesi is absolutely right in one thing: “Devilish” is exactly the right word. God help us all.
UPDATE: Fun fact for you that I have long cherished. Baltimore, the city that has been so much in the nooz lately, poster child for 50 years of Big State gub’mint, is tagged routinely as having the highest illiteracy rate of any major U.S. city. In the late 80’s, the then-mayor decided to adopt a new motto for the place – “Baltimore – the City that Reads”. Did so with a completely straight face, too. By the bye, that little campaign is now dead, Jim.
UPDATE DEUX: In response to some of the comments, yes, a few years ago I would have thought this article to be Onion-bait. Not now. Instead, I believe the forces of darkness, like the King of the Nazgul before the crumpled defenses of Minas Tirith, are launching a full frontal assault all along the line.