Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Why I Love the News

Because it is such a cheap source of reliable entertainment. I know I have quoted Chris Buckley on this point before, but satire is impossible these days because you have to compete with the newspapers, and the newspapers are winning.

So I saw this story in the Washington Post this morning about how the usual goo-goo groups (Consumers Union, etc) object to school bus radio because--gasp--our tender kids will be exposed to ads, even though to any common sense observer (as the story explains) the bus radio programming is an excellent calming device for the Lord-of-the-Flies culture of most school buses. But this is the sentence that had me spitting out my coffee amidst a hail of uncontrollable guffawing:

Consumers Union, the National PTA and other groups oppose exposing students to commercial radio on the bus, time they might otherwise pass in quiet reflection or conversing with friends.

Right: In the absence of bus radio, the kids will be reflecting on Cartesian dualism; little Johnnie will be comparing Lucy in the next row to Athena, while Philip in the back row will be quietly reciting a Shakespeare sonnet.

Meanwhile, in other news you can use, KFC is going to introduce grilled chicken. Who says America doesn’t innovate any more?

Discussions - 7 Comments

"Lord-of-the-flies culture of most school buses!" The best NLT phrase in some time. Ah...the memories of my junior high bus...of the shame, the humiliation, the momentary glory, the caste-system, the threats, the 40 fights, the 400 near-or-half-fights, the everyday dread...

And of course, almost 70% of the bus-driver's real power over her charges is in that radio dial.

How can they object to radio/tv on the bus when most schools today air Channel 1 news which is full of commercials?

At the school where I teach, there are more discipline problems on the bus than in school...I think putting a TV on there would be a great sense of diversion.

What?! You mean to tell me that most of these kids aren't already encapsulated off from these influences by listening to their iPods, getting enraptured by their DS systems or talking on their cell phones? Even in my day we had little hand-held electronic games, Rubik's cubes, and the ever-reliable spit balls through the straw to keep us occupied. In truth, however, I was mostly occupied with homework--and maybe that explains why I was often the target of said spitballs. I don't think commercials on the radio would have affected us (or should I say, them) one way or t'other, as Huck Finn might say.

The bus ride! I haven't reflected on that in years (probably repressed the memories, in fact). I agree with all the previous posts. Although we never had a radio, which might explain the stray dogs being smuggled on in Starter jackets, B.B. guns being tossed out windows, mud-drenched boots being slung with umbrellas, and a new bus driver every year or two. The afternoon ride was invariably worse than the morning ride.

The afternoon ride was invariably worse than the morning ride. Yes! Indeed I remember the morning ride as being rather quiet and somber--especially if it was a cold morning. You were likely to catch an equally cold look from most of the mourning morning passengers if you attempted to initiate conversation. The ride to school was like being part of a funeral procession and the ride home was like Mardi Gras. There was a difference in the bus drivers, too, on both shifts. I remember that we usually had a much tougher and salty fellow driving us home than the sweet lady who picked us up in the morning. She had to switch shifts sometimes . . . it was not good for her blood pressure, I think.

I am surprised that with all the mind altering drugs, sodium flouride in the water, mercury laced vaccines, and GMO foods that the kids still have the ability to cause a ruckus. This really is one of the dumbest things I have heard in a while. Worrying about radio adds when the kids come home and watch cable tv and probably have acsess to hardcore pornography online. With that said censoring the internet would be a bad thing. I guess the nanny state parents that are the public school racket should try to at least appear like they are instilling some virtue. As opposed to producing a flock of dumbed down consumers who can tell you the life story of britney spears but can't locate America on a map and worse yet don't understand the constitution and bill of rights. This topic sounds like another failed bussiness model. Why do we bail out schools with levys? Mabye we can send our kids to Japan to get educated cheaper and more efficiently.

Do you guys like the oppressive police state because now you feel you are now the bus bullies taking your revenge? Is the Patriot Act a giant spit wad aimed at those mean "cool" kids who now work in manufactering.

Brutus, you have issues. Are you a Jehovah's Witness?

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