Monday, April 01, 2013

Teaching 1984

Although it has been controversial, I personally am pleased the local school board has decided to go ahead, and teach a revised edition of 1984. Rather than pull the book from the library, and curriculum due to sexual and drug related content, they have approved an abridged version of the book that presents the story in a clearer manner free of the distractions of cigarettes, unmarried sex, and Victory gin. Parents and concerned citisens have been reassured that the laptops provided to the students for reading the electronic editions are equipped with tracking software, and a webcam should they attempt to access the text in the original format.

I really do applaud this decision, because as a parent, I want my child to understand the dangers of tyranny, without being subjected to inappropriate material. I'm sure Orwell would have understood, after all, the world is a much more dangerous place than it was in the 1940's. Besides, no one knew how bad cigarettes were for you back then, and most venereal diseases could be cured with a shot of penicillin.

I've already looked over the new revised edition, and if you hadn't read the original recently, you wouldn't even know anything was missing.

We have to make sure our children understand the evils of totalitarianism, but that doesn't mean we have to give up parental authority to make good choices for them. I'm sure Orwell would agree, if he weren't dead. Which he is because he was a smoker. And an alcoholic. And a pervert. And an atheist.

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