Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Of the Visit of the Secretary of Education
I went to Secretary Duncan's town hall in Pico Rivera last night. Politician after politician (the local superintendent, local congressional representatives, and so on) rose and gave one meaningless speech after another, each person claiming a spot at the podium as an attempt to advance her (coincidentally, they were mostly female) career while pretending to advance the public interest by proferring words and proposals that showed how clearly they just don't understand how badly out of touch with young people's needs they actually are. Eventually Secretary Duncan spoke, gave a brief version of an educational stump speech with some data estimates thrown in to support the American Jobs Act, which was going down to defeat as he spoke, then left after listening to a series of speeches masquerading as questions and having his picture taken while receiving some polite, meaningless gift from the host (he didn't bother to open it, nor did anyone ask him to); his assistants remained to answer the long series of speakers at the two microphones in the school's gym, but no one was really listening to anyone else, nor was there much reason why they should, the content was so pointless. The Secretary had a fund-raiser (I tried to find the link to this story, but it has expired, the world has moved on) to attend on the West Side with people who do matter after his 45 minutes with people in southeast Los Angeles who don't; and thus plutocracy masquerades as democracy, as Wall Street is occupied in its several dens around the country, as our capitalist press (whose links don't expire so readily) is reporting.