Hey, hey, I’m back. I said I’d be posting more, and so far so good.
First up, for those unaware, I’m participating in Borders.com Babel Clash for the next two weeks. So drop on by and leave a comment if you feel like it. Finding topics to post isn’t always easy, and anything that makes my job easier is always appreciated. http://bordersblog.com/scifi/
Also, I wrote a post for http://sfsignal.com/ that will be posted in about a week or so to coincide with the release of DIVINE MISFORTUNE. Although I’ve already seen Misfortune in stores, but this is the official release we’re talking about. I’ll let you know when the piece is up.
Add to this my own blogging and my occasional contributions to Orbit’s website (http://www.orbitbooks.net/), I’ve been pretty damn busy lately. Especially if we add my novelology. That is my main job, after all, isn’t it? But I can’t complain. Or I could but it would be stupid to do so. ”Woe is me. I’m a successful writer with a growing career and an ever-expanding sphere of influence. I’m popular, beloved, and paid to make up stories. Oh, the troubles I got.”
Cry me a river.
So I try to avoid posting anything about politics. There’s really no good reason why should even care what my political views are. But sometimes, a guy has just got to speak out.
In Texas, our esteemed Board of Education has set new standards for textbooks. I use the word “standard” in only the loosest sense. Basically, they’ve decided to erase Thomas Jefferson while excusing Joe Mccarthy. Now, I know that Jefferson wasn’t perfect, but the guy did write a little thing called The Declaration of Independence. Maybe you’ve heard of it.
Meanwhile, Mccarthism is such a black eye on American history, it’s almost understandable that we want to erase it, just as we tend to overlook the founders’ flaws in favor of a mythic version of the past. And Mccarthy, like the founders (like all of us really), was a Terran of his era. The great communist conspiracy was a ridiculous kneejerk fear, but I try not to judge Mccarthy for it. I do believe he thought he was doing the right thing. And if the textbooks suggested that, I could forgive them. But instead, they’re suggesting that the communist conspiracy was a legitimate threat.
You know there’s a problem when the government is endorsing a conspiracy theory.
Just for the record, not all of us Texans are this loonie. Sure, plenty of us love our guns. Plenty of us are right wing. Plenty of us love Jesus. I have friends on the right, left, and everywhere in-between, and if you get into it, they’re all decent people living their lives and trying to make the world a better place. While I’ve never actually quizzed any of my right wing friends on whether or not they think Jefferson should be included in American history, I doubt they’d suggest he shouldn’t be.
And this is the people that we’ve decided to trust with our educational standards?
It’s embarrassing. I can’t excuse it. I can only hope that the actions of a handful of extremists doesn’t make all of Texas seem like a vast, cultural wasteland where people are only too happy to rewrite history for politics. I could get into the way that, ironically, our information age has managed to transform facts into points of debate, how so many folks are willing to ignore truths and embrace falsehoods in the name of their own ideology. But this is so obviously wrong, so absurd, that there’s just no need to say anything else. Oh, well, one more thing needs to be said.
JEFFERSON WROTE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE!