I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Natural Selection

The kite story below (which, for some reason, I can't make function as a normal link, although the link works if you cut and paste it into the address bar) is, briefly, the story of how a 7 people were killed and 100 people injured during a nationwide kite-flying festival in Pakistan. On girl had her throat cut by a kite string while riding on a motor cycle, others were electrocute flying the kites into power lines, a kid was run over chasing a kite into a road, and a couple of other folks fell off the roofs where they were flying kites. At first, I linked to this story because of my morbid sense of humor, the unexpected juxtaposition of "Seven Dead" and "Kite Festival." But, in retrospect, it fits in nicely with the thread about evolution.

A highly unscientific reader poll at World Net Daily (one of my right wing news feeds--I balance this with left wing news feeds like Buzzflash) showed less than 3% of respondents thought that only evolution should be taught. Even some very liberal minded people are swayed by the argument that "it's only fair to hear all sides of an issue." I'm actually very open to the Biblical creation story being taught in school--but it should be taught as literature, perhaps in a module on myths, not as science.

Actually, in my more radical moods, I'm in favor of ditching public education altogether. It seems like when we educate children using public funds, a committee-consensus blandness permeates the entire educational process. It seems like almost every thing you might possibly want to teach a child will trigger a protest of some sort. Any book you might want to assign, from Heather Has Two Mommies to Charlotte's Web, is going to piss off some nut job--the two mommies book will get you picketed by fundamentalist, Charlotte's Web is going to get you firebombed by some animal right's wacko that considers county fair pig judging to be an abomination comparable to a Nazi gas chamber. I don't know why every teacher in America hasn't long ago thrown up their hands and shouted, "Screw this!"--then told their various tormentors to go fly a kite.

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