As often happens these day,
a friend of a friend became my friend back
when I played Farmville and needed as many fellow farmers as possible.
I haven’t played in a year or two,
but as our mutual friend is an intelligent caring progressive person,
her friends and I rarely run across points of conflict,
so there wasn’t any real reason to unfriend the person.
But yesterday, this friend, not mty real friend,
but the facebook/farmville only friend,
posted one of the most offensive posts i have ever seen.
“If your inspirational quote has grammatical errors it isnt inspirational.”
When i responded that if you are a grammar nazi
you are so small minded that you cant possible be inspirational,
the friend took offense, both at my perceived anti intellectualism
and my too free use of the word “nazi.”
well as the grandson of a man who finished first grade and the grandson of a woman
who finsihed 3rd grade, i walk the fine line between being a strong believer in what education can do
and defending the great work done by the poorly educated.
They believed that education would solve all ills and pretty much all of their children and grandchildren
got some or complete college educations, including medical doctors, scientists, missionary phds,
along with drop out truck driver/pig farmer/construction worker/poet/businessmen like myself.
Sadly, i have lived long enough to see some of the most hateful snobbish excuses for human beings
to be highly educated men and women. I know what my simple grandparents never knew.
Education, like a hammer, is a tool. you can build a house or tear it down with the same hammer.
I get that the overuse of Nazi makes the horrors of the real Nazis somewhat trivialized.
I try to be sensitive to Jews, Muslims, Christians, Roma, Blacks, Native Americans (US born and Non US born),
Asians, Gays and other groups who have, in various forms found themselves oppressed or slandered,
but my people are the Working Poor.
Sometimes they are ignorant, often they are lacking in formal education,
sometimes they believe and do things that can only be called stupid,
But then, sometimes the rich, the post graduate educated ivy leaguers do stupid things, too.
Sometimes that stupidity is picking on those who have been giving so little but work so hard to be something to do something,
when sometimes survival is the best accomplishment of the day, or even of a life.
If you cant be inspired by a 1st grade educated bricklayer who taught himself to read because he thought the God
that he believed in wanted him to be a preacher,
and if you cant be inspired by his wife who finished 3rd grade and helped him read the Bible
Yes, the hard old King James Version. Did they get the theology wrong? Probably.
Did they raise up a house full of perfect children?
No, but they did the best they could, they kept them fed,
sent their daughters to college, taught their children,
grandchildren and hundreds of folks who just knew them
how to love and care for each other. the sons learned trades,
the grandsons got business degrees and started their own businesses,
some more successful than others.
So if you ever come across a scrawly hand written letter from my grandfather,
written from Columbus Ga where he had gone to make some money to feed his growing family,
back to his wife and family, and you arent inspired because of the bad spelling, or improper use of the language
Then you can just go the Hell and get as offended as you like, because in my mind
You are a SS prison guard, a evil jerk, and most of all, the most ignorant form of human
one who is not inspired by the real human spirit, because somebody forgot to cross a “t.”
So, yes, i love words (i am a poet), i love education, even if i failed to finish college
(that would have to be its own blog post),
and as a progressive, i strongly disagree with the ignorance that leads to harming others
that so often infects the working poor (of course it is taught to them by corrupt educated types)
But i love people, and especially the people who built this country, the black people, the white people,
the catholics, the jews, the chinese, the indians from many countries
but especially my poor white uneducated protestant ancestors.
If they dont inspire you, dont expect me to be inspired by your perfectly turned smug little phrases!
Yeah, my grandparents, William Lee and Anna Jenkins Owens were pretty wise uneducated people. maybe one day I will try to tell their story, as I know it.