I am reminded of a thought while reading Jung. It seems to me an odd mixture for socialists to bemoan anything other than socialism or communism, and yet to tout diversity as a virtue in and of itself. Is it in the nature of socialism to be diversified? I don’t really see the drive for such… and it at times seems at odds with the “respect diversity” bumper stickers all over town. Why is diversity so good? Why is similarity so bad? Are they bad in and of them selves? Those crying diversity are not as unique as they believe, they themselves acting in accoring to the same pressures of conformity as everyone else. The groups may change, but the play’s the same. Take note of Saturday night when I hosted three punk bands at my club. They dressed and acted in rebellion against the copy-cat world around them. Yet they all dressed the same, spoke the same lingo, drank the same beer, and when I played some Johnny Cash… they all cheered (as though it would be blasphemous for one of them to go against Cash). I can hear the cries of anti-military people now… decrying the “brainwashing” given to men and women who enlist into the military. I do not argue against the intense conformity pressures exerted upon the individual… but are the people who are so quick to pronounce their superiority of individualism so sure of them selves and of the group mentality of those they hate? What behaviors are rewarded within their social circles, what behaviors are shunned? And I think of the debate on school uniforms which leads to the American ideals of freedom of expression and individuality. The debate seems to come down to the issue of money on one side (no need to buy expensive name brand clothes) and psychological affects (cliques) and freedom on the other. I’ve heard it said that if we have kids wear uniforms they will turn into mindless robots with no identity of self. Am I to assume that wearing GAP jeans and wearing a FUBU shirt will give that person a grounded identity? Am I to asssume that by wearing uniforms the classifications of popular and unpopular, nerd and jock will all disappear?
There is very little real involvement into ideas. They are passed over like a buffet. “Okay class, today we are going to talk about…”, but nothing real is said. I am told over and over again that I should allow more hip hop to be played at the club (which I have started to do), but the arguments for hip hop are that it is more “real”. Justin Timberlake is real? 50 Cent is real? I’ve listened to lyrics, read the lyric sheets, watched some videos, and watched interviews on television. If hip hop is a manifestation of what we consider a real involvement with existence and the questions of virtue, of morality… then I see no hope for the current generation to make any strides in the world. This is not to say that hip hop is worse than pop, rock, country, etc. They are all essentially media driven crap. Catchy rhythyms yes… meaningful lyrics… no.
Yes, introduce school uniforms. Make the school year longer, but with more breaks. Instead of a Christmas and a Summer, give a shorter Summer break, the Christmas, and also a Spring and a Fall break. Instead of only teaching biology and civics and p.e. (where you run laps around a track), teach literature more from a standpoint of the ideas involved (for isn’t that what writers are really after… to introduce ideas?) instead of the way it was delievered, better atheletic activities (where you don’t have to be a jock to enjoy competition). It should be the goal of school not to prepare students for the life afterward (they fail in even this… I could have used a class as a kid on bank accounts, budgeting, basic citzenship laws, etc…), but to prepare the field for them to harvest a deep and earnest harvest of the Self.