Cultural Biases In Education February 22, 2008 8:54 AM   Subscribe

To what extent should teachers incorporate their own biases into their teaching of youngish children? To what extent does using goofy picture of people do so?

Fine. Done. I am fine with my comment being deleted, but I think that there's an important point to make about what the OP is doing.

I have seen this kind of thing commonly used by teachers with questionable motives in order to teach things that they're not really supposed to be teaching. Like, I have to teach about this person, but I am going to ridicule him while doing so. Or, I want to teach something "between the lines."

While I'm not saying that the OP is doing this, how different is this from a lesson plan on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s infidelities? Or pictures of Bush drinking? There is absolutely this kind of abuse by teachers in this country, and I think that it's dangerous when we use it to turn education into indoctrination.
posted by iknowizbirfmark to MetaFilter-Related at 8:54 AM (194 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

First, what are you talking about?

Second, why did you post it three times?

Third, zuh?
posted by Pastabagel at 9:01 AM on February 22, 2008


ask.metafilter is not the place for "point-making", no matter how important you think it is.

Metatalk, now that's the place for making some points amirite?
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:01 AM on February 22, 2008


Link to the post your comment got deleted from? Which OP? Where?

Or, you know, if you're fine with it being deleted, then the MeTa is here why?
posted by rtha at 9:02 AM on February 22, 2008


I already posted my "Why did you post it three times" snarky comment in one of the ones that got deleted, sigh. But yeah, wtf iknowizbirfmark? Are you against actually engaging students in learning? How the hell is this indoctrination?
posted by the dief at 9:02 AM on February 22, 2008


Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?
posted by brain_drain at 9:02 AM on February 22, 2008


The triple post looks like a weird error-but-still-posting situation combined with a couple of retries; cleaned up, now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:03 AM on February 22, 2008


Also, an html error in the post nixed the link to the askme that inspired this; I've added above the fold now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:05 AM on February 22, 2008


I think that it's dangerous when we use it to turn education into indoctrination.

A picture of Fidel Castro in a bathing suit? Indoctrination? Huh?
posted by ericb at 9:06 AM on February 22, 2008


The question you need to ask yourself is this: Is our children learning?
posted by BeerFilter at 9:06 AM on February 22, 2008 [7 favorites]


I am talking about this thread.

Sorry, I was getting errors when I posted this here, already mailed a mod about it with the errors. The triple posting was not intentional. Just meant to do it once, but it wasn't even showing up as posted, just giving me errors. The link was dropping out.

I don't think that what the original poster seems to be talking about doing is an appropriate or legitimate thing. In fact, it could be interpreted as kind of disgusting depending on how and why he wants to use such a picture.

I went to grade school in the rural south, and we "learned" about civil rights. The feelings of the teacher were very clear, and I am sure that the feelings of the students about issues like that were significantly influenced by those teachings. Middle school students are impressionable. To see that their teacher is ridiculing someone is a subtle message that the ridiculed person is to be derided for reasons independent of beliefs or actions.

It's too bad that ridiculing how someone looks in a swimsuit is part of education in this teacher's mind. I wonder if he would consider that appropriate for any lesson plan, or just for this one.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 9:10 AM on February 22, 2008


The use of the word "disgusting" by the OP was stupid and didn't help the question. Like your responses! And this callout!
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:12 AM on February 22, 2008


Okay, I see what you're saying now. Basically, why is the teacher looking for an embarrassing picture of Castro to use in what we assume is a lesson about Cuba. It's a fine point I guess.

But for all you know, he could be using it as a way of criticizing US policy - "Is this guy (flash photo) what the US was so afraid of? Is the shape (points to speedo) of the communist menace?" Etc.

Though more likely it was to be used for the lulz, and I agree that's tacky.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:12 AM on February 22, 2008


It was kind of an odd thing, looking through hundreds of pictures of castro. Almost from the start that boring green military outfit was completely standard, though the first images were in black and white. Castro as the smurfette of cuba. I was almost immediately shocked when I saw a picture of che guevara. Dead. Shot and killed in Bolivia, but appearing to rest comfortably, eyes open, on a gurney. Wasn't until I read the caption that I realized he was dead in the picture. Creepy.

Most of the pictures had him pointing. Lots of cigars. Lots of just sitting there too. Then, meeting with world leaders, I think I saw a pope or Desmond Tutu, an NAACP leader, Bush, and a lively looking Jesse Jackson.

This man has been around so long, wow. I found the shirtless pics that are in the thread, and got a good chuckle out of them. Then I imagined him in a speedo, with those glasses and that beard, and I just had to see that. Sucks I couldn't find it, and I have a suspicion it won't be found, but it was worth it for all the things I went through on the way.

It was like watching parts of a famous film with the sound down. Makes me want to go back and research everything I saw.
posted by cashman at 9:13 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


He may well be intending to use it not as "ha, Castro can be demeaned because he's in a bathing suit" so much as "ha, world leaders are people too!"

I agree that "Disgusting Speedo" may not have been a great way to phrase the opening, but there's a lot of reading available here, not the least of which is that a lot of people pretty much hold the general concept of men in speedos (slim, hairless hardbodies et al excepted) disgusting. So not "Castro: disgusting and in a speedo", but rather "Castro: world leader, and a guy in a digusting speedo".

I don't think it's clear that the asker intended to indoctrinate anyone into anything, from what the question actually provided.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:17 AM on February 22, 2008


A picture of Fidel Castro in a bathing suit? Indoctrination? Huh?

Sure, it may be part of a system of it. What's the redeeming value? To be funny? It's used to ridicule, because it is "disgusting." And that's used to send a subtle message about what the teacher believes, and how the teacher is teaching the students to believe.

If the original poster's approach is to have a goofy picture of every subject discussed in class, maybe it's not objectionable. There are many funny or mildly nauseating pictures of people taken candidly. I'm just a little skeptical of the teacher's intentions in this context. We owe it to ourselves as a society to look at how we teach children, why we teach them in the ways that we do and whether the implicit messages that we are giving them as part of this manner of educations are appropriate ones.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2008


There is an important lesson here. The lesson is never, ever provide a detail in AskMe that isn't essential to getting the question answered, because that seemingly minor detail will somehow become the focus of half the responders.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:24 AM on February 22, 2008 [21 favorites]


It's divine the intent 'n delete Fridays on AskMe and nobody told me?! You punks.

I can't wait until the relationshipfilter questions come up, because I just know somebody is doing something illicit.
posted by cashman at 9:25 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


So what does a picture of Castro in a speedo really say about Cuban Communism?
posted by BeerFilter at 9:25 AM on February 22, 2008


I'm more worried about the pro-communist influence this might have on young heterosexual girls and homosexual boys. Fidel can be quite an alluring man.

So alluring...
posted by ODiV at 9:27 AM on February 22, 2008


To what extent can an online community of random people affect what teachers teach their youngish children? Good luck in your quest, sir, and allow me to suggest politics as a suitable arena for your questions. I dunno, there was some sort of error
posted by carsonb at 9:27 AM on February 22, 2008


Fine. Done. I am fine with my comment being deleted

Not fine enough, apparently.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:28 AM on February 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


We owe it to ourselves as a society to look at how we teach children, why we teach them in the ways that we do and whether the implicit messages that we are giving them as part of this manner of educations are appropriate ones.

And we owe it to ourselves as users of AskMetaFilter to answer only the specific question that is asked, to avoid speculation about the asker's intentions, and to not judge the asker unless such an opinion is specifically requested.
posted by brain_drain at 9:28 AM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


In answer to your question: Teachers should teach the Speedo controversy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:34 AM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


People, people, people- the poster is trying to teach the children a FASHION lesson. Speedos = evil. Surely this is a lesson we can all get behind?

J/K. Some people look good in a speedo!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:35 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, now they often call me Speedo but my real name is Sr. Fidel
Well, now they often call me Speedo but my real name is Sr. Fidel
And I'm just the kind fellow's tellin' other countries to go to hell
They often call me Speedo 'cause I don't believe in election time
They often call me Speedo but I don't believe in election time
I've known some powerful fellas and I've caused them to change their mind
Some they call me Moe and some they call me Castro
But just remember Speedo, he don't never take it slow
posted by Floydd at 9:45 AM on February 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


This thread is so bizarre.
posted by Roach at 9:45 AM on February 22, 2008


Hey, Fidel wasn't half bad as a young man. But everyone knows Che was the true hotness.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:46 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the OP brings up a very interesting point. Many of us seem to be getting hung up on the technicality of "this is not what the AskMeOP specifically asked for", but the problem here is what the OP implied, which, if addressed, would indeed be something to discuss.

What if the question was "Bloody Forensics Filter...I read a great comment by scarabic a couple of years ago. He detailed how to dispose of a dead body. Alas, my Google-fu is weak and I cannot find it again. Has anybody else seen this? If you need motivation, there's a class full of middle school science students who are depending on you!"

You could easily take this further or not. What if it were pictures of Scientologists or lolXtians or US political candidates? And again, some of us may not care. But for others, this kind of crap hits our radars. I'm not suggesting we should do something about this, and I don't even know what that could or should be, but I definitely relate to the problem the MeTa OP is dealing with here.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:49 AM on February 22, 2008


Is this a joke? How on earth is this MeFi related? Is MeTa now a place to dump our platitudinous "who'll think of the kids?" ideas?
posted by patricio at 9:49 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


the true whatness?
posted by patricio at 9:51 AM on February 22, 2008


Personally, I don't think we need any education at all.
We don't need any kind of thought control to tell us who should be made fun of and who shouldn't.
I think we should ban any kind of dark sarcasm from classrooms.
Teachers should just leave the children alone.
All things being considered it's just another brick in the wall.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:51 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


To what extent should teachers incorporate their own biases into their teaching of youngish children?

Dunno. Why don't you ask.metafilter? Or is this another covert request for polls on the site?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:52 AM on February 22, 2008


Isn't this a perfect reason to use MeFiMail? "I don't have an answer to your question, but I question the way you're teaching your students. Perhaps we should chat about this in private, since it really has nothing to do with the rest of the community..."
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:54 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Er, I should clarify...for me the "problem" is specifically, "How do I closewindow/ignore/walkaway when it sounds to me like something whack is about to happen in a classroom and will shape the minds of impressionable children. Maybe the OP has good intentions and I'd like to think that, but if not, I am saddened by this. I'd like to know which it is, but there is really no way I can know. How do I deal with this fleeting worry?"

The answer is, let it pass. But that feels slightly apathetic. So instead, I'm posting here and sharing my thoughts. Sometimes it's nice to have a forum for that sort of thing.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:55 AM on February 22, 2008


I can see how this could be a problem (especially with the phrasing about "disgusting speedo" stuff), but I still think it's reading a bit too much into the motives and plans of the original poster to say that they are indoctrinating a classroom full of kids with their views on political leaders.

We can't know what the original asker is going to do with the photo or how it will be treated in class so I think it's best to give the benefit of the doubt here and cut them some slack.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:57 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just Say No to Beefcake Photos:
Obama, Reagan, Putin.
posted by ericb at 9:58 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the OP brings up a very interesting point. Many of us seem to be getting hung up on the technicality of "this is not what the AskMeOP specifically asked for", but the problem here is what the OP implied, which, if addressed, would indeed be something to discuss.

Unless your kid is in the class and the class has already been taught and this somehow directly affects you then no, this isn't something to discuss. And even if all those conditions were true AskMe wouldn't be the place to discuss it.

I'm just a little skeptical of the teacher's intentions in this context.

That's nice. The best way to deal with that is to not answer the question and move on with your day.
posted by LeeJay at 9:59 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think it's best to give the benefit of the doubt here and cut them some slack.

But, but....thought police!
posted by carsonb at 10:00 AM on February 22, 2008


Oh, come off it. When kids see a picture of a guy in a speedo, they'll perk up. They'll be engaged. Then the teacher is free to teach whatever lesson he/she wants to about Castro. Just because he didn't introduce the unit on the civil war with a picture of Abe in his skivvies doesn't mean the teacher is some kind of Rah America John Birch Society member. I'm all for examining the mindsets of teachers (mostly interested in their believing that their students will fail/ succeed), but this innocent use of a picture to grab their interest is hardly something we need a MeTa about.
And it definitely didn't need to be interjected into a thread about how to find the picture in question.
posted by PhatLobley at 10:02 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


For God's sake, it's Castro in a bathing suit. Chill yourself, Dean Wormer.
posted by shmegegge at 10:05 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


J/K. Some people look good in a speedo!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:35 PM on February 22


uh huh. just like fedoras, right?
posted by shmegegge at 10:05 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Che is not dead, he is hiding in an English Bed and Breakfast.
posted by Rumple at 10:06 AM on February 22, 2008


uh huh. just like fedoras, right?

Great, now I'm imagining Stynxno in a hat and a thong. Thanks.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:07 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good heavens. Plate of beans, anyone? This has nothing to do with ask.me and everything to do with your own indignation. Kindly keep it under wraps next time instead of informing the entire community, please?
posted by agregoli at 10:10 AM on February 22, 2008


I think perhaps should, I don't know, just stay the hell away from AskMe.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:12 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know that a lot of people here think that this is totally a non-issue, and that it doesn't matter and that they just want to use this as an opportunity to snark. That is cool, have fun.

I think that it's a community issue because many people here seem to think that part of makes MetaFilter (in general) useful and valuable is an examination of ideas and practices. It's not a blind posting of links about cool stuff or pictures of people in bathing suits, or questions about where to find them. That is for the rest of the internet.

What the original poster may be talking about doing is offensive to me. So are ugly pants and Izod shirts, though, so that's not the reason I posted. The reason that I posted (probably in the wrong MetaTalk category, fair enough) is that it's offensive to me and has to do with the indoctrination of children in the education process. I think that we should be able to discuss those issues here.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 10:14 AM on February 22, 2008


Do not underestimate the importance of world leaders in Speedos.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:19 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are you on crack?
posted by gtr at 10:20 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


"What the original poster may be talking about doing is offensive to me."

I understand that you're too solipsistic to recognize that not everyone should care about your suppositions and overbearing moralisms, but I'm not snarking when I say that you should mind your own business if you can't be helpful.
posted by OmieWise at 10:22 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


iknowizbirfmark, did you try contacting the poster directly? In addition to MeMail, he has an e-mail address listed in his profile. As others have pointed out, that seems a better means of addressing your concerns than a MeTa discussion.
posted by brain_drain at 10:23 AM on February 22, 2008


But I think the problem is that you haven't shown nearly enough evidence for a reasonable assumption that the picture will be used to indoctrinate kids. You're seriously jumping to conclusions here.

I defended you in that other post, but not here. You gotta dial it back a notch and try not to get all up in the speedos of the posters. You're taking small things and running with them. You're seeing one thing and then letting your mind take you to a different place and then acting off of that.

I appreciate your vigilance, but hovering over AskMe with a horsewhip isn't really helping. Ease up, Matlock.
posted by cashman at 10:24 AM on February 22, 2008


Speedo !=! thong
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:26 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


What the original poster may be talking about doing is offensive to me

Stop projecting. Stop assuming that everyone is a big jerk and give someone the benefit of the doubt once in a while. Maybe the poster is just a dirty, dirty pervert who likes hairy Cuban dictators. Did ya ever think of that?
posted by LeeJay at 10:26 AM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]



I know that a lot of people here think that this is totally a non-issue, and that it doesn't matter and that they just want to use this as an opportunity to snark.


Fucking right it's a fucking non-issue, and fuck if we don't have bigger fucking problems around here than some fucking shit like this. I'm almost under the fucking impression that you posted this just to fucking bring out the snarkers in droves - fucking droves. Fuck.
posted by item at 10:26 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


What the original poster may be talking about doing is offensive to me.

Even if the poster was definitely doing something that was offensive to everyone, MeTa callouts are not usually very productive. As people have said, you could just contact the poster directly instead of involving everyone.

Anyway, AskMe is not really a place for people to judge what other people are doing and declare it as "right" or "wrong". It's a place where people feel free to ask their questions and get real answers without being attacked or getting a bunch of joke answers.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:31 AM on February 22, 2008


item, you sound like you could use some soothing. I've got a pic of Lenin wearing nothing but sock garters. I use it as a visual aide in my kindergarten class. Would you like to see it? I always find it very calming.
posted by LeeJay at 10:32 AM on February 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


This is stupid.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:32 AM on February 22, 2008


This isn't just posted in the wrong MetaTalk category, it's posted in the wrong website entirely. MetaTalk is for discussing MetaFilter. Even if you could be absolutely certain that richmondparker was indoctrinating the children of Marietta Georgia with his extracurricular anti-communist views, this isn't the place to try and put it right.
posted by roofus at 10:32 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's not a blind posting of links about cool stuff or pictures of people in bathing suits, or questions about where to find them.

Yes it is. You're better off learning this now. At metafilter, and this cannot be stressed enough, we ask questions first and shoot later. If the question could be seen as you see it, but can also be seen innocently, then we give them the benefit of the doubt and mind our own business, so long as doing so does not open the site up to the kinds of legal problems napster encountered. that's just the way it works. you're way better off worrying less about askme propriety. there are indeed times when an inappropriate question is asked, but the flag queue and our mods take care of them without any real substantial problems.
posted by shmegegge at 10:33 AM on February 22, 2008


So is this where I ask for photos of TRH William & Harry in Speedos?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:33 AM on February 22, 2008


iknowizbirfmark, I thought your comment was totally inappropriate in the context of AskMe, unenlightened, uneducated, lacking in creativity and broadmindedness, wrong-headed, unimaginative, prescriptive, and, quite frankly, totalitarian. Kind of like Fidel Castro. This Meta callout is ridiculous.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:34 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


*Removes Hitler speedo pic from Powerpoint*
posted by starman at 10:35 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Fine. Done. I am fine with my comment being deleted"

Are you used to being silenced all your life?
posted by klangklangston at 10:36 AM on February 22, 2008


BRING ON THE PHOTOS OF OBAMA WEARING A PLAYBOY BUNNY COSTUME
posted by item at 10:36 AM on February 22, 2008


It makes me sad that so many people have so little faith in the native intelligence of youth. If showing some seventh graders a world leader in a Speedo qualifies as 'indoctrination', then fuck, we might as well give it up. Humanity is already a lost cause.
posted by a young man in spats at 10:37 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Revolution is not a dinner party, not an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly and modestly. --Mao

Just try advancing modestly in a speedo, you reactionary lapdog of the bourgeoisie.
posted by langedon at 10:39 AM on February 22, 2008


Hmm - this is the best I can do at the moment. Notice his socks have an official government seal on them.
posted by item at 10:40 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's used to ridicule, because it is "disgusting." And that's used to send a subtle message about what the teacher believes, and how the teacher is teaching the students to believe.

Criticisms of pedagogical techniques do not answer the question.

If the querier had not indicated the purpose of the search, but simply indicated interest in finding this picture, would it then be okay with you if the question is answered?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 AM on February 22, 2008


(Isn't it also reflective of bias that the OP here expects Castro to only be shown in his Cuban military uniform, and that any other representation is unacceptable? Maybe someone who, well, cares more, can unpack for us all just what ideology it is iknowizbirfmark is trying to push on us. Are Cuban Communists supposed to be vile militarist oppressors, or noble defenders of the People? Damned if I can tell.)
posted by a young man in spats at 10:46 AM on February 22, 2008


Notice his socks have an official government seal on them.

Oh God, they do! And little tiny American flags on the back. I don't know how I feel about that. It makes me uncomfortable, frankly. The crocs aren't helping.
posted by LeeJay at 10:49 AM on February 22, 2008


It was Soviets concealing missiles in Fidel's Speedos that led to Kennedy's masculinity crisis, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear armageddon and Marilyn Monroe to a secret FBI assignment as chief presidential ego-massager.
posted by Abiezer at 10:49 AM on February 22, 2008


So is this where I ask for photos of TRH William & Harry in Speedos?

Well, here's William.
posted by ericb at 10:59 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder how well this would end if the question was "Help me find that picture of Hillary Clinton looking really beat down and tired in a senate session - a class full of 8th grade political studies students are counting on it!"
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:08 AM on February 22, 2008


Speedo !=! thong

Once I've got imaginary Stynxno gallivanting around my brain in nothing but an imaginary fedora and an imaginary pair of undies, it's a distinction without a difference.

There he goes again. He's shameless!
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:09 AM on February 22, 2008


iknowizbirfmark, have you ever taught before? If so, I would very much like to see what kind of perfect, engaging, totally bias-free curriculum you've planned for your students.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:09 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Once I've got imaginary Stynxno gallivanting around my brain in nothing but an imaginary fedora and an imaginary pair of undies

You are a sick, sick man.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:13 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Intuiting the motives of AskMe questions is fun! You know, I can't think of any reason somebody would try to get to a sports match on the cheap except to engage in illegal sports betting and football hooliganism (note how he cleverly asked what areas of the stands to go to "avoid" violence... more like what areas to avoid to assure violence!)

And I doubt it's just me - this question is just BEGGING someone to tell him it's okay to get his girlfriend's cat declawed - WITHOUT EVEN TELLING HER ABOUT IT. You're one sick fucker, buddy.

A website that aggregates various brokerage accounts WOULD be swell... to monitor the illicit accounts of all the identities you've STOLEN.

I can't go on, I'm so disgusted by this serial miscreant.
posted by nanojath at 11:30 AM on February 22, 2008


(Well you're a serial something, anyway. Didn't get enough the first time, huh, AskMe Cop?)
posted by nanojath at 11:32 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have a son in middle school (7th grade), and you have my permission to show him multiple pics of Castro, Stynxno, W, and pretty much any leader you want wearing a Speedo. I guarantee that he will come away from it with no political bias; he will accuse his friends of either wearing Speedos or wanting to look at men in Speedos, and it will degenerate from there.
posted by misha at 11:43 AM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is me kicking you in the balls and saying, "The decades of dipshit revolutionary worship of Fidel and Che have done far more 'indoctrination' harm to young people than a picture of Fidel in a bathing suit. Consider your own motives before throwing stones."

And oh yeah, this ain't what AskMe is for (as people have told me over and over again).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


iknowizbirfmark, have you ever taught before? If so, I would very much like to see what kind of perfect, engaging, totally bias-free curriculum you've planned for your students.

Yeah, I have to question the premise that it's even possible - let alone desirable - to educate while avoiding indoctrination. Better that students are taught that indoctrination is going to be mixed up with education - to expect it, and to learn how to identify and respond to it - than to pretend that it's possible to eliminate indoctrination completely. That way lies self-delusion.
posted by chinston at 11:49 AM on February 22, 2008


I wonder how well this would end if the question was "Help me find that picture of Hillary Clinton looking really beat down and tired in a senate session - a class full of 8th grade political studies students are counting on it!"

Yeah, me too. Sure, it makes sense to give the poster the benefit of the doubt, but given the history of this country's ridiculous attitude to Cuba, it's hardly a stretch to imagine that it would be a cheap shot. (c.f. 300,000 hits for "barack obama che guevara").
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:49 AM on February 22, 2008


Also this call-out is lame and should be closed. Or at least dressed up in a speedo, mercilessly teased, then closed.
posted by chinston at 11:50 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


When iknowizbirfmark enters the room, immediately stop talking, put your pencils down, straighten your spines and prepare for unbiased, fully clothed, indoctrina...I mean education!
posted by milarepa at 11:51 AM on February 22, 2008


I have a son in middle school (7th grade), and you have my permission to show him multiple pics of Castro, Stynxno, W, and pretty much any leader you want wearing a Speedo.

Ok, this is all getting out of control.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:51 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am totally intrigued that Bush appears to be wearing POTUS socks. Where can I buy a pair of my very own?
posted by miss tea at 11:58 AM on February 22, 2008


I am totally intrigued that Bush appears to be wearing POTUS socks. Where can I buy a pair of my very own?

Well, in order to qualify, your Dad has to be president first, and you have to have a spotty history of National Guard attendance, failed businesses, alcoholism, a midlife religious conversion, a middling baseball team...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:01 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's like that time my middle school track coach/history teacher pulled me aside to show me what he called "zoophiliac" movies of women having sex with horses. His eyes narrowed as he whispered, "[kosem], don't let anyone tell you that this is how Catherine the Great met her end."
posted by kosem at 12:02 PM on February 22, 2008


(Well you're a serial something, anyway. Didn't get enough the first time, huh, AskMe Cop?)

Oh, wow - this is also the mastermind behind "privacy or criminal activity"? I'm beginning to think iknowizbirfmark is Fidel Castro - and watch out, because he's bound to have a lot more time for quibbly cavilling MeTa threads now that he's entered retirement.
posted by chinston at 12:04 PM on February 22, 2008


Hi, does anyone have any pictures of famous young actresses in various states of undress? It's... for a middle school class I'm teaching. Yeah, that's it, a middle school class.
posted by turaho at 12:04 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have a son in middle school (7th grade), and you have my permission to show him multiple pics of Castro, Stynxno, W, and pretty much any leader you want wearing a Speedo.

Something in that list is not like the other.

answer: i'm the adonis.
posted by Stynxno at 12:07 PM on February 22, 2008


I am totally intrigued that Bush appears to be wearing POTUS socks.

What's he have emblazoned on his underwear?
posted by ericb at 12:10 PM on February 22, 2008


The original AskMe should remind way more people of the Arrested Development episode in which George Michael defaces a rare book to get a picture of Saddam Hussein in a Speedo for his teacher.
posted by sneakin at 12:12 PM on February 22, 2008


Ooh ... found Bush's underwear.
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on February 22, 2008


... a picture of Saddam Hussein in a Speedo for his teacher.

Then there's the photo of Saddam in his undies.
posted by ericb at 12:14 PM on February 22, 2008


I'll see your Prez in Crocs and raise you a POTUS Windbreaker with "43" on the chest. Yes his dad has one with "41."
posted by Skorgu at 12:14 PM on February 22, 2008


George Michael defaces a rare book to get a picture of Saddam Hussein in a Speedo for his teacher

Yes, and look how he turned out! He knocked up a 16-year-old! You prove the OP's point nicely!
posted by scody at 12:16 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's he have emblazoned on his underwear?

G3ORG3 BUSH (NOt DaDDY)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:18 PM on February 22, 2008


Didn't get enough the first time, huh, AskMe Cop?

That was only 3 weeks ago too.
posted by smackfu at 12:19 PM on February 22, 2008


You're pretty exceptional, iknowizbirfmark. Usually people have to contribute way more to the site than you have thus far before I find them as annoying as I find you. Keep up the fine work!
posted by Kwantsar at 12:22 PM on February 22, 2008


True story...

American History in HS....Mrs Morris devotes a good chunk of the 45-50 minutes to the subject of

"Why Niggers Drive Cadillacs"

This was about 1978 I believe, about 100 miles from Chicago.
posted by timsteil at 12:23 PM on February 22, 2008


To what extent should teachers incorporate their own biases into their teaching of youngish children? To what extent does using goofy picture of people do so?

Very little on both accounts.

A whole worst-case imaginary day lesson plan on the evils of communism and lampooning notable communists with puritanical fashion criticism is less indoctrinating than the basic rules of conduct and dress code nearly every school in this country has.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:28 PM on February 22, 2008


I thought that MetaTalk was for talking about MetaFilter. (You know, hence the "Meta.")
posted by 1 at 12:30 PM on February 22, 2008


What's he have emblazoned on his underwear?

A picture of a cartoon worm with the words "GIRL BAIT" underneath.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:33 PM on February 22, 2008


1, There is still "Meta" in AskMetaFilter.
posted by spec80 at 12:36 PM on February 22, 2008


I was told often growing up that Pontiac stood for "Poor old negros think it's a Cadillac."
posted by klangklangston at 12:36 PM on February 22, 2008


ericb : What's he have emblazoned on his underwear?

My name is George Bush Jr.

Please return me to:

1600 Pennsylvania Ave
NW Washington, DC 20500
posted by quin at 12:49 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was told often growing up that Columbus discovered America. Can we please stop anybody who is asking for pictures of Christopher Columbus? Especially him in a speedo, posing in front of the people that were already here.
posted by cashman at 12:49 PM on February 22, 2008


I found a great picture of mathowie a couple of years ago. He was on a trip to some girl's senior prom and wearing nothing but Carmen Miranda fruit hat. Alas, my Google-fu is weak and I cannot find it again. Has anybody else seen this? If you need motivation, there's a meta full of snarky users who are depending on you!
posted by waraw at 1:04 PM on February 22, 2008


What's he have emblazoned on his underwear?

It still says POTUS but the P stands for something else.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:08 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just don't understand getting angry on the Internet. I don't see how I could ever be offended by words I chose to read written by a stranger I'll never meet, whose meaning it is arrogant and unnecessary to assume.

Every post and comment offers the ability to flag or favorite, every member and administrator is easily contacted, directly and privately, through MefiMail. Despite how many times this is mentioned within this thread and others, people still feel the need to preemptively make public what is often a simple case of misunderstanding, miscommunication or poor word choice.

Perhaps the MetaTalk posting page should have the bullet point:

  • Wait. Is this about something you found offensive, inappropriate or rude? Have you tried flagging the post/comment? Have you tried MefiMailing the poster/commenter to clarify their intentions and words? Have you already contacted an admin directly? Have you taken a step back to view the post/comment for what it is: random words written by a random person that, if interesting, moving or funny, should be remembered and enjoyed, and should otherwise be ignored and forgotten?

  • posted by JeremiahBritt at 1:10 PM on February 22, 2008


    I have Akinyele's [NSFW, YT] classic jam "POTUS in your mouth" stuck in my head now.
    posted by kosem at 1:12 PM on February 22, 2008


    Could somebody post a picture of Trotsky in a merkin?
    (NOT ANTI-A MERKIN)
    posted by Bernt Pancreas at 1:12 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Could somebody post a picture of Trotsky in a merkin?

    incidentally, is it just me, or would Trotsky Erotica be a good name for a band?
    posted by scody at 1:18 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


    I just don't understand getting angry on the Internet. I don't see how I could ever be offended by words I chose to read written by a stranger I'll never meet, whose meaning it is arrogant and unnecessary to assume.

    Then I suppose it won't bother you that I think you don't really mean that, that you only mean it for things you don't personally care about, and it's just a clever, passive-aggressive way of writing off the concerns of this poster or any other poster whose says something you don't agree with.
    posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:24 PM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


    Right, right. A band! *kicks box underneath bed*
    posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:26 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


    We can't know what the original asker is going to do with the photo or how it will be treated in class so I think it's best to give the benefit of the doubt here and cut them some slack.
    posted by mathowie at 12:57 PM on February 22


    Wait a minute. Why should what the original asker intends to do with the photo matter one whit to the admins of the site? Even if the asker wants to hold up the picture in class and say, "kids, look at this ridiculous communist! Communists are stupid!" the guy paid his five bones and asked a specific, answerable question. Outside of some arguably illegal conduct, are you sure you want to start down the slippery slope of determining the asker's motives and deciding which are worthy to post a question?
    posted by pardonyou? at 1:28 PM on February 22, 2008


    I was told often growing up that Pontiac stood for "Poor old negros think it's a Cadillac."

    I'm willing to bet that you're paraphrasing, klangklangston.
    posted by dersins at 1:32 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


    But someone on the internet is wrong!

    a) we don't care what you think

    b) you don't really care what we think either
    posted by GuyZero at 1:33 PM on February 22, 2008


    incidentally, is it just me, or would Trotsky Erotica be a good name for a band?

    With special guests Maogasm.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 1:34 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Also,

    Worst. Callout. Ever.
    posted by GuyZero at 1:34 PM on February 22, 2008


    Memo to the internet: That XKCD cartoon was barely funny the first time I saw it. PLEASE, enough. Thank you.
    posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:35 PM on February 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


    Couldn't you have memailed the original poster your concerns about their intentions?
    posted by drezdn at 1:38 PM on February 22, 2008


    Wait a minute. Why should what the original asker intends to do with the photo matter one whit to the admins of the site?

    Generally, it doesn't. There's the outside chance that the poster could have stated some explicit intent with the photo that was bizarrely provocative or mean-spirited in a way that would doom the thread to uselessness and call into question why they were posting it to askme in the first place, but that sort of thing is pretty rare.

    I think you're over-reading Matt's intent; the point is that, even setting aside the question of whether and when and how it would be okay to address an asker's concrete statement of purpose in a question, when there's not even that concreteness we (users and admins) are best off extending the benefit of the doubt and interpreting things charitably.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 1:38 PM on February 22, 2008


    Quite the pickle: Should I file this user under Castro apologists or Speedo aficionados?
    posted by Sys Rq at 1:41 PM on February 22, 2008


    the slippery slope of determining the asker's motives

    Roland Barthes and I urge caution.
    posted by kosem at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


    From now on, every time I post a question to AskMe, I'm going to try to make it as inflammatory and as offensive as possible.

    Example:

    Does anyone know where I can find Bubble Tea in New Paltz, NY or surrounding areas? I only ask because I would like to drink some while I taser and circumcise your morbidly obese cats while projecting pictures of political figures in speedos on the facade of the building across the street and scream "Jesus Cunting Christ" through a megaphone built by Singaporean child sex-slaves. My intent is to film this and show it to middle-schoolers as part of a lesson about how Republicans continually denounce homosexuality and end up being exposed as sexual deviants themselves. (I've not figured out how to tie all this other stuff in, but that's next week's question) Also: anyone who is not me is dumb. Thanks for your prompt answers!
    posted by exlotuseater at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2008 [9 favorites]


    Yeah, I have to question the premise that it's even possible - let alone desirable - to educate while avoiding indoctrination. Better that students are taught that indoctrination is going to be mixed up with education - to expect it, and to learn how to identify and respond to it - than to pretend that it's possible to eliminate indoctrination completely. That way lies self-delusion.

    I agree. Some level of indoctrination is inherent to education. And, hey, I try to give the OP the benefit of the doubt (OMG, this is just like last time, I am a big fascist!), but my gut says this is a crappy way of teaching kids about Castro.

    Once you start showing pictures of Castro's hairy thighs, you're just engaging in tabloid education, and if this is what these students get, they aren't learning critical analysis and how to evaluate information. They're basing their beliefs that Castro was a bad dude on the fact that he looks disgusting on the beach. And I think that kind of failure to impart the skills of critical analysis of ideas is pretty sad, and it's part of why our country is where it is today on a lot of fronts.

    If the querier had not indicated the purpose of the search, but simply indicated interest in finding this picture, would it then be okay with you if the question is answered?

    Totally. Then who cares? It's okay with me that is was asked the way that it was, because there is no reason not to allow questions to be asked here unless way worse that this. But he did say what it was for, and most uses of that picture in that context would reveal a critical flaw in pedagogical approach. Maybe there's still a legitimate use for it, but having myself attended public schools in the rural south (which I'm sure you will say failed me greatly) and been told in class that MLK Jr. was a dirty [slur], well, I think that it's fair to question the motives of teachers.

    iknowizbirfmark, have you ever taught before? If so, I would very much like to see what kind of perfect, engaging, totally bias-free curriculum you've planned for your students.

    Two years of high school, which I sometimes miss greatly and sometimes don't. There is no such curriculum, but some kinds of indoctrination are more appropriate and accepted than others. I don't mind the implication that "this guy is bad, our society has decided that freedom is important and that we should have the rights to do lots of things that they can't do in Cuba" being supported by "that's the way it is and that is a premise upon which America is based," but I think that that the idea that "this guy is bad, we're not going to really discuss the reasons but OMG look at his ass!" is anything close to this is pretty weak.

    Yeah, me too. Sure, it makes sense to give the poster the benefit of the doubt, but given the history of this country's ridiculous attitude to Cuba, it's hardly a stretch to imagine that it would be a cheap shot. (c.f. 300,000 hits for "barack obama che guevara").

    Geez, don't even look at the kind of stuff that comes up for "obama muslim." At least the top links all refute it. I'm still a little annoyed that his first answer to that whole thing did not discuss that there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim, but I guess that he has to appeal to a lot of people who would disagree with that strongly.

    I just don't understand getting angry on the Internet. I don't see how I could ever be offended by words I chose to read written by a stranger I'll never meet, whose meaning it is arrogant and unnecessary to assume.

    Every post and comment offers the ability to flag or favorite, every member and administrator is easily contacted, directly and privately, through MefiMail. Despite how many times this is mentioned within this thread and others, people still feel the need to preemptively make public what is often a simple case of misunderstanding, miscommunication or poor word choice.


    I am sure that shmegegge is going to be all "yo, this is how it is around here, dog, why don't you pay attention!", but there are all kinds of things that people discuss here because they feel that the original poster is operating from a fundamentally flawed perspective. It it not a great leap from what the OP asked about to think that he is going to use it in a derogatory way. If he is going to do that, it's fair to question his motives. It's not a racist joke, but it's in the same ballpark - it's deriding someone for something which is not that likely to be relevant to that person's behaviour (ab quality, race, whatever), but which serves to send the message that society doesn't like "these people" or "that person." I'm not "angry" about anything, but I'm not the kind of person, especially in a place like this, who just sees things that he considers offensive and stands silent while they are treated as appropriate. Sorry, I didn't check my beliefs at the door. If you want to assassinate my questions about football tickets or my cat's paws, fine, but I would hope that if I were suggesting something offensive to someone, that person would say so. Not just to me, but in general. There is no reason to hide or be secretive when someone is doing something in a public forum that you don't agree with. People certainly attacked me in the privacy thread about my statements, and that's fine. I still think that they're wrong, they think I'm wrong, and that's cool. But, geez, if we're not going to discuss stuff like this here, well, I think that sucks.
    posted by iknowizbirfmark at 1:59 PM on February 22, 2008


    HURF DURF BUBBLE TEATER
    posted by Rumple at 2:00 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Memo to the internet: That XKCD cartoon was barely funny the first time I saw it. PLEASE, enough. Thank you.

    Agreed. The Penny Arcade "greater internet fuckwad theory" comic could use a long break as well.
    posted by brain_drain at 2:08 PM on February 22, 2008


    Don't try to hide in the back there 31d1. Dun Dun DUN!
    posted by cashman at 2:09 PM on February 22, 2008


    "I'm willing to bet that you're paraphrasing, klangklangston."

    No, seriously, that's the way I learned it! That phrasing may have to do with hearing it from young black guys too, who (at least around me) are more likely to dismiss old black guys as "old negroes" than "old niggers." But that's a hypothesis without a tremendous amount of data behind it.
    posted by klangklangston at 2:10 PM on February 22, 2008


    Once you start showing pictures of Castro's hairy thighs, you're just engaging in tabloid education, and if this is what these students get, they aren't learning critical analysis and how to evaluate information.

    Sure they are. Each student can decide if world leaders should consider manscaping *, or not.
    posted by ericb at 2:11 PM on February 22, 2008


    I'm pretty sure we're being trolled people. No one is this perniciously and obliviously pedantic. It's a put on, I'm sure.
    posted by Ragma at 2:13 PM on February 22, 2008


    but my gut says this is a crappy way of teaching kids about Castro.

    iknowisbirfmark, if you re-read the thread, you'll find that the overwhelming opinions are:

    1: people don't care what your gut thinks

    2: if YOU think your gut is correct, contact the original poster.
    posted by dubold at 2:17 PM on February 22, 2008


    okey doke then

    - re Castro....not sure what he looks like in a speedo and don't want to find out. The guy might have been a cariciature for years, but he outlasted the Soviet Union for better or worse.

    - iknowisbirfmark, I am pretty sure my appearances as a metacop are few and far between, but I am loading up a tranquilizer gun for you right now. It's very easy to get passionate about something you truly care about, but there is also a point where a friend or even a rank acquaintance has to tell you fly is open, and you are starting to embarrass yourself.

    Let it rest bro, you will have a lot more face to save tomorrow should you not pursue this to its end. I don't think I ever got MeFi schooled as bad as you are about to be if you don't take a breath pretty soon.

    remember
    posted by timsteil at 2:19 PM on February 22, 2008


    So this teacher, he's going to stand in front of a bunch of middle schoolers, point to a picture of Castro in a Speedo, and say "Castro wears Speedos and people don't like him," end of lesson? Somehow I have a feeling there's going to be more emphasis placed on who Castro is and what he has done with his and others' lives than OMGpantsbulge.

    You know who does do a lot of political indoctrination of children? Hint: He wears a Speedo.
    posted by Sys Rq at 2:22 PM on February 22, 2008


    You know who does do a lot of political indoctrination of children? Hint: He wears a Speedo.

    David Hasselhoff?
    posted by dubold at 2:29 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Yep. The Germans love him.
    posted by Sys Rq at 2:30 PM on February 22, 2008


    Once you start showing pictures of Castro's hairy thighs, you're just engaging in tabloid education, and if this is what these students get, they aren't learning critical analysis and how to evaluate information. They're basing their beliefs that Castro was a bad dude on the fact that he looks disgusting on the beach. And I think that kind of failure to impart the skills of critical analysis of ideas is pretty sad, and it's part of why our country is where it is today on a lot of fronts.

    But once again, you're building all of the above from the very slimmest of (apparently unexamined) leads. How do you know the teacher is painting Castro as a Bad Dude? How do you know his intent is to use this image to portray Castro in a negative light? How do you know that this image is in anyway a key part of a lesson plan?

    How do you know the askme wasn't the result of an incidental mention during the planned lesson that our teacher here remembers a picture of Castro in a speedo? And then Jimbo says, "no way." And teacher says, "seriously." And Laquisha says, "pics or it didn't happen" and teacher says, "no, really, I'll google it, or I'll ask the internet, but I'll totally show it to you" and Travis was all "you better not rickroll us again" and then the bell rang and see you all tomorrow, etc?

    You're identifying and objecting to a whole series of failures that are present nowhere but in your mental model of what the asker was doing. I wouldn't swear by my last paragraph up there, because I know that I have no idea what actually happened; you're pushing your argument as if you do, and I think that's what people think is so weird about your stance here.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 2:31 PM on February 22, 2008 [5 favorites]

    Once you start showing pictures of Castro's hairy thighs, you're just engaging in tabloid education, and if this is what these students get, they aren't learning critical analysis and how to evaluate information. They're basing their beliefs that Castro was a bad dude on the fact that he looks disgusting on the beach.
    ....
    I don't mind the implication that "this guy is bad, our society has decided that freedom is important and that we should have the rights to do lots of things that they can't do in Cuba" being supported by "that's the way it is and that is a premise upon which America is based," but I think that that the idea that "this guy is bad, we're not going to really discuss the reasons but OMG look at his ass!" is anything close to this is pretty weak.
    You're making a massive, hairy assumption about the point that richmondparker is trying to make. You have no way of knowing what that point is, and you immediately leap to the worst possible interpretation. Maybe richmondparker wants to discuss they human side of the man. Maybe he's teaching a class on swimsuit fashions through the years. Maybe he's deconstructing propoganda, contrasting official portrayals of world leaders with less-than-flattering candid shots--maybe he already has pictures of Bush in shorts, and bare-chested Putin. Or, yeah, maybe he wants to ridicule Castro by showing his flabby ass. My point is, you don't know, yet you're projecting some very bad motives onto this guy. I mean, look at the guy's posting history--what is there that leads you to make the assumptions you do? How can you possibly make the assumption that this teacher is planning to ridicule Castro?
    posted by MrMoonPie at 2:32 PM on February 22, 2008


    Or, what cortex said.
    posted by MrMoonPie at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2008


    Memo to the internet: That XKCD cartoon was barely funny the first time I saw it. PLEASE, enough. Thank you.

    It's not funny, it's TRAGICALLY HIP TRUE.
    posted by GuyZero at 2:39 PM on February 22, 2008


    Memo to the internet: That XKCD cartoon was barely funny the first time I saw it. PLEASE, enough. Thank you.

    I haven't said that at all! I like XKCD.
    posted by Memo at 2:42 PM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


    What the original poster may be talking about doing is offensive to me.

    "may be talking about doing"? If you don't know, isn't the general idea to give the poster the benefit of the doubt?
    posted by juv3nal at 2:50 PM on February 22, 2008


    Huh. Pretty big leap of an assumption by iknowizbirfmark.

    This may be the only time I've ever wanted to pull out the ol' chestnut of assume = ass+u&me.
    posted by desuetude at 2:52 PM on February 22, 2008


    they aren't learning critical analysis and how to evaluate information

    This is quite droll, coming from someone whose entire argument is based on an elaborate series of assumptions about richmondparker's beliefs and intents that are nowhere supported by the information at hand.

    This callout and its follow-up reminds me of the first time I read Gramsci, after which I spent about two years compulsively going around pointing at things (cosmetic advertising, mainstream newspapers, songs by bands other than the Clash, parents, etc.) in order to denounce their sinister! hegemonic! intent! in a very loud voice. Some of the time I was right, some of the time I was wrong, but most of the time I was just really fucking annoying.
    posted by scody at 3:00 PM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


    I had concocted a nice elaborate alternate theory whereby the person requesting the photo was a student in the class, and he needed it to prove the teacher wrong on some vitally trivial point about Castro, thus forcing the teacher to engage is some strange, sitcomesque display of public humiliation. Looking at richmondparker's profile burst that bubble and disappointed me.

    But I'll still assert that my scenario is at least as likely as whatever paranoid bit of nutjobbery iknowizbirfdefect has dreamed up.
    posted by jacquilynne at 3:02 PM on February 22, 2008


    iknowizbirfmark: Cortex said it better than I could have.

    I will say, though, that based on your conduct here and in your other metatalk thread, you come off as exactly the kind of humorless pedant I avoided during faculty meetings when I was a high school teacher.

    You seem smart and are certainly good with words; perhaps you might want to soak in the delicious, briny juices of the prevailing community standards and practices before engaging in these sorts of quixotic attacks.

    not to mix metaphors or anything
    posted by jtron at 3:10 PM on February 22, 2008


    It is pretty great to show people photos of famous, pompous, longwinded people such as Fidel, the king of the eight hour speech, in speedos. Deflate the bubble and all that.

    Middle school students will remember such a picture, anyway, and perhaps the educational content that goes with it. The OP sounds like a good teacher.

    Even if he is a tabloidesque blowhard, they an be some of the best teachers. Many of my best teachers were loud, silly right wingers (or gold standard economics nuts, or people who had some stupid postmodern cultural theory shite, etc.) and patiently took the time to argue with my boring ass.

    (nb: I have expended many thousands of words on the good things that've come from the cuban revolution)
    posted by By The Grace of God at 3:24 PM on February 22, 2008


    Speaking of indoctrination, when I was in high school (yes, I am old, but this was still in the 80's), we were required to take a course known as "Problems in American Democracy," which was entirely about the dangers of communism. So, you know, Castro in a Speedo would have been a welcome change, really.
    posted by misha at 3:56 PM on February 22, 2008


    So Castro apparently has a birfmark, and the author of this callout knows what it is, but doesn't want middle-schoolers to find out what it is? Is that what's going on here?
    posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:58 PM on February 22, 2008


    iknowizbirfmark, this is isn't a community issue. What do you want, a guideline against AskMe questions that are unethical? First, you'd need to define ethical for the entire group. Actually, no, don't go there.

    I also went to two rural grade schools in the south, one lousy (MS), one decent (VA), and I don't see what that has to do with anything here. Though it might explain why today I've posted about barbecue, lying politicians, and to wonder whether a Middle-earth balrog or a Earthsea dragon would win in a fight (hellfire, or brimstone?).

    Durin's Bane is over in the Balrog physics thread, and this is where people are?
    posted by Tehanu at 4:15 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


    I think the real question is, would a Middle-Earth balrog or Fidel Castro in a speedo win in a fight?
    posted by XMLicious at 5:12 PM on February 22, 2008


    Thanks for that link Tehanu, I hadn't seen that thread and am glad you mentioned it. Carry on.
    posted by friendlyjuan at 5:21 PM on February 22, 2008


    What does new Bruce teach?

    New Bruce will be teaching political science - Machiavelli, Bentham, Locke, Hobbes, Sutcliffe, Bradman, Lindwall, Miller, Hassett, and Benet.

    Those are cricketers, Bruce!

    Oh, spit!

    Howls of derisive laughter, Bruce!

    In addition, as he's going to be teaching politics, I've told him he's welcome to teach any of the great socialist thinkers, provided he makes it clear that they were wrong.

    posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:30 PM on February 22, 2008


    Speaking of indoctrination, when I was in high school (yes, I am old, but this was still in the 80's), we were required to take a course known as "Problems in American Democracy," which was entirely about the dangers of communism.

    Well, when I was in high school in the 70's (in Alabama, no less) we had a course like that too, and the textbook was called "THE MASKS OF COMMUNISM". Pictured on the cover of the book were a pair of sneaky looking eyes, just the eyes. Might've been Stalin's, maybe Lenin's, not sure. Can't remember too much else about the book or the course, though, cause I was mostly high throughout high school.
    posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:34 PM on February 22, 2008


    I fart on this callout with the passion of a thousand burning suns!
    posted by ludwig_van at 7:59 PM on February 22, 2008


    Holy shit, I missed this until now. Wow. Late to the dance again.

    Well, I'm a highly biased observer, but I would suggest that in an askme post that has a specific answer simply be answered or left alone. It's hard to blame someone for adding extra details, since it seems that 50% of poorly answered questions come about because "the asked didn't give enough detail." So, the guy let slip he wanted to use this in his class. Is the question answerable? Yes. Do presumptions about his motivations add anything at all to the discussion? No. And, to my mind, when it comes down to education, you have to give the benefit of the doubt to the person who (1) is licensed by a state board, (2) has passed a battery of exams on both pedagogy and content knowledge, (3) has a degree in education and/or the subject being discussed, and (4) is required to continue training in both content, behavior management, and pedagogy on a hectoringly regular schedule over the person who summoned up a windmill to tilt at because they had a bad experience in eighth grade.

    But, I would think that. I'm in the union.
    posted by absalom at 8:34 PM on February 22, 2008


    Now that I've read all this. . .

    iknowizbirfmark: Your total wrongness of thought aside, you seem to be operating from a flawed perspective of what ask.me is all about. It is about the transmission of data, not about the challenging of paradigms.

    Which, I think might be what I said before? I dunno, I can't keep up.
    posted by absalom at 8:48 PM on February 22, 2008


    T: Fedoras?
    S1: Belize, Costa Rica, and... uh... Brazil.
    T: Brazil? Are you sure? Anyone else?
    S2: Botswana!
    T: Excellent, Jamie. OK, merkins?
    S3: Andorra, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe.
    T: Wow, someone's done their homework! Great! Speedos?
    ...(silence)...
    T: Ah, some of us weren't paying attention in Unit Three, it seems. Let's have a quick review with visual aides...
    posted by Meatbomb at 9:21 PM on February 22, 2008


    What have you been eating ludwig_van, that sounds painful.
    posted by Tenuki at 9:26 PM on February 22, 2008



    Memo to the internet: That XKCD cartoon was barely funny the first time I saw it.


    I don't think it's being linked to in an attempt to get a laugh.
    posted by tkolar at 9:31 PM on February 22, 2008


    "THE MASKS OF COMMUNISM"

    Yeah, they felt it wasn't really getting through to the kids - let's face it, masks are pretty cool, amirite? - so they phased it out in favour of "THE PAUNCH AND MANBREASTS OF COMMUNISM".
    posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:04 PM on February 22, 2008


    ZIMBABWE MERKIN is totally gonna be the name for my new avant-afrobeat band.
    posted by jtron at 10:22 PM on February 22, 2008


    iknowizbirfmark: You are right. The teacher is an ass.

    Unfortunately, all the upset you and I can muster on MeTa or AskMe will never, ever make a difference. Thirty-odd students or more are going to get a dumbass lesson that does nothing to help our society improve, and there's nothing we can do.

    Suck it up. AskMe isn't the place for that battle anyway. Send a letter to your schoolboard educating them as to why Creationism is anti-intelligent and must never be allowed into the curriculum. It'll accomplish more.
    posted by five fresh fish at 10:36 PM on February 22, 2008


    iknowizbirfmark: You are right. The teacher is an ass.

    You've got to be kidding.
    posted by Snyder at 12:58 AM on February 23, 2008


    Not kidding. There's nothing useful to be learned by seeing Castro in a swimsuit.

    Also, I'm trying to encourage dipshit to just let it go. His MeTa whinge is retarded, and I think we should be trying to discourage this sort of idiot use of MeTa.
    posted by five fresh fish at 10:22 AM on February 23, 2008


    There's nothing useful to be learned by seeing Castro in a swimsuit.

    I disagree. Learning disrespect for leaders of all types is a vital part of children's education.
    posted by tkolar at 12:45 PM on February 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


    There's nothing useful to be learned by seeing Castro in a swimsuit.

    Good god. You feel compelled to declare someone an ass based on one tiny, tiny nugget of insight into his pedagogical approach. All we know is that he might show a picture of Castro in a bathing suit. If you knew for a fact that he was going to put up the picture, laugh maniacally, hand out a "Fuck Commies" word search, and take a nap for the rest of class, then maybe you could call him an ass. But, come on. If we're going to condemn every teacher who has ever introduced anything into the classroom from which "there's nothing useful to be learned," we're going to condemn every teacher ever.
    I even told jokes when I taught! I can hear your underwear getting all a-twist from here.
    posted by PhatLobley at 1:35 PM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


    And you're getting yours all twisted right here and now. Hiya, brother!
    posted by five fresh fish at 2:19 PM on February 23, 2008


    is it as awful to get your speedos in a twist as i think it would be?
    posted by pyramid termite at 2:33 PM on February 23, 2008


    If you're wearing more than one of them, it probably is that awful.
    posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:19 PM on February 23, 2008


    "Aw, nuts," he said, "this twisted speedo really hurts!"
    posted by five fresh fish at 4:52 PM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Oh, good grief...

    I asked this question after having had the opportunity to observe a colleague facilitate one of the most amazing discussions I've ever seen. I spent an hour watching a group of 6th graders have an intellectual exchange that almost brought me to tears. It was amazing. And at the end of the lesson, the teacher had students vote on how they felt about current US policy. It was about a 50-50 split, with many students eager to explain the thinking that had gone into their decision.

    After class, one of the students asked if Castro always wore the fatigues. The teacher answered 'yes', but said that she recalled having seen a picture of him in a suit many years ago. I chimed in and said that I had even seen a photo essay with a couple of shots of him wearing a bathing suit. The kids were curious, so I said I'd try to find it again.

    As for my use of the words 'disgusting speedo filter'...

    I was simply trying to come up with a description for my question that would get the most number of people to click on it, thus increasing the chance that I might actually find a copy of the blasted photo. Jesus, people, I'd hate to disappoint you, but the bathing suit wasn't even a speedo; it was a very conservative-looking deal that was almost down to his knees. Again, speedo was my attempt at a catchy title that would catch your (helpful) attention.

    Bookhouse, you are correct, and I have learned my lesson well...
    posted by richmondparker at 5:14 PM on February 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


    You know, Speedo makes 'sports water.' This conjures up images of a bottling plant full of women robotically wringing wet nuthuggers into plastic bottles for the aerobicizing throng.
    posted by jonmc at 5:36 PM on February 23, 2008


    *waits for apology from iknowizbirfmark*
    posted by languagehat at 6:14 PM on February 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


    *Raises hand*

    Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! Mister Park-air! is it true that even he President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked?
    posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:35 PM on February 23, 2008


    Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! Mister Park-air! is it true that even he President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked?

    No. He has aides who do that for him.
    posted by jonmc at 6:55 PM on February 23, 2008


    The question-asker wasn't even the teacher?

    I wish I'd gone with my initial instinct and bitched about this being yet another retarded MeTa post. But, nooo, I figure agreeing and redirecting ikibm's outrage would work better.

    I apologize to the imaginary teacher who posted the AskMe question and was going to use Fidel's near-naked image in his imaginary lesson plan, thus traumatizing his imaginary class and offending Fidel's imaginary honour.
    posted by five fresh fish at 7:06 PM on February 23, 2008


    *waits for apology from iknowizbirfmark*

    *Waits for statement about why the fact that the guy asking wasn't the actual teacher is immaterial and that this callout was actually about a general issue and not this particular question from iknowizbirfmark*
    posted by tkolar at 7:14 PM on February 23, 2008


    *Waits for Pop-tarts to toast*
    posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:42 PM on February 23, 2008


    *Waits for Godot*
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:35 PM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


    *Fights urge to register a name for a one-joke sockpuppet*
    posted by Bookhouse at 10:54 PM on February 23, 2008


    *Weights and Measures*
    posted by tkolar at 10:56 PM on February 23, 2008


    What an anticlimax.
    posted by Devils Slide at 11:00 PM on February 23, 2008


    I'm pretty sure this is Godot.
    posted by languagehat at 8:22 AM on February 24, 2008


    What an anticlimax.
    posted by Devils Slide


    (Epony-innuendo-ties-into-my-infantile-joke-isterical)
    Did you expect to climax in a thread about Fidel Castro in a speedo?

    *Goes and tries to explain that joke to a group of sixth graders and they beat me up and steal my lunch money*
    posted by XMLicious at 8:28 AM on February 24, 2008


    MetaTalk: What an anticlimax
    posted by ODiV at 1:19 PM on February 24, 2008


    Looks like the apology will have to wait until iknowizbirfmark is done in AskMe.
    posted by tkolar at 7:36 PM on February 25, 2008


    I am seriously craving a biscuit.
    posted by tr33hggr at 7:30 AM on February 26, 2008


    That's probably because your seventh-grade health teacher was a shill for Big Cookie.
    posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:15 AM on February 26, 2008


    I'm surprised we haven't automatically assumed that the item in question is stolen property...
    posted by richmondparker at 2:43 PM on February 26, 2008


    That's probably because your seventh-grade health teacher was a shill for Big Cookie.

    Is this him? He did it all for the cookie.
    posted by Tehanu at 3:03 PM on February 26, 2008


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