Wednesday, March 28, 2007

If Legos are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Legos

Duct tape your head:

Teachers at a Seattle day care center decided to ban LEGO building blocks — those colorful little bricks kids use to build such creations as robots, monster trucks, space ships and vast futuristic cities. The Hilltop Children's Center bills itself as a nationally recognized, non-profit, non-religious facility. So why did the teachers toss the LEGOs?

Just a side note on the reporting here: are there religions out there that forbid the use of Legos? Besides Jahova Witnesses, I mean?

We'll let them explain: "We agreed that we want to take part in shaping the children's understandings from a perspective of social justice. So we decided to take the LEGOs out of the classroom.["]

Pressure... in... skull... mounting. Writing...becomming... labored... Must... reach... switch. Call... for...



["]The children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive."


Allow me a moment to get my brain around this one.

[a moment]

Nope. Can't do it. Let's just attack this whole notion of "social justice".

The term "social justice" is used by smarmy self-loathing left-wing douchebags to make themselves sound intellectual, and to bolster their self-esteem by making themselves sound like they "care" and have "solutions" to all the world's "problems" despite the fact that they are routinely unable to differentiate their "asses" from a "hole" in the "ground."

The concept of social justice is an extremely dangerous thing. Its dangerousness lies in the fact that its a concept based on some intellectual fad, rather than on any basic discoverable truth. Justice that is based upon such truths needs no moidifier, and is indeed refered to in common parliance merely as "justice" - those notions of fair play, making (true) victims whole and the Right Thing Be Done. And while we mortals may sometimes fail at discerning what justice looks like in a given situation (as anyone who has spent more than 3 weeks in law school knows: it's one thing to be able to discern and recite the applicable law; it's somewhat harder to actually apply it to a set of facts), we know it's out there. And we know it when we see it.

"Social justice" by its nature is mutable. It can be shaped and formed to fit one's own demented world view, where the solution for society's ills relies on the confiscation of property or armed revolution. Put aside that those things are antithetical to Actual Justice as it exists. This is "social justice" - something much more important. The idea of "social justice" as given us, among other things, the Soviet Union, Naziism, and worst of all, Prohibition (not to mention the gangsters of the 20's that Prohibition gave rise to, who were also acting pursuant to their own notions of social justice).

And so what would actual justice look like in the case of the loony toon day care providers and the Legos? Not that I would ever EVER put him in an asylum such as this, but I keep imagining how Moonchild, a few years hence, would play with the Legos in this classroom:

TEACHER: Now, Moonchild, be sure to only construct environmentally sustainable, low income coopoerative buildings with those Legos.

MOONCHILD: I don't like making buildings, Ms. Fleebowictz-Mugabe. I build spaceships.

TEACHER: Oh how neat. Is your spaceship driven by intergalactically sustainable fuels like corn husks or compost?

MOONCHILD: Er... I guess...

TEACHER: And what are these things here?

MOONCHILD: [beaming proudly] Oh, those are the Super Duper Powerful Laser Disrupter Rays o' Devastation and Doom!

TEACHER: Well, I never! Moonchild C. Foot - that is not appropriate for -



MOONCHILD; And they really work too!

MOONCHILD: [looking around] Ms. Fleebowictz-Mugabe? Ms. Fleebowictz-Mugabe? Where did you go?





Oh sorry. Just daydreaming. They grow up so darn fast, don't they? *sniff*

Anyhoo, the story has a bittersweet ending:

After months of what the teachers called "social justice exploration" — they let the LEGOs back in — but kids were only allowed to build "public structures" of standard sizes in a village dedicated to what they called "collectivity and consensus."

Yes, the kids did get their Legos back. Unfortunately, they didn't fashion crude weapons out of them and beat the teachers into submission before they could damage our nation's youth any further.

That would be justice.

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