The Cleverest Of Animals

The work of teaching and organising the others fell naturally upon the pigs, who were generally recognised as being the cleverest of the animals.

George Orwell, Animal Farm (1946)

The New York Daily News lists a litany of mistakes (grammatical and factual) in a curriculum guide handed to teachers by the Education department. Although some of the other mistakes are shockingly bad, I don’t expect much from bureaucrats, so I’m not all that surprised. This one, though, is the humdinger:

The authors […] portrayed George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” – a cautionary tale about communism – as a story about the importance of rules.

I simply cannot imagine ever bridging the philosophical gulf between myself and the person who could read that into Animal Farm. He or she probably thinks that 1984 is an argument for world government, and Brave New World is an endorsement of forced ritalin for children.

11 thoughts on “The Cleverest Of Animals”

  1. Soma isn’t much of anything, it just makes people happy, and what’s wrong with that?

    Actually, I don’t have to know anything about Ritalin (I admit I know very little about it) to be able to say that no parent should be forced to put their child on it.

  2. Maybe I’ve missed something but parents aren’t quite forced to put their kids on Ritalin are they? What happens if you refuse?

    (I’m not a fan of putting lots of kids on drugs to get them through school.)

  3. The times I’ve taken Adderall, it hasn’t had much of an effect.

    I note that they are parcelling it out in teeny tiny doses now for teeny-tiny ADD tots.

    Though I had friends in college who used to swear by the stuff as an all-night-studying aid. And as a party-all-night drug, though on that front I think it’s been supplanted by Red Bull.

    I stand speechless at this assertion.

  4. Actually, I don’t have to know anything about Ritalin (I admit I know very little about it) to be able to say that no parent should be forced to put their child on it.

    Yes, of course. I was just being a little snarky.

    But when it comes to “attention-deficit disorder”, Ritalin is small-time stuff. Personally, I find it hilarious that Suburban Soccer Mommy (who undoubtedly supports D.A.R.E., school drug searches and who votes for every repressive measure that comes her way, whether it be against drugs or guns) trustingly allows her precious ADD-ridden darlings to be dosed with Adderall. It’s the Tweaker Generation!

    Still, I approve. In order to battle the paynim hordes, we need an alert, quick-reacting, sleepless new generation of young people – as opposed to traitorous and slothful potheads! You can’t stop Osama with a handwoven hemp hat, even if it does have earflaps.

    (One should point out that “S.W. Bloch” is overdramatizing quite a bit in his linked description, as well as having some questionable personal habits. Toothpaste? Icky.)

  5. John Kennedy –

    “What happens if you refuse?”

    Here’s what happens. I’m divorced, ex-wife has custody and does not communicate with me willingly, except through the courts. I have twin sons by ex, now 16. One son was supposedly diagnosed with ADD by a social worker through the private parochial school where they attend at the age of 12. I found out one day prior to commencement of drug therapy for said son, he was to be ritalined, when ex phoned and wanted money for the drug. I immediately phoned the school and demanded an immediate meeting with teachers, social worker who “diagnosed” and principal. They were adamant that my boy was ADD, explaining he was fidgety, talked out of turn etc. Basic kid stuff intrepreted as needing drugging. I threatened court action against school if they proceeded. They backed down but said I should consult with ex. Which I did. The ex wanted to kow tow to diagnosis. I wanted further evaluations and said I would willingly pay for such. The ex didn’t want this, being subservient to the state, whether it be the school or the State, so I ended up in court. The court ruled against me, meaning the court would not allow me to obtain further diagnosis, and submitted that my son could be put on ritalin based on the schools, social worker and teachers recommendations. I was beaten. I cicumvented the court, teachers and my ex by talking with my son, who didn’t want to take the drug, and teaching him how to simulate taking the drug, which he would then dispose of.
    My son is now 16, is a straight A student and does not take any “prescribed” meds to control his behavior. So that’s what happens.

  6. The times I’ve taken Adderall, it hasn’t had much of an effect. Though I had friends in college who used to swear by the stuff as an all-night-studying aid. And as a party-all-night drug, though on that front I think it’s been supplanted by Red Bull.

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