Saturday, March 26, 2005

Golden Dancer

We were watching Inherit the Wind last night on TCM. The kid wanders in and wants to know what this movie is about -- what are they fighting about.

“This guy wants to teach evolution in the public schools,” I explain. “Those guys don’t want him to. Because they’re Christians, and they believe it contradicts their text.”

She watches the movie awhile. “Who wins?”


Hah, hah, hah.

Isn’t that a funny question?

There's this bit in the movie I had forgotten, where the lawyer for the Christians asks the lawyer for the science teacher why he wants to take "the beautiful dream" away from the Christians, especially since it's all they have.

"Like my Golden Dancer," says the lawyer for the science teacher wistfully.


The science lawyer tells about Golden Dancer, a rocking horse he had longed for as a child, how beautiful it was in the store window, how much he wanted it, how it shone in the sunlight. Glittering stirrups, gilded saddle, the works.

Then he gets it, Christmas morning, leaps on it, starts to rock, it falls to bits: it's made of wax and glue and pressed board. It's a lie, a sham. It won't hold together.

Even if it's all they have, if it's not the truth, we don't teach it. What's true: that's what we teach in the schools. That's what will get them through.

(Of course, you know what the kid got from the movie: now she wants a rocking horse. Ai.)


zelda1 said...

In my science classes in high school years ago, we were taught evolution, or a bit of it, but on our test we were allowed to either answer with the creation story or the evolution story. Now, I always did both since I am and have always been an over achiever. Evolution makes sense and so does creation to a point. I an see god making a baboon and saying whoops fucked up on that one and taking some of the baboon and maybe making another animal and on and on until he finally has this man. But then he makes a lot of men and everyonce in a while for the fun of it he makes some who look more like the ape, all hairy and mean looking and we later called those guys republicans or bushwackers or bushcos. You know they have hairy eye brows and wait oh wait...that's men. No not all men but some men like I won't go there. And if I had known your child had no rocking horse well my son had a wooden one that was huge and he put on his cowboy hat and his boots and would ride that thing all morning while I cleaned house. In fact, I thought he might be autistic since he liked to rock on it so much. I wanted to save it for my grandchildren but one day a little boy was over visiting and he cried when he had to get off of it and my almost grown son said, let him have it and so there went my son's pony out of our lives. I had it painted blue and white with nice big red spots on it. Anyway, a good wooden pony is worth its weight in gold for mommy time.

Diane said...

But we don't teach the truth, not about science, not about history, not about literature. As angry as the creationism thing makes me, all of the fake "knowledge" taught in schools upsets me.

A few years ago, a conservative friend of mine, when confronted with the stuff about Christopher Columbus, said "I wish they'd quite re-writing history." I told her, "Me, too, and I'm glad someone is finally doing something about it."

That was the end of the conversation.

delagar said...

Yeah, I should have put that in the modal: "We *ought* to teach the truth."