I’m Mad As Hell And I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore!
The columnist is pretty steamed this week. Let’s see what this is all about before the Thought Police take it offline.
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." - George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 7
I picked up a prescription at Rite Aid this morning. I brought it home, and removed the top after fighting with it for two or three minutes. Who designs these things anyway? As I shook a few pills out of the bottle in to the palm of my hand I got an unexpected bonus; a small, white, cylindrical piece of plastic about the size of a thimble. I picked it up and read the small print on the side.
SORB-IT CAN® - Moisture Absorbent - For product freshness - DO NOT EAT
Damn! And I was all set to put a little Tabasco on it and pop it into my mouth! I guess now I’ll have to run up to D'Angelo’s to get a sandwich.
Who on God’s green earth is going to eat a plastic cylinder full of silica? Perhaps a two year old, but then why the written warning? A two year old can’t read! They’re going to eat it anyway!
By the way, for those who may want to try this scrumptious snack; those delectable little moisture absorbers also come in a tiny rectangular paper container for those who don’t care for the texture of plastic. Both contain the same tasty silica.
This has the stench of the meddling hands of the legal profession; forever perpetrating an atmosphere of angst for their own avaricious purposes. You can bet your life that the recent trend of public schools banning everything from cupcakes and peanut butter to sugared drinks and snacks has little to do with protecting the physical and mental well being of their young charges and everything to do with some legal-eagle whispering surreptitiously into the ear of a paranoid administrator at the local school committee meeting, “You’d better do this. You’d better do that. If I were you, I’d do such-and-such. You could get sued. You could lose your job. Blah, blah, blah.”
I’ll confess, I may be a little jaded or overemotional on this subject, but I’m really fed up with all the frivolous accommodations that are being made for the minority at the expense of the majority. Let me give you a recent example from my own life.
My grandson, Logan, goes to preschool for a half-day, three days a week. He takes his lunch and a snack every day. As is common with children his age (he’ll be four in September), Logan is a picky eater. There are a few things he likes and he adamantly refuses to eat anything else. His favorite thing for lunch is a peanut butter sandwich and his favorite snack is the Clif Kid® Organic Chocolate Chip Z Bar, which is a baked, whole grain energy snack containing ten whole grains, twelve vitamins and minerals and no high fructose corn syrup. As these types of foods go, it’s a pretty wholesome snack.
My wife picked Logan up at school last Thursday, as she always does, and the director of the school asked to speak with her for a few minutes. My wife was informed that a new student at the school had a peanut allergy and Logan would no longer be permitted to bring peanut butter or any peanut product to school. This also meant that his favorite snack, and pretty much the only snack he’ll eat; the Clif bar was verboten, as it has an allergen statement on its wrapper saying, “Contains soy. May contain traces of peanuts, dairy, wheat and tree nuts.”
Here’s my issue with this. Logan is in a class of about fifteen children. Fifteen children who are being put upon by one child who needs a special accommodation. Since when does the world work that way?
Please understand, my heart goes out to this poor child with the peanut allergy. But shouldn’t his parents be the ones who should adjust and make the special accommodations for their child? Shouldn’t the burden be on them? Why should fourteen other children have to change their eating habits? That makes absolutely no sense to me.
What about Logan’s rights? What about the fact that my daughter will now be hard-pressed to find something for her son’s lunch every day? Should Logan go hungry at school to accommodate another student? Where does all this insanity end?
I actually think the school is the villain here. If they choose to accept a new student, knowing full well it will adversely affect all the other students; they should be the ones to accept the responsibility for seeing that this child is accommodated by keeping him separate from the others during lunch or whatever they need to do that does not include imposing upon the majority of students.
The school might also choose to refer this child to another school, rather than deny the rest of their students their freedom to eat what they wish. I’m sure there are many schools that are set up for this type of thing. Obviously, Logan’s school is not.
But, of course, the real bottom line here is that referring this young man to another school would cost my grandson’s school money. But I’m sure that has no bearing on their decision to admit this child. No, it’s never about the money!
The question here is not whether little Johnny and Suzie can enjoy a cupcake during school lunch, or whether Logan can have his Clif Bar at snack time. That is not and has never been the real issue. The real question here is this - To what extent will we allow the power of the state to be utilized in order to protect us from ourselves?
This is nothing new. Malevolent acts are often times committed under the guise of doing something for the good. And this phenomenon is not merely present in the hallowed halls of our schools; it’s all around us; permeating the very fabric of our society. The goal; to retract our God-given rights as individuals, as parents and as American citizens. Quietly. Clandestinely. Bit by bit. Piece by piece.
We must resist the burgeoning, inane government intervention into every aspect of our lives. And that resistance starts with you; with your family; in every home; in every corner of our country.
We must be vigilant, lest we create the terrifying Dystopia of which Aldous Huxley spoke so eloquently in his classic novel, 1984.
Am I way over the top on this? You bet I am! I'm mad as hell!
Make it a great week!
Bob Havey is an Easton-based freelance writer. His column, "The View From Here", appears each Tuesday at http://easton-ma.patch.com and his column, "Take Me Back" runs every Friday at http://mansfield-ma.patch.com.