22 September 2008

Elitism: it's what's for dinner

Looking back on my weary existence, I have witnessed more than my share of dimwitted narcoleptic assholes who sought to impose the very sense of their moral, intellectual, economic, and cultural superiority upon the huddled masses with aplomb. And one of the most high-hatted and malevolent methods by which this kind of social fascism is imposed is the vessel of the elite Catholic "college preparatory" high school.

In the city from whence I hail, there are a small but well regarded number of these schools.  Not that many, of course, since profligacy in the 'elite' moniker would render it all the less formidable. To wit, there is a difference in the greater Crescent City area between the standard Catholic 'archdiocesan' high school which takes in a relatively broad cross spectrum of the student population, and those elite 'prep' academies which are largely populated by the sons and daughters of society's most privileged and advantaged elements.

And what achievements these children of advantage produce! All these institutions can boast of how many National Merit Semifinalists they graduate each year, or their vaunted athletic prowess and near-monopolization of state championships in various sports, or their long and stories histories filled with long lists of proud achievements by students and alumni - which makes these places, usually dedicated to the greater glory of the deity or some such, manifestations of God's grace on earth, eh?


They are nothing more than reproducers of elite White privilege. They are repositories of entrenched wealth and power which manifest themselves in the most rigid and inhuman regimes known to the educational system.

I am all for old-time discipline. But Catholic high schools are the only place where a teacher can throw a totally unprofessional hissy fit and fling a chair across a classroom filled with students without any risk whatsoever to his employment status; where men of questionable origin and character rage poetic about the exact number of spitballs that he counted on the stairwell banister; where entire assemblies are made to stand out in the driving rain as 'discipline' while their dictatorial leaders shout "YOU ARE (insert name of school here)!"

Catholic academies bear more than a passing resemblance to fascist dictatorships.

What, you don't believe me? Pity you, moron. The unbending dedication to tradition; the revered treatment of past great fulfillers of the cause; the rule to conformity in thought and appearance; the segregation by genders; the sustenance of caste systems (in this case based on class order) which often degenerate into old fashioned hazing and physical persecution; the exclusion of racial minorities (particularly that most loathed of the Other races, Blacks); the paranoia against "out groups" (in this case, everyone outside the institution and having no part of it); the overbearing religiosity; the obsession with mass events, assemblies, the collective, and the grandiose, always overwhelming the individual and his own mind...I could go on but this might take all night.

The elite Catholic high school provides a fine and absolutely engrossing educational experience, and provides incredible academic opportunities. That is the one good thing I can say about it.

But at what cost to the soul?

Is the intent to create "Christian men" (as is generally claimed by the administrators of these military academies in disguise) or automatons for the System of which the Church and the social elites are so very much a part of??

Because I don't think Jesus would consider conformist brownshirts very Christian.

People say that because I abandoned and foresook the opportunities available to me at that not so mature age in my life, I pretty much ruined my life.

If they mean that I am nowhere near as successful as I might have been, they are absolutely correct. I am far, far less of a person than I could have been because of my self-immolating and immature actions - products of a fatal immaturity that has been the major defining force of my life and the key factor in my current bedraggled and despised socioeconomic status. The power brokers pretty much assure you a bad end in this matter. Cross them, even at this insipid level, and you are marked for life, and your existence as a failure is assured. (In my case, it would have happened anyway, since my personality and character is the absolute definition of what is required to be a loser.)

But if they mean that because I happen to think for myself, and question authority, and not trust every last thing our politicians, Leaders, and clerics utter from their reptilian throats, then they are shucking and jiving again. Because I would rather have a critical mind and be unsuccessful than the alternative - which, as you may have figured out by now, is to join the legions of the dickheadery.

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