Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How do high schools cover the Clinton impeachment?

I've wondered for years how high schools were covering the impeachment of Bill Clinton. How do they avoid the question of whether oral sex is sex? It seemed like the conservatives were guaranteeing that every child in America would have at least one classroom discussion on this subject.

But there were plenty of things they skipped over in my day. It was stuff I had to learn from the movies.

I remember them telling us that a prisoner was yelling to the crowds to get them to storm the Bastille and start the French Revolution. I remember the teacher mentioning that there were only a few prisoners there and that one was a sex offender. But how could they not mention that it was The Marquis de Sade? It seems rather significant. If not significant, then interesting. There've been a couple of movies about this, one performed by puppets, if I remember it correctly. It's been a long time.

They talked about how the Tsarina's relationship with Rasputin upset the Russian public. They didn't really spell out why----that Rasputin was a swinger. Since no one knew about the tsarevich's hemophilia, there was only one reason they could think of for her hanging around with this guy. I didn't quite realize this until I saw the movie the  Rasputin and the Empress (1932)

I don't recall any mention of Roy Cohn's homosexuality in discussion of the McCarthy era, although that was central to the Army-McCarthy Hearings which put an end to McCarthy. The Army got a lawyer who was as sleazy as McCarthy and Cohn. He showed a cropped photo of Roy Cohn with a hetrosexual they were suggesting was his boyfriend. This was from a group photo that was cropped to look like it was just Cohn and this other guy.

Where did the picture come from, the lawyer asked. Did the pixies bring it?

McCarthy asked him to define "pixie"

It's closely related to a fairy, the lawyer said.

I wonder what else I missed all those years.

I did have a teacher who told us about a new book out which claimed that Queen Elizabeth I was a man. But part of the evidence was that she wore a wig and smoked cigars, which seemed pretty stupid.

I had a teacher in junior high school who told us that one (male) historical figure "preferred young boys". I'm not sure if he actually preferred young boys or if he was simply gay. The teacher, by the way, preferred young girls. One day, I was home, sick. There was nothing to eat in the house so I walked to the McDonald's that was a block away and there he was on a lunch date with an 8th grade girl.

A couple of years later the history teacher went into Thomas Jefferson's thing, but there was no avoiding it at that point.

But I did have a class in Greek Mythology. The textbook included the story of Ganymede without explanation. 

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