Wendell Berry & My Broken Elbow

Oh online world, have you missed me? I’m gouing to assume you did, because it will make me feel better. Why do I need to be feel-bettered-up you ask? I’ll tell you. I broke my elbow. And I wasn’t even doing anything cool like defending a baby from a bear or punching Chuck Norris in the abs. This was two weeks ago. As I type, I am recovering from a surgery that put a large metal plate and six, count ’em, six screw being inserted into my elbow. It is not fun. This could have been easily developed into near endless blog fodder, but unfortunately, typing is rather painful and exhausting. I’m all tuckered out after this paragraph. That is why I will leave you’ in the capable hands of the preface of a book my brother left on the table that I picked up beccause I am so bored because I was stupid and didn’t pack reading material before surgery even though I knew I would have to stay at my parents’ house afterwards.

This is an excerpt from Wendell Berry’s essay “The Joy of Sales Resistance” in his book SEX, ECONOMY, FREEDOM and COMMUNITY.  (p. xii)  It’s delightfully sarcastic, and very thought provoking whether you agree or not. Speaking of which, please let me know what you think about this statement in the comments. I’ve been confined to bed for days now, and I’m just dying (it has felt like literally at some points, ouch)  to hear some intelligent feedback on this.

“…As we know, the new commercial education is fun for everybody.  All you have to do in order to have or to provide such an education is to pay your money (in advance) and master a few simple truths:

I.  Educated people are more valuable than other people because education is a value-adding industry.

II. Educated people are better than other people because education improves people and makes them good.

III. The purpose of education is to make people able to earn more and more money.

IV. The place where education is to be sued is called “your career.”

V. Anything that cannot be weighed, measured, or counted does not exist.

VI. The so-called humanities probably do not exist. But if they do, they are useless. But whether they exist or not, they can sometimes be made to support a career.

VII. Literacy does not involve knowing the meanings of words, or learning grammar, or reading books.

VIII. The sign of exceptionally smart people is that they speak a language that is intelligible only to other people in their “field” or only to themselves.  This is very impressive and is known as “professionalism.”

IX. The smartest and most educated people are the scientists, for they have already found solutions to all our problems and will soon find solutions to all the problems resulting from their solutions to all the problems we used to have.

X. The mark of a good teacher is that he or she spends most of his or her time doing research and writes many books and articles.

XI. The mark of a good researcher is the same as that of a good teacher.

XII. A great university has many computers, a lot of government and corporation research contracts, a winning team, and more administrators than teachers.

XIII. Computers make people even better and smarter than they were made by previous thingamabobs.  Or if some people prove incorrigibly wicked or stupid or both, computers will at least speed them up.

XIV. The main thing is, don’t let eduction get in the way of being nice to children.  Children are our Future.  Spend plenty of money on them but don’t stay hime with them and get in their way.  Don’t give them work to do; they are smart and can think up things to do on their own.  Don’t teach them any old-fashioned morality.  Provide plenty of TV, microwave dinners, day care, computers, computer games, cars.  For all this, they will love an respect us and be glad to grow up and pay our debts.

XV.  A good school is a big school.

XVI. Disarm the children before you let them in.”

My sexy splint and wrap

My arm brace/ new bionic arm.


12 thoughts on “Wendell Berry & My Broken Elbow

  1. Pingback: #NYE So Long 2012, You’ve Actually Been Rather Helpful « Ezra Won't Shut Up

  2. Pingback: No Room For People Without Pages « Ezra Won't Shut Up

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