Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I'm going to start off this post with a link from boingboing. It's a story about how some authority figures (police, a school administration, and some teachers) stage a traumatic event (several students died this weekend in drunk driving accidents) to teach kids a lesson (don't drink; don't drink and drive). It's absolutely horrifying, undermines the people's worth, treats them as pavlovian dogs, is heavy handed and disempowering in every sense possible. It is all the failings of the nanny state in one - a "we know better than you, which gives us freedom to act in horrible ways" attitude met with teenagers inherent understanding that every part of the scenario is wrong, that this authority does not in fact know what is best, that the authority has lost all legitimacy through its ham-handed conduct, and that authority as a rule can no longer be thought to be acting in anyone's best interest. It's a perfect storm of what not to do, and why not to do it.