Monday, March 15, 2010

Great American Novels to Come!

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? -- Robert. F. Kennedy.

* * *
Come, brethren, let us dream together.  Let us put lipstick on this pig that is public education in Texas and call it Pegasus.  Let us enroll in the new Texas home economics class and learn to make chicken salad out of chicken excrement.  Let us see the good that might come of the new policies of that bastion of reason and acuity, the Texas Board of Education.

Mark ye this and mark it well: From plains of ignorance, borne on winds of folly, breathing the fire of an angry God and seething  at at the sins of those who would separate religion from governance,  the next generation of major American fiction writers will emerge.  They will give us not just one Great American Novel but an entire series of them.

Why not?

How better to create a great generation of fiction writers than to require children to write fiction in school?  Not just in English class; in every class!  Sociology.  American history.  Civics and government.  Science.

In American history, Texas children will be required to write essays about "great Americans" like Newt Gingrich and William F. Buckley Jr. ("When Newt Gingrich decided to ditch the bitch to marry his doxie, he broke the news gently because his wife was dying of cancer.  This sort of compassion is not unusual among great Americans because it is, well, the American Way. . . . .")

Our science fiction literature can only be deeply enriched by a generation whose science textbooks contain no mention of Thomas Alva Edison or Albert Einstein;  whose classes on meteorology teach that a hurricane devastated New Orleans because of Madalyn Murray O'Hair's atheism, and an earthquake devastated Haiti because someone made "a pact with the devil."

What wondrous fiction might we expect from a generation schooled to believe that the Moral Majority -- led by the likes of Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker -- enriched our national ethic by joining with that other great American, Phyllis Schlafly, to "create the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s."

Thomas Jefferson has no place in the historical novels to come because he was a Deist who did not accept Christ as "divine," and he held that our Constitution erects a "wall of separation between church and state."

What fine fairy tales we might expect from grown-up children who learned that not only did Joshua cause walls to tumble down simply by blowing a horn, but also that Ronald Reagan did so simply by blowing smoke.

This will be happy fiction.  There will be no Trail of Tears in these great American novels; no tragedy at Wounded Knee; no massacre at  Little Big Horn;  no cutting off of Puebloans' feet.  These events did not happen in the history books of Texas.  The new wave of great American fiction will deal with the American Indian only as an obstruction to progress, to Great White American Achievements like Las Vegas, Lake Powell, Phoenix, Palm Springs, and, most especially, Dallas, Houston and Waco.

Our new American novelists will know a great deal about  Charlton Heston and the National Rifle Association, but absolutely nothing about Cesar Estrada Chavez and the United Farm Workers.  They will write their fiction from a firm foundation of Glenn Beck, the "Contract with America" and the Heritage Foundation.  But they won't have the foggiest idea of the contributions to our culture and history by Anatonia Novella, Mel Martinez, Antonio Villaraigosa, Bill Richardson, Anthony Romero, Jorge Perez, Jose Gomez, Mari Carmen Ramirez, Sonia Sotomayor, Edwin M. Figueroa, Jose Marti, or Mari Carmen Ramirez.

But let us rejoice in what could be!  Even if you don't read the books, you'll be able to watch the movies.

No comments:

Post a Comment