Favorite

Book report 

New American history textbooks for public-school students are on the way, thanks to the Texas State Board of Education.

Lots of material in the current textbooks that offended decent, God-fearing Americans has been left out of the new ones, and lots of old-fashioned family-values material that was left out of the current textbook crop to appease certain minorities and elites has been put back in.

The new texts aren't just for Texas students. They're for your youngster too. Bonfires for the books in use now are scheduled all across the country. Fox News, a sponsor, expects at least 1.6 million fires. There's talk that the historians as well as their books might go up in some of them.

There are too many changes in the new textbooks to mention here, but I can give you a sneak-peek.

George Washington returns as a larger-than-life character, unable to lie about whacking his cherry but needing only a loaf and a mackerel to feed his entire army at Valley Forge.

References to Ben Franklin's whorehopping are out, with no longer even a hint of his preference for the ugly ones and the French ones.

The wall of separation between church and state that Jefferson advocated has been scaled back to a “fence of separation” — and it's a low fence, easily stepped over, with a big swinging middle gate and no barbed wire.

John Adams is mostly out, except to note that he sure looked a lot like Grandpa Munster.

Though well-documented and undeniable, Davy Crockett's obsession with cornholing goes unmentioned. Strategy seems to be, ignore it long enough, it'll go away.

Andy Jackson defeats the British at New Orleans with grapeshot fired from hollowed-out alligators — the inerrantist version.

There's a more even-handed view of the witchcraft trials in colonial New England — careful not to take sides. Also a fair and balanced presentation of the lynching story, nicely abbreviated since they tend to run to type.

The traditional view of the first Thanksgiving — with both pilgrims and Indians saying “Amen. Dig in.” after grace — is back in.

The painting “American Gothic” continues to represent the embodiment of traditional American values but the faces of the farm couple in the Grant Wood original have morphed into those of Newt Gingrich and Phyllis Schlafly.

As a gesture to the Texican schoolmen, there's one of those dotted-line butcher's wall charts showing the individual Founding Fathers' favorite cuts of beef.

Abe Lincoln and his law partner William Herndon no longer frequently sleep together (or whatever) in the same bed.

The patriotic Civil War song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” is omitted as it suggests troops returning can arouse homoerotic fantasies. (“We'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.”)

Walt Whitman is out because … well, you know why he's out.

American Indians are no longer “native Americans.” They're mostly back to being “red savages,” except for the Inuits, who are back to being plain old Eskimos. And their chieftains no longer make the sad eloquent treaty-council speeches like in “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” Instead they speak minimalist textbook Indian as of yore — “How!” for hello and “Ugh!” for practically everything else. Gen. Sheridan's surmise that the only good one is a dead one is quoted, with a mounted subordinate whispering behind his hand in a balloon aside, “Ain't it the truth!”

In recreated historical dialogue, black men routinely address their white betters as “Boss.” The Klan is back in as a mainly benevolent fraternal order and Jim Crow is one of the rapscallions at the Mystic Knights of the Sea.

American doughboys win World War I without much help, just as, in a later chapter, Ronald Reagan destroys Communism and wins the Cold War all by his lonesome.

The New Deal is a failed socialist experiment that delayed recovery from the Depression. The internment of Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps during World War II is just a big misunderstanding, for which a little more forgiving and forgetting and letting bygones be bygones might be in order.

Joe Welch had prattled on long enough about Joe McCarthy having no sense of decency, so they're both out and good riddance. Except for the Rosenbergs we decide we can all just get along. If you're blacklisted, you just get over it. Ayn Rand is back in and looking good. Mary Jo Kopechne is back in and looking wet. Baby seal clubbers are regarded favorably again, as are whalers and furriers and DDT; it's those on the other side who are the kooks now.

AIDS is redacted like Nixon expletives because the classroom just isn't the place. References to Bill Clinton's amatory escapades are rehashed in full, though.

Big Century 21 snowfalls are clear evidence against the laughable idea of global warming.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Bob Lancaster

  • Wretched rez

    I had some New Year's Rez(olutions) for 2016 but that ship sailed so I'm renaming them my Spring Rez or my All-Occasion Whatevers and sending them along.
    • May 26, 2016
  • Nod to Bob

    A look back at the weird and wonderful world of Bob Lancaster.
    • Mar 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • More »

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Latest in Bob Lancaster

  • Lancaster retires

    Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.

    • Feb 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • Making it through

    Made it through another January, thank the Lord.
    • Feb 6, 2013
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Narrow opening for Arkansas Democrats

    "Somebody in this room — it's time to go big or go home." At the Democratic Party of Arkansas's Clinton Dinner last weekend, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana used his platform as keynote speaker to embolden a candidate to step up to run for governor against incumbent Republican Governor Hutchinson.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • When we had not one but TWO shit candidates running for president, is it really…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • So Gene Lyons says all people who voted for Trump fall into just two categories…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Narrow opening for Arkansas Democrats

    • FORE!!!!

    • on July 27, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation