Friday, February 03, 2006

Now we know who's afraid of Opera

Parents in Bennett, Colorado are upset that an elementary school teacher has shown an instructional video (ironically enough entitled: "Who's Afraid of Opera?") that introduces children to opera because it includes scenes from Faust. The Faust legend has, of course, traditionally been seen as a morally instructive cautionary tale about the dangers of pride and intellectual overreaching, and incidentally, has become an interesting commentary on ethically-empty science.

The parents are upset because the opera includes Satan as the villain.

"Any adult with common sense would not think that video was appropriate for a young person to see. I'm not sure it's appropriate for a high school student," Robby Warner said after two of her children saw the video.

Another parent, Casey Goodwin, said, "I think it glorifies Satan in some way."

Okay, so of course, these parents are some of the dumbest people on earth and they've won another battle in the war to prevent their children from growing up any less stupid than they are. Yes, yes, another win for the Conspiracy of the Stupid. We know that.

What I wonder is what people like Roger Kimball, who consistently argue (sometimes convincingly, sometimes not) that educators have destroyed culture by pushing their radical leftist ideas, think when they read things like this. Do they continue to encourage the same knee-jerk virulent distrust of educators that they have for years now, knowing that a teacher who tries to teach children about the opera Faust is a gem? Do they pretend that, yes, Faust is a "devil-worshipping opera" and cater to the ignorant? Or, do they actually stand up for an educator, knowing that they are defending the target of their ongoing critique against the slings and arrows of people who support that critique? Do they even see the connection between their encouragement of thoughtless hostility towards educators and that hostility in the real world?

No comments: