SMHS students cause death of literacyWednesday, April 04, 2012 By Jose A. DeLeon
I often wonder how many people, actually know what a book is. A book is not the byproduct of evil educators, somewhere plotting how to make your life more difficult, but people often seem content to think that and later throwing that book aside and checking their “Facebook” status. Why don’t people have any books on them; is this not a school? Am I a “weirdo,” for bringing these questions up? It is written that “the persecution of literature occurs in closing societies, where the ability of critical thought is eliminated and a society thus relinquishes the ability to examine itself.” It happened in Egypt two thousand years ago when The Library of Alexandria, once the epicenter for esoteric knowledge, was burned down during the Roman Civil War in 48 A.D. Unfortunately, we are literally living in the new Rome. “I think that reading is outdated and should be abolished!” said junior Jesus Balderas. Should reading really be abolished? Isn’t reading what allows us to unwind and gives us a window into the world that is a lot larger than ourselves? Part of the reason I think that reading itself has lost favor is because the students of Santa Maria High are focusing more on pursuing an education that allows them to rise above their current social class. Yet, they fail to realize that if they are ever to truly climb social classes, they must become cultured in the ways of the class they want to rise to. The persecution of literature is alive. As schools face budget cuts, they are often forced to cut down on the amount of funding towards the libraries, the purchasing of books, textbooks, and reference materials. But did anyone tell our MMLC, where half of all the shelves are full of books that aren’t even able to be checked out because they are “reference books.” As time progresses the decline of literature will cause a reversal of the progress that has been accomplished in the last one hundred years. We came from a society where only 75 percent of the population was literate to where we are now a literate population of almost one hundred percent. When today’s students eventually crack open a book, it is often about vampires, gnomes, or fairies. I understand that the majority of people like living lives of illusion and fiction, where they are all celebrities, able to be followed on facebook. Thus they mimic the sociopathic behaviors of their favorite stars, and they project their life through those personas, which in the end, eliminates their individuality. I mean why do people continue to live in blissful ignorance? Who will be there to defend our future in times of crisis? It won’t be team Jacob or team Edward. It will be us, with the wisdom that we inhale through the love of books and the history that was written down to help us understand the changes that will befall us as we enter a new age. I wonder, how many people have actually read informative innovative books such, as “ Between Two Ages ”, “ The Grand Chessboard” , “ Life and Fate” , “ The Great Transformation” or heard of Robert T. Gates, who had planned the fate of our educational system in “ The Country School of Tomorrow ”? It is a shame that these books aren’t stocked in our library and that the majority of people refuse to read. It is a shame that our administration persecutes those who do read. It is a shame that our “school clubs” are being marginalized into small separate enclaves that don’t focus their time on the furthering of enlightened individuals, but rather the continuation of a system that was built to sustain an industrious society, and after all of this is said people still wonder why we are cursed with low state English scores. What kind of world do we live in where we replace literacy with spectacle, as said, in a famous proverb, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Other than that… if you got to this point, congratulations, you are one percent.