11 June 2009

More Extraordinary Insight from Ordinary Boy

"I'm not trying to put anyone down," I insisted. "I'm just trying to get answers. Isn't the whole point of school to seek out knowledge?"

"Not particularly," our teacher Miss Marble responded gloomily. "I'm afraid the point of school isn't so much about learning things as it is learning not to say things that irritate other people."

"But how else do we gain knowledge?" I asked. "Shouldn't we always be asking questions and trying to use what we discover to make life better?"

"You're free to do all that" — Miss Marble nodded — "as long as you don't upset anyone in the process or challenge any of their beliefs."

"In a democracy, the majority decides what's right," a classmate interjected. "Isn't that so, Miss Marble?"

"Sadly, you appear to be correct." She sighed as the final shred of her good mood evaporated.

"But what if they're wrong?" I added meekly, already feeling beaten.

"So let's settle this the democratic way by casting votes," another student proposed. "Whoever thinks that Ordinary Boy is wrong, raise your hand!"

I didn't even need to look to know that every hand had shot up.
(Ordinary Boy: The Great Powers Outage, 131-32, alt.)

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