So – because we live in a seemingly Dickensian time where rich-old people are keeping the young-poor people down – the state of Tennessee (which is full of adult humans making decisions, apparently) is currently deciding whether or not to pass a law about whether to feed slower children.
A law. About whether or not to feed slow children.
I’m not saying “we are at a cold class war” here or anything, but having to vote on whether or not it is morally acceptable to feed children is just a little far into right field for me. It is right of the foul pole. It is out-of-the-stadium-analogy far right. Here’s a news article about it, tada.
The bill states that Tennessee has the right to withdraw welfare privileges from parents whose children aren’t performing well in school. It was worked on by the Department of Human Services and authored by two Republican representatives. That is a thing that happened and we all have to sit here and think about them sitting around, maybe eating scones—and there’s a conversation between them, and it goes a little something like this:
Senator Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville: You know what I hate?
Representative Vance Dennis, R-Savannah: What, Stacey?
SC: Poor stupid kids.
VD: Hey! Me too!
SC: We should really do something about it.
VD: Like what, Stacey?
SC: Starve ‘em.
VD: Yes. We shall starve poor children who can’t read.
SC: Or do math well.
VD: Yes. That is a thing that I think everybody in this state should do, too.
SC: Great job today.
VD: Yes, this is a conversation that actually happened.
SC: It sure is.
The bill states that children with learning disabilities are exempt and will continue to be fed (as will, I don’t know, stupid children of rich parents, who are apparently totally off the hook in a case like this).
Look, I don’t know. I’m not saying that there aren’t some realities where, as where Rep. Vance Dennis (let’s not even get into the obvious “Hunger Games”-esque names here) put it: the measure applies to “parents who do nothing.” That is high-school-theater-performance evil. That is Disney evil. And hey – I can understand that this bill is aimed at parents who refuse to school their children and pretend to homeschool them. There are methheads and alcoholics and people whose lives aren’t together and yes, the children may suffer. Yes, some parents are shitty. But there are always going to be shitty people. There are always going to be people you aren’t going to agree with. But you still have to cater to them. Jesus Christ. I don’t even wear glasses but I am going to buy a pair just so I can do this while I type this:
(takes off glasses slowly)
Are we really at a point where we need to vote on feeding children—even the ones falling behind? What are we, buffalo?
There has to be a better way to come to vote on an issue such as shitty parents. Maybe put more money into the school system? Hey, that’s a thought. Maybe when a school district has to resort to selling ad space on school busses… maybe… just maybe… there should be money in education. That’s all I’m saying.
I may also say: the two state representatives should at least buy the poor people of Tennessee a nice Italian dinner first, because everyone likes to be taken out for dinner before they get royally and truly fucked.