Boobie Anti-Intellectualism
(from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America's post-literate retreat to Plato's Cave)

The Boobies of the Kansas plains
Had no excuse of course
They once could read and write and think
And spell both "cow" and "horse"
But someone called them "arrogant"
Which filled them with remorse

How dare they go to school to learn
And try to figure out
Just how this wide world works and so
Put ignorance to rout!
This might mean that Republicans
Would lose their campaign clout!

Thus crony Kansas money had
To scheme and undercut
The public education that
Might make of truth a glut
And give some Boobies life's best chance
To climb out of their rut

That science had made modern life
And progress widely known
Enraged reactionaries who
Found schoolin’ overblown
True learning, they preferred to keep
In private schools alone

They thought just like Attila who
Reportedly would rail
While pillaging the earth
With only heaven left to quail:
"It's not enough that I succeed,
The others all must fail!"

The Boobies had got far too much
Because of FDR
And so the rich must take it back
Lest any exemplar
Of Boobie economic choice
Become their guiding star

But Boobies found the science hard
They could not do the math
So someone told them that to learn
Would only bring GAWD's wrath
And make HIM send a "flood" again
To give the world a bath

The Boobies didn't want to drown
They couldn't even swim
So someone told them that to learn
Would only anger HIM
And cause THE GREAT BIG SPOOK to take
A view of them quite dim

This kind of thing works wonders as
The crony crooks all know
To buffalo the Boobies takes
But little pomp and show
That plus a few bad schools will serve
To keep their wages low

To keep achievement grim requires
No genius to refine
Just starve the schools of money and
Make teachers toe the line
By forcing them to parrot some
"Intelligent Design"

This euphemism failed before
When under its old name
"Creation Science" failed to hide
The nature of the game:
To drive religion into schools,
Some science to defame

But none can question "new" words that
Don't mean what they meant then
Just coin another magic phrase,
Come back, and try again
In time you'll find the one that works
For Boobies, mice, and men

John Locke said that he could not think,
However long it took,
Of any name so great that, placed
Upon a written book,
Could cover up the faults in it
If someone chose to look

And so he said that what we wrote
Would have to fall or stand
Depending on its weaknesses
Or fancy's poor command;
According to its own worth or
The reader's helping hand

But Justice Wendell Holmes once said
That controversy served
To equalize both wise and fools —
And this, the fools observed! —
So thus more controversy works
To keep the schools unnerved

The "holy" and the "sacred" mask
An unexamined fright
That things we designate as such
Cannot withstand the light
So rather than explore hard truths
We keep them out of sight

This has a bad utility
As priests and princes know
To dupe the rubes they only need
A dog-and-pony show
Dressed up in robes and vestments to
Imply a "mystic" glow

And so in Kansas once again
This sorry tale plays out
Another lurid Monkey Trial
To mock and scorn and flout
Our reason - showing Boobies have
The I.Q. of a trout

Instead of plain Biology
Their kids would "criticize"
What they had not yet even learned
To clearly recognize
In Kansas "controversy" shines
In glassy Boobie eyes

The kids placed under microscopes
A copy of a book
And through the magnifying lens
They got a scary look
At crappy Christian copyrights:
The ravings of a crook

Instead of categories of
The animals and plants
They read some mythological,
Barbaric, tribal rants
About some promised desert land
And circumcised infants

They read about a man who fell
Down flat upon his face
And tried to bargain with a spook
Who left no trail or trace
And in return for penis skin
Sold off the human race

Two thousand years thereafter
Poor Lamark still harbored views
About "acquired inheritance"
Of organs and tissues.
He could have saved some rats their tails
Had he just asked some Jews

And Boobie Kansas students heard
Of stranger things than that
Their school board had decided for
The kids to pass the hat
To purchase textbooks written for
The I.Q. of a gnat

As other countries forged ahead
And took the science lead
The Boobies of the USA
Just thought it best to bleed
Precisely in the very place
Whence came their "sacred" screed

It turns out that while Boobies fought
To pray in science class
Their battered foreign legion had
Begun to get its ass
Blown off by hidden, roadside bombs
In Khyber's famous pass

For in that fabled "holy" land
Throughout recorded time
A cottage industry exists
To make of peace a crime
Devising ways to terminate
Some life in its young prime

And so great holes appear on cue
Where none had been before
In ranks of dying soldiers who
Became a mass of gore
Because some Boobies back at home
Had sent them off to war

This all has repercussions for
Biology, you see,
For Darwin never talked about
This "holy" stuff — did he?
Which only goes to "falsify"
His "criticized" theory

So back under the microscope
The "holy" book must go
To postulate "intelligence"
"Designing" tales that show
How burning bushes talk to men
And give them stuff to know

Like when this guy goes up a hill
And comes down with a rock
Inscribed on which, the legends say,
Was insane poppycock
Commanding Boobies to obey
Or face the chopping block

Oh, yes, their heads would surely roll
Right off their shoulders sloped
If they tried using them to think
About the hands that groped
Their wallets and their private parts
And not what they had hoped

As Constantine discovered when
He joined the Church and State
His fatal gift brought no respite
From Christian strife and hate
But only Inquisitions and
More grief upon his plate

But not to mix this history
With science on its knees
The kids have got it bad enough
With just the birds and bees
Why ask them to consider both
The forest and the trees?

Fantastic learning Bacon called
The foulest vanity
Composed of artful cunning and
A rude simplicity
Combined as one to do the work
Of fooling you and me

The rumormonger and his dupe
Some stories they conceived
No sooner did they make them up
Than in them they believed
Imposture and credulity
Deceiver and deceived

And Orwell wrote about it in
The Road to Wigan Pier
Just squeeze the middle class which will
Instill in them some fear
That those with "foreign" accents might
Their secrets overhear

Someone had squeezed them out of home
And farm and Main Street shop
Someone had sent their jobs abroad
Which left them "free" to hop
Through thrift stores, temp employment,
And some sleazy TV slop

So once the shrinking middle class
Begins to live in dread
Of striving like those others just
To earn its daily bread
Some fascist tools emerge for those
Who their Mein Kampf have read

Thus for some electoral votes
Not many but enough
The school board politicians think
That they can just play rough
And bulldoze science out of schools
And so make learning tough

In this way they can turn the clock
Back to a bygone day
Where gilded aristocracy
Can have its favored way:
With tax-cut wealth to subsidize
Their trust-fund kids at play

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2006