A “Moment of Silence” in Illinois School’s Rant, and My Weekend Goals.


The Dude on the Right

As I head into this coming weekend I have four obvious Entertainment Ave! goals,
some "behind the scenes" work for the site, but before I get to that, and I hate
to sometimes get political, but here in Illinois I want to know "WHAT THE HELL
A BUDGET DONE?"  Yes, that phrase is meant to be in all CAPS because if
this were a podcast I would be yelling, and I don’t even have kids.  The

Chicago Sun-Times
has a nice article about it, and reflects that "Rep. Will
Davis (D-Homewood), the bill’s chief sponsor, denied he was promoting school
prayer but instead said a moment of silence possibly could avert tragedies like
the recent school shooting in Cleveland, where a troubled 14-year-old shot two
students and two teachers before killing himself. ‘Just think if that student
had an opportunity maybe to sit and reflect,’ Davis said."  How Utopian can
you be?  My guess is Asa Coon, the 14-year-old dude who shot four people
before killing himself and had

a complete history of a messed up life
, would have just used his time to
contemplate things like "I can enter through the south doors, those guards are
lazy and don’t give a damn, and I could easily get to Room…"

The other thing
is that according to the article "But supporters of the legislation, backed by
Concerned Christian Americans and the Illinois Family Institute, said it would
help young people come to terms with the everyday stresses in their lives." 
How the hell does this not scream "prayer" in school, and how the f$%# does a
"moment of silence" help young people come to terms with the everyday stresses
in their lives?  Do you people even understand the stresses in their lives?

Look, I went to a public school from K-4, and a Catholic school from 5-12, and
whether it was the Pledge of Allegiance or a prayer at the beginning of the day,
or just a lull in the action of the day, there is always a moment of silence in
a school day, and you don’t need to make a law to make that silence.  But
had I had a moment of silence at the beginning of the day I’m thinking my
thoughts would be things like:

  • In the younger grades: "I really hope we get chocolate-chip cookies
    today.  Those oatmeal cookies are yucky!"
  • A little older: "Why does Gary keep pulling Mary’s pony-tails? 
    She’s always nice to me."
  • In the slightly middle grades: "I thought playing strings meant learning
    to play guitar, not the violin.  But mom likes me playing violin, so I
    guess I’ll stick with it"… Or… "I really wish I could remember how to
    spell ‘ate’ (This is complicated because I did spell "8" correctly, but the
    teacher was just looking for the word ‘ate,’ and no one asked for the
  • A little older: "Maybe Bxxxx will be impressed if I run home really
  • Growing up some more: "Wow, Patty is first chair, and I’d like to be
    first chair, but she sure is cute.  I guess this violin isn’t a bad
  • Somewhere around 7th grade: "We are so much cooler than those 5th
  • High school:  Pretty much every moment of silence would be about a
    girl I liked and was scared to death to let them know…. except….
  • Every other day, with any kind of test, every thought would be diverted
    in that moment of silence to "(Insert various expletive here), I knew I
    should have studied more."

Good luck Illinois schools, explaining to your students why they are
having a "moment of silence," but if you don’t want any lawsuits you had
better just let the kids think about, in those few seconds, or minutes, or
hours (hey, the lawmakers didn’t say how long the moment of silence should
be), what any student at that age might think about.  The scary thing
is that the silence might be something as simple as what kind of cookie they
might be getting later in the day, but also might be about what is the best
way to get into the school with a couple of guns later next week.

Because this blog has gotten too long, on a quick, lighter note my four
obvious goals for Entertainment Ave! are reviewing the movies "Michael
Clayton" and "We Own the Night," and reviewing new music from Matchbox
Twenty (Exile on Mainstream), and Michael Stanley (The Soft Addictions). 
Hell, if I really get ambitious there might also be a DVD review of The
Collector’s Edition of "Knocked Up."  And I didn’t even get to some
iPhone ranting or my planning on doing some walking.  Maybe next time.

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!