All This Useless Brutality

Edward Hopper, “Automat”

See this New York Times article: and note, beyond all the phony science implicit in pure measurement of complex, self-reflexive and interacting systems, and even beyond the casual bureaucratic brutality in which the only solution for “bad teaching” is locating the “bad teacher” in a high-tech witch hunt, and then, in a fashionable Mamet way, firing her fucking ass, there is an elementary aporia.

Which is that the source of the bad teacher may be that she needs dental work that she cannot afford, or has been assigned a bunch of thugs, or is being systematically pecked to death in the good old barnyard.

Note, please, that when you fire somebody you have to replace them, and it’s very, very expensive to recruit and background-check while retaining substitute teachers, any one of whom could be the Archangel Michael or John Wayne Gacy.

Elvis Costello put his finger on the Thatcher era in another country, in “All this Useless Beauty”. Doesn’t scan the same way, but the anthem for Amerikkka today is All This Useless Brutality.


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