- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Becoming himself

“I came up with ‘Git-R-Done’ when I was a little kid. It was just something that I had made up, and when I called a radio station in 1990, that’s how I signed off. They said, ‘All right, we’ll talk to you tomorrow,’ and I said, ‘All right, y’all, Git-R-Done.’ It just caught on. I would have never dreamed in a million years that it would catch on like it has. …

“I tell you what, in my early days of standup, I used to try to dress up because I’d watch other comedians on stage. I used to wear a button-down shirt because a lot of other comedians did. I gotta tell you, the more I got on stage, the more I started to come into myself and the more I started to be myself. …

“When I started doing Larry the Cable Guy, I liked it because it wasn’t very far from me at all, and I could go on stage wearing what I wear in regular life. I just said I’m going to go on stage like this because that’s what I wear normally. You see me in the mall, and I’m wearing a sleevely shirt, my jeans, and a pair of lace-up [boots].”

—Larry the Cable Guy, writing on “The Origin of ‘Git-R-Done,’” in the July/August issue of Y’all

PC squared

“It seems our math educators no longer believe in the beauty and power of the principles of mathematics. They are continually in search of a fix that will make it easy, relevant, fun and even politically relevant. …

“Now mathematics is being nudged into a specifically political direction by educators who call themselves ‘critical theorists.’ They advocate using mathematics as a tool to advance social justice. Social justice math relies on political and cultural relevance to guide math instruction. One of its precepts is ‘ethnomathematics,’ that is, the belief that different cultures have evolved different ways of using mathematics, and that students will learn best if taught in the ways that relate to their ancestral culture. … The culturally attuned teacher will learn about the counting system of the ancient Mayans, ancient Africans, Papua New Guineans and other ‘nonmainstream’ cultures.”

—Diane Ravitch, writing on “Ethnomathematics,” June 20 in the Wall Street Journal

Fantasy island

“In full flight from Puritan America, [Margaret] Mead was prepared to employ her humble social-science skills to imagine a fantasy island of sexual fulfillment regardless of whether it existed in reality or not. The result was the semi-salacious ‘Coming of Age in Samoa,’ easily the best selling anthropology text of all time. …

“Sex was ‘a natural, pleasurable thing’ for Samoans, [Margaret] Mead claims to have discovered, but for Americans it was just the opposite. Americans faced an ‘implacable’ God and a ‘half dozen standards of morality,’ all of them repressive. …

“Mead focused her youthful indignation on the bourgeois American household — this ‘tiny, ingrown, biological family.’ According to Mead, these families instilled in their children a self-perpetuating set of ‘Puritan self-accusations’ that crimped their libidos and left them burdened by ‘guilt’ and ‘maladjustment.’

“In fact, as was transparent to anyone who had spent time in the Samoa of the 1920s, the islands were anything but a sexual paradise, at least in the Bohemian New York sense of the word. As other anthropologists would later observe — Derek Freeman of New Zealand most notably — every attempt was made to safeguard the virginity of Samoan girls.”

—Jack Cashill, writing on “Margaret Mead’s fantasy island of sexual fulfillment,” June 24 in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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