We need to remember ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ E-mail
Opinion
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 10:27

By L&T Publisher Earl Watt

Back when the only time to watch a cartoon on television was Saturday morning, the education establishment had us all fooled with a little collection of shorts that actually taught us something.

We learned to unpack our adjectives and explain why three is a magic number.

They were part of the series “Schoolhouse Rock,” and they used songs and cartoon shorts to teach us some of the basics.

To this day, when I need to recall the preamble of the Constitution, I sing it the same way I learned it watching those corny little cartoons.

Back then, which was the 1970s and 1980s, many might have considered those cartoons to have been produced by the liberals, although they wouldn’t consider them so today.

They taught us about American pride, how a bill is really supposed to be passed in Congress, and how to work with nature.

We learned about Manifest Destiny by needing some “elbow room” as we expanded West. This wasn’t presented in a way that made the settler a criminal. No, the lyrics went something like, “It’s West or bust, In God we trust. There’s a new land out there.”

And when Bill sat on the steps of the Capitol, waiting to see if he became a law, we learned how the process allowed the House and Senate to pass bills, and then have committees from both houses work together to iron out the differences.

Maybe they need to watch this one again in Washington today.

And who really knew what an adverb was until they went on sale at the Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Store? If you don’t remember, an adverb modifies a verb, adjective or another adverb, so they are “absolutely very, very necessary.”

We also learned how important inventions were, and how necessity sparked imagination and innovation to help harness electricity and develop other super cool stuff.

We also learned that what goes up must come down due to the laws of gravity.

Yes, we would sing along, and without knowing it, we were learning.

There just isn’t a modern day equivalent to “Schoolhouse Rock,” and it’s a shame. I can’t think of any parent who ever questioned the teachings of these fundamental principles of Americanism or sentence structure, or a better way to learn to count by threes.

We even learned about the Great American Melting Pot, and how people came from all over the planet to make their new home in America.

According to this cartoon, “They’d heard about a country, where life might let them win. They paid the fare to America and there they melted in.”

I have to say that my all-time favorite was “The Shot Heard ’Round the World.”

In a three-minute video, we were taught about our struggle for independence.

I still get chills when I hear those words, “Now the shot heard ’round the world, it was the start of a revolution, the minutemen were ready on the move. Take your blankets, take your guns, report to General Washington. Hurry men, there’s not an hour to lose.”

They didn’t condemn the use of firearms then. As a matter of fact, the shot at Lexington and Concord was defending the colonists’ ammunition from being seized by the British.

Kids aren’t hearing these lessons today.

Instead, they are receiving revisionist views of history, being told our inventors were opportunists who took advantage of cheap labor who really developed the new technologies, and spelling and grammar aren’t important.

I am glad I had the experience of “Schoolhouse Rock.”

Just for fun, I searched YouTube to see if they were available, and sure enough, they are there.

If you have young children or grandchildren, hop on YouTube and show them these timeless classics.

As far as I know, the preamble is still the same today as it was back then, and three is still a magic number.

Thanks to video evidence, the lessons learned back then are still just as useful today, and they are proof that today’s liberal agenda has permeated the educational process in an attempt to make American pride a negative.

As a friend told me, and I cannot disagree, the hippies got one thing right — “Schoolhouse Rock.”

 

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