1972.04.01: Driver Ed. (Red Tide)

Driver Ed -- Red Tide

Red Tide, Vol. 1, No. 3 [Issue #3]
April 1972

Driver Ed.
[By Michael Letwin]

I had thought that even though the social studies, health, guidance and gym classes are full of propaganda, the pigs could not possibly inject it into every aspect of school, for example to carry it into the Drivers Ed. class. However I am now taking that class, and it seems incredible to me how the biggest function that the class serves is not to teach about driving. Instead it talked about the same stuff that we would expect to receive in almost any class.

Aside from being another advertising agency for General Motors, in driver training, car manufacturers donate cars so that people will see how “nice” they are and also for advertising, as the manufacturers put a sign on the side of the car stating their name in HUGE letters.), and other car manufacturers, the teacher and textbook will explain, not at all subtly, that everybody should obey all laws (not just traffic laws) that the government is really by and for us, that one should accept what the rulers say and do. Drunken driving is denounced in favor of power under control, a missile and a B-52 bomber.

Perhaps the most effective propaganda is the constant use of “him” or “he” when the teacher gives examples in class or when the textbook mentions different situations. This sexism is very subtle, however, it has a great impact on people, so that they tend to think in terms of men instead of people. This is not at all so trivial as it seems, as it is very effective in reinforcing the myth that only men are important and worth making examples of.

Practically the first thing that our teacher said to us on the first day was, “due to the rising amount of fervor for Women’s Lib, the first girl in each row will go get the textbooks.” This obvious intimidation was meant to ridicule a movement [that] is trying to allow women to be treated like people. . . . If and when a woman is mentioned, it is only in the context of a stupid person, a “rationalizer” for instance.

Almost all the people that I observe taking this class are totally unaware of all of this conditioning and therefore some of it cannot help but rub off on them. Aside from this propaganda, little else takes place in the class or in homework. We are assigned reports “about anything to do with driving,” and homework is assigned about what attitudes make a good driver.

The entire course is dragged out for 10 tedious weeks, when it could be condensed into 2 weeks at the most. The teachers know this, but for the sake of bureaucratic simplicity, we are forced to sit through the shit for half a semester!

This is only another example of Amerika’s destruction and disregard for people’s lives and minds. The purpose of such a class is clear once we stop and look at it. It is full of nothing, except the myth of the dream. I think that if students who have taken and are taking Driver’s Ed. look at what they learned from this class they will see that this is true. We have to try to see through as much of Amerika’s bullshit as possible to save ourselves and others.

[Historical Note: The Red Tide was a revolutionary high school underground newspaper and youth organization that existed from 1971-1981. See: http://theredtide.wordpress.com/]


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