Subversive SanitynPOW’s in the concentration campsnof the mind, our children suffer thenvindictive vagaries of the Educationahstnbureaucracy. Their teachersn”are just following orders.” Thenrest of us pin on our yellow ribbonsnand dream of a Scarlet Pimpernelnor Rambo to rescue them. If I werenRichard Crenna, I would parachutenin Richard Mitchell, professor ofnEnglish at Glassboro State Collegenin New Jersey. Author, editor,nprinter, and assistant circulationnmanager of The UndergroundnGrammarian, Mitchell has taken asnhis motto Emerson’s injunction “tonaffront and reprimand the smoothnmediocrity and squalid contentmentnof the times.” In issue afternissue of his irreverent periodical, henmocks, jeers, and mourns overnwhat the educators are doing to ournchildren and their teachers. Henwrites so well that when he pausesnto quote the looney tunes and twobitntyrants of our school systems,ntheir maunderings grate on our earsnlike fingers drawn screeching acrossna blackboard. He writes so well thatnwe may be very glad that Little,nBrown has now published a collectionnof some of his best UG pieces:nThe Leaning Tower of Babel andnOther Affronts by the UndergroundnGrammarian (Boston). If you benamong the few—brothers, be yenne’er so vile—who delight in forcefulnbut graceful English, buynMitchell, take him home, and readnhim.n^VniS^nREVISIONSnRead him out loud. His mockerynof those who see the study of foreignnlanguages as elitist or who seek an”basic minimal competency” is notnsoon quenched. His tragic picturenof the illiterate high school principalnwho thought attacks on his lacknof syntax and orthography werendue, must be due, to racism is anmasterpiece of passion and pathos.nAt one point, he lectures a Cubannemigre, one Perez, now city commissionernin Miami, because Pereznwanted to stop Martin Bregmannfrom producing Scarface, not becausenthe movie was to be bloodynand violent, but because the movienmight “reflect badly” on Cuba’sncultural heritage. Mitchell remindsnthe city commissioner that he isnnow part of our culture and mustnlearn to understand the rights andnduties (when was the last time younsaw those two words conjoined?) ofnour Anglo-Saxon, Protestant civilization.n”Eor the day will come,nthrough sheer force of numbersncombined with the corrosive laborsnof our sycophantic educationalists,nwhen your cultural heritage maynoutweigh ours. In that happy day,nyour dreams will be fulfilled. . . .nMovie-makers will obey city commissioners.nAnd in that day, Perez,nto what new land will your childrennflee?” Or read his few pages onnJoanne Greenberg, author [sic] of an]ack and the Beanstalk in whichn”one major change has been made:nthe Giant is not killed in the end, tonavoid a violent act which wouldnhave no bearing on the issues beingnexamined.”nMitchell does have a thing aboutnChristianity. Often he is on target,nas in his mockery of the ReverendnMr. Rex Heath, who complainednthat “all those schools like Yale andnHarvard started out as Christiannschools, but then they got concernednwith quality.” But often henis wrongheaded. Sometimes this resultsnnot merely in unwonted carelessnessn(attributing a quote fromnthe Epistle of James to Paul, forninstance) but to serious distortions.nEor instance, Mitchell portraysnMartin Luther as being antieducationnbecause he once callednReason “the Devil’s whore.” Luthernwas objecting not to public educationnbut to a rationalistic reductionismnthat was trying to removenthe mystery of the RealnPresence from the Sacrament of thenAltar. Luther wrote pamphlets andnsermons on the need for excellencenin education, of which the mostnfamous is his 1524 appeal to “thenCity Commissioners [Ratsherrn) ofnthe cities of the German land, thatnthey ought to start up and maintainnChristian schools.” It is a bad signnthat those as literate and witty asnRichard Mitchell have now forgottennhow Christian faith once informednthe highest educationalnstandards. Even when he is wrong,nhowever, Mitchell is more fun tonread than the entire New YorknTimes best-seller list. Read him. (E.nChristian Kopff) ccn”The Time Bomb Within Social Security:nOn the Antifamily Contradictionnat the Heart of the American Welfare State”n(.)Lir social insurance system rewards individuals who avoid family life, whilenpcnalizinij those couples who bear the children needed to keep the system afloat innthi.’ fill lire.nAllan CarlfSonV in-depth report on Social Security clearly explains the modern dilemmaninherent in an “incomplete welfare state” and proposes ways of resolving it.nSend $1.50 plus 500 postage and handling to The Rockford Institute, 934 North Main Street,nRockford, Illinois 61103 for this introductory copy of Persuasion at Work, or see our advertisementnon page 21 of this issue.nnnOCTOBER 1985 / 43n