There actually is some good news out there! Vermont has just become the tenth state to allow K-12 students to opt out of classroom dissection.
The state I grew up in passed a dissection alternatives act in 2000…nine years after I was done with school. So, like most of us, I have dissected several animals: the worm, the frog, the cat—the cat was especially tough because I was 17 and already realized there was something to life other than my studies. I knew it was coming, as I was in the honors science program, so in therapy as a 14-year-old, I’d already started preparing myself for it. I was therapied into thinking of the animal to be dissected as a piece of paper. I guess I put on the soldier goggles, whatever it is that allows a human to shoot another human because he’s not wearing the right uniform.
The worst classroom project, though—worse than the dissection—was the insect collection in my junior-year ecology class. We learned absolutely nothing through this project. There are tons of insect collections already out there. The only thing we did was go out into our surroundings, armed with kill jars (glass jar with potassium cyanide), and trap insects, which we would then poke pins through and get graded on. What was the reasoning behind this douchebaggery? I did try to talk my way out of this one, but faced with the possibility of getting something other than an A, which would derail my lifeplan, I gave in. Like a little Hitler Youth.
Maybe if my parents were lawyers or I’d been able to not strive for that A, things would have been different. I know I’d read about other kids fighting their schools over dissection, and I have to think it’s at least partially due to those kids (or their parents) that states are now coming around to alternatives.
Another downer post (that started out with good news, mind you) means another funny video clip. This one features two of my favorite Mr. Show characters and Mary Lynn doing some fabulous tongwork.
But first, David Cross in what may be the hottest anti-fur ad ever. (It really sucks you can’t express sarcasm in print…we need a new italics or some other type treatment that means sarcasm.) Steve-O did a pretty funny one too, and he taped some video for PETA in which he talks about his experience with a certain circus. Some of the Jackass stuff is pretty unsettling, so I don’t know if he felt he needed to right some wrongs. He’s said a bunch of dumb crap and has admitted to a overwhelming drug (including alcohol) problem, but here’s a (sorta) moment of clarity for ya.