by Beau Hebert
Dear The Beauster,
I’m hoping you’ll settle a debate my roommate and I have been having over the last month. For background he’s a deist and I’m more of an agnostic. The question we have struggled to come to terms on is: Who is more powerful, God or Seattle Teachers and the Teacher’s Union?
Agnostic Debater of God vs. Teachers
Dear A-D of G vs. Ts,
God vs. Seattle Teachers and their union, the eternal question! Oh, if it were only that simple.
Unfortunately, there is a third entity triangulating this debate and reducing it to a zero-sum game of rock-paper-scissors, namely the Seattle Public School district. In simple terms, it goes like this: God=Rock; Seattle Teachers=Paper; The District=Scissors. Let’s Roshambo!
God is Rock, weighty and profound. God could easily crush Scissors, The District, but God has a lot going on and The District’s gross mishandling of Seattle’s public education system has slipped by unnoticed. God, however, is trumped by Seattle teachers because, omnipotence aside, God respects teachers and wouldn’t have achieved Godly status without listening to them. In fact there’s a much-ballyhooed book about God that is chock-full of lessons (not to mention a 1977 movie starring George Burns and John Denver).
Seattle Teachers are Paper, sometimes smothering, but able to transmit truth and ideas through words. The Bible itself is printed on it, capturing God’s holy testament between its covers. But paper, as we know, is easily cut. The District’s Roshambo identity as Scissors is almost comically appropriate, because –with seemingly rabid glee – it cuts teacher pay, cuts teacher benefits, cuts public confidence in the school system and, by extension, cuts the quality of education for students of the Seattle Public School System. It also seems to have cut a deal with The Seattle Times, which unfailingly tows its media line.
The District and the school board represent the two blades of a pair of scissors. Don’t run with them! They enjoy power through anonymity, retaining their positions virtually unopposed because the voting public hardly knows their names, let alone their policy positions. Incumbency is job security for this group that operates like a shadowy cabal. Why, The District has been so inept for so long that it managed to lose the support of the greatest educational philanthropist of our times, Bill Gates, who happens to live right here and is now an advocate of charter schools – a masterpiece of scissoring run wild! At the handle of this pair of scissors seems to be good old corporate greed, with the district in bed with companies owned by people like Rupert Murdoch that feed at the public trough through the sale of curriculums and testing systems to school districts for mega-millions of dollars.
For the Seattle Public School system to work better, it must break free from this intractable game of Roshambo. Fortunately, last year’s teacher’s strike revealed overwhelming public support in favor of teachers being allowed to do what they’re really good at – teach. Perhaps more importantly, four of the seven Seattle School Board members are newly elected, so God’s smiting of The District may have already occurred. The new question up for debate is this: God, Teachers & The District vs. The Washington State Legislature, a dark force with powers to enact law even while being in contempt of court (see Supreme Court Order No. 84362-7 – McCleary v. State of Washington). The battle for supremacy rages on!
Prescription from the Pharmacy at Jude’s Old Town: Apple Cider Whiskey Cooler: J. Seeds all-natural apple cider whiskey shaken with Scrappy’s cardamom bitters, fresh lemon juice and a dash of simple syrup over rocks with a rosemary sprig garnish. This one is in honor of Seattle’s public school teachers! Available now at Jude’s, 9252 57th Avenue. S. in beautiful Rainier Beach.
Overheard at the Bar: “Henry Rollins could make eating an English muffin sound angry and intense.”
Beau Hebert is the owner and head bartender of Jude’s Old Town in the Rainier Beach neighborhood.
Featured photo by Alex Garland