Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Look what I can do with scissors

WHO reports…

The key to making life better in Iowa is to be more creative -- that's what Governor Tom Vilsack says. The governor's willing to put up millions of tax dollars to help you think of new ideas. …

… "You have got to have innovation and creativity surround you" Governor Vilsack says. He says budget cuts statewide have reduced the extracurriculars like music. That silences creativity. He wants to offer Iowa's leftover money to consolidate small schools so they'd be able to restore programs in music, arts, languages, whatever that infuses imagination. …

… The governor wants everyone to be creative, not just students, not just educators. If everyone does that he says, we'll all create better schools and better jobs across the state.

This is just sad.

To think that budget leftovers are going to produce cultural miracles through the inspired action of box-top cutting PTO moms -- particularly as Vilsack's form of creative & innovative is structured, sanctioned and shrink-wrapped -- is typical Vilsack PW. It’s all about Vilsack testing a political sound bite for a national audience; Iowans are a much safer crowd than the readers of the Wall Street Journal.

It’s also ridiculous.

Iowa, with its patchwork rows of corn & beans, is a place that likes order and predictability, and creative & innovative are not words necessarily associated with square shoulder Iowa. Instead, Iowa is the land of consistent people. We prefer a charred steak and a smooshy potato approach to all that life can toss around; it’s the find your place and keep it.

It's admirable, if a little odd, to be concerned about creativity, but I am not sure you can quickly infuse a staid culture, built on putting order to the land, with an open arms attitude to the creative -- particularly if it is produced cookie cutter style, compliments of those creative & innovative minds huddled under that blue-sky dome.



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