satire by The Butcher!
Once upon a time there was a pandemic. Terror filled the land as people fell ill to a foreign and insidious malady that attacked young and old, rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, male and . . . whatever floats your boat. The leaders of the land wrung their hands, trying to protect the people. Finally it was agreed upon that the citizens should stay home, wear masks, and take baths.
Gatherings were frowned upon. Even funerals where only the deceased would show up, providing they could find an Uber. Stores were bare, and businesses would shut their doors! Well, all but liquor stores in Texas because you can only take this nonsense so far. And schools were shut down. The eternal baby sitter went away, and parents nationwide had to answer for their sins.
So, home schooling was arrived upon. How hard can it be? Read a few books, fill out a few forms, email it to the schools that were also locked down, too, and call it a day. Right? Wrong! It was discovered that if this were to be continued the end result would be a generation educated by a bunch of day drinkers. Just like Texas in 1880!
Yet, there was no way around it. The pandemic raged on, and every time there was a gathering of any time the city had to spend tax money disposing of the bodies. But, there was a method that just might prevail. Something called Zoom! An application on a phone or computer that enabled gatherings of any size. Totally safe! The only virus was a computer virus.
Zoom had been around for a while. Businesses used it. Groups of all sizes and shapes. Why, you could even go on a date and not have to worry about STDs! So, why not schools? You take an unemployed teacher, print up some stimulus money, gather thirty or so little urchins, I mean they’ve all got iPhones, and rock and roll! Gosh! Why thirty? Three hundred! And have ‘em pay a fee. Or better yet, tap into the school funding. Hell, that money’s just sitting around gathering dust anyway. God Bless ‘Murica!
Pretty soon Zoom was the order of the day! Even after the plague abated Zoom Academy was zooming right along. Gone were the days of stuffy old classrooms with stuffy old teachers. Just fire up your pad or phone, and you too could earn a degree in The Study of 1950s TV Commercials! If the course curriculum was a bit beyond you your kid sister could punch the keys for you. Who’s to know? The vetting had about the same standards as cyber sex with someone from Nigeria. Pretty soon the class included one teacher and three hundred or so Bots! What could possibly go wrong?
Now, heaven forbid someone would take advantage of such a thing. But, wouldn’t you know, someone did! A couple guys got together. One was an actual professor! No, I’m not kidding. From back in the day when they would stand up in class every day and later date the cutest student. A real pillar of academia. (Don’t sit there and act like you didn’t know that!) Anyway he filled the slot for the respectability thing. And, he knew all the ropes. I mean he was a freaking professor for God’s sake. But the old boy didn’t want to get his hands dirty with the teaching or day to day counting of the proceeds. So he had this other guy actually teach the classes. He even had a PHD! In fact he had TWO! But, you know, once you’ve seen one PHD you’ve seen ‘em all.
So the University of Whas a Matta U was up and running! The teacher would dedicate two hours a week on Zoom with the virtual class filled with Bots and two or three actual students working on their doctorates. In class the teacher looked like Sidney Poitier, but on his marathon YouTube rants he came on like the Watts riots, complete with priestly vestments, a huge wig (sans dreadlocks) and a huge belt proclaiming that he was the world champion of gab! He could talk for four hours and not say a single thing. Meanwhile the money rolled in from fees and grants and from just about anybody that was stupid enough to give. God was in his heaven, the professor was in his study, and the teacher was in his garage toking on a big ol’ joint!
And that’s where we find ourselves today. Classroom is filled. Only a few things the dynamic duo missed. In class were some who weren’t cool with this new understanding of education. And, for want of a better word, they were Investigative Journalists. And when they stumbled on this dog and pony show they thought it was their birthday. At the very mention of the mechanics of this situation the teacher’s poo poo went to water and he blamed everyone but himself, ranting about all the money he’d lose should this ever leak out. Well it has leaked out! Those who have eyes let them see. And keep looking because you’re fixing to see a lot!