campaign for a commercial free childhood -                                                        cfsg by charlz koskinen
 
It's times like this that I love my deliberate omission of punctuation and capitalization in my titles. This one could be interpreted as the following:
Campaign (for "A"), Commercial: Free Childhood!
Campaign for a commercial-free child! Hood?
Campaign for: (a) Commercial, (free) Childhood
(c) Amp AIG 'n' fo' RACOM 'mercial-free chil (d) Hood
Camp a IGN for a commercial. Free child-ho. Od.
Campaign for a .com! Merci, Alf. Reechil, dhood!

But alas, I will herein discuss the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), which can be found, and can thus explain itself and its mission at http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/. It's a relief, too, because most of those options I presented would be hard to write about, and the rest didn't make any sense.

I spent a grand total of 6 years in public schools myself (kindergarten notwithstanding), and I turned out fine (I think). Granted, that makes 6 years in 2 public schools to 5 years among 4 private/boarding schools, so it's anyone's guess what messed me up the most. I often unintentionally advocate public schools, saying that at least a year or two of public school is a necessary social experience. Not to say that I have anything against public schools as an entity, but the fact of the matter is simply that if all other variables are the same, the sheer class sizes and school populations in public schools are likely to be detrimental to one's education. I know I certainly functioned better in smaller classes in high school, and many of my peers who were in a similar situation would surely testify identically.
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The CCFC's creepy logo
That being said, my gut instinct is to agree with the CCFC. I mean, who wants corporations running and funding our schools? They've got a pretty mean stronghold on our society as it is (the corporations, that is, although the line is fuzzy at best...), and it seems unusual to "sell out" our kids to the discretion of fat cats and ad agencies. But after some circumstantial introspection, the idea of the CCFC seems a bit... silly. Granted, I'm no psychologist, nor am I a child life expert, but this is my blog, dammit! Hear me out. I may not have a degree that says so, but I'm pretty smart.

The first, and most obvious, reason one might find to derail the CCFC's mission is that public schooling is miserably underfunded, and that all that juicy cash from Kraft helps pay for football teams and art supplies. To be honest, I don't really like this argument. Sure, it's true, but it's a bit like offering someone a jewel-studded tiara to wear at their sweet sixteen, and then muttering about how you can't wait to see it on them at the party to which you don't have to be invited, but you sure would like to go... And the tiara also happens to be laden with blood diamonds. Regardless of this corporate scumbaggery, it is nice that the public school system is getting money from somewhere... I suppose.

What's really, as I said, silly about the CCFC is the sweet-'n'-innocent utopia as which it seems to imagine childhood. Sure, there's childhood obesity. Sure, there's violence in the world. And sure, there are huge, devilish corporations perched over your shoulder, waiting to wrest you allegiance, money, and innocence! But what makes us think that the longer we shelter our kids from learning about this kind of thing the better off they'll be? If you think there are a lot of ads in schools, have you seen a newspaper? A train? The Internet? And if we were to abolish all of those ads, what experience would we have when dealing with actual, real-life corporations? I say, the sooner kids can learn to call "bullshit," the better, and practice makes perfect in such an art. Where can we find ample bullshit? Ads! Rather than allowing our money-minded corporate overlords to strangle our intellectual capacity, why not use the tools they are giving us to expand it?



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