Florida’s Idiocracy: An Update

Statues without pants.

From The Bulwark, by Charlie Sykes:

I regret to tell you that this is not a parody:

A Tallahassee charter school principal has been forced to resign after parents complained about a sixth grade art history lesson, claiming Michelangelo’s statue of David, arguably the most famous sculpture in the world, was ‘pornographic’. 

Hope Carrasquilla was pushed out of Tallahassee Classical School this week after three parents complained about the curriculum. 

Two said they wished they’d been made aware that kids were being shown images of the sculpture first, and one claimed it was ‘pornographic’. 

According to the Tallahassee school, some of the children were “upset,” which seems unlikely.

What actually happened is that three (3) parents, who were evidently unacquainted with depictions of genitalia or classical art, but ever vigilant to the threat of wokeness and pornography, decided to be offended.

So the principal is out, and the tender eyes of the young classicists are protected from the corrupting influences of Renaissance art.

“We’re not going to show the full statue of David to kindergartners,” the school board chairman told Slate. “We’re not going to show him to second graders. Showing the entire statue of David is appropriate at some age. [Ed note: It was actually shown to sixth graders.] We’re going to figure out when that is.”


This — in all of its effulgent glory — is actually an episode from “The Simpsons” come to life: In the cartoon version, Michelangelo’s David is sent around on a tour of the US, with an expected stop in Springfield, which triggers members of SNUH [Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping].

They urge Marge to protest the famed sculpture, claiming it’s offensive and inappropriate. However, Marge, being an artist herself, insists it’s a masterpiece.

But, the Florida story is even better, because this episode of pecksniffery and philistinism is brought to you by the inaptly named “Tallahassee Classical School,” which claims that it is committed to “training the minds and improving the hearts of young people through a content-rich classical education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue.”

One suspects that many of these words do not mean what the Florida folks seem to think they mean.

The school’s website defines “classical education,” as “the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty.” And it adds:

The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word “libertas” meaning “freedom.”

This does not, however, mean the freedom to look at what is arguably the world’s most famous statue, because, well, you can see his junk. Which, apparently, is not conducive to “principles of moral character and civic virtue.”

The school’s chief idiocrat and board chair, Barney Bishop III explained:

Well, we’re Florida, OK? Parents will decide. Parents are the ones who are going to drive the education system here in Florida. The governor [Ron DeSantis, Slayer of Wokeness] said that, and we’re with the governor.

He insists that Florida parents who chose this kind of classical education expect to have their children shielded from actual classics like David — or any of that other woke/CRT/1619 crap.

Parents choose this school because they want a certain kind of education. We’re not gonna have courses from the College Board.

We’re not gonna teach 1619 or CRT crap.

I know they do all that up in Virginia. The rights of parents, that trumps the rights of kids.

And who needs experts?

Teachers are the experts? Teachers have all the knowledge? Are you kidding me? I know lots of teachers that are very good, but to suggest they are the authorities, you’re on better drugs than me.


This may not be solely a Florida problem, however. Tallahassee’s Classical School is part of Hillsdale College’s charter school initiative and uses Hillsdale’s “classical” curriculum.

Hillsdale has long been a bastion of conservative academia, but in recent years it has thrown in its lot with the Trumpified culture warriors.

As it turns out, its commitment to the pursuit of the truth, goodness, and beauty is in tension with the culture war penchant for moral panics triggered by statues without pants.


Exit take. Wait ’til they hear about this¹:

The Birth Of Venus Painting - The Birth of Venus - Digital Remastered Edition by Sandro Botticelli

And we shudder to imagine the reaction of the budding juvenile classists if they should ever encounter this²:


Trump Continues to Show He Can Always Get Darker

Greatest threat to “Western Civilization”? Nuclear war? Loss of constitutional freedoms? Nope—he thinks it’s your representative.

From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:

Here is approximately the 9,000th piece of evidence that the former president* never should have been in a position to be a former president. Normally, we don’t jump at every shiny bit of stupid he dangles in front of the nation, but this one feels sui generis. In it, he dismisses the Russian threat to Europe, tosses NATO into the Volga, and informs us that the greatest threat to “western civilization” is perhaps…your member of congress:

Not that he ever cared about the damage he’s done to the country, but now he’s going to run for president again, and he’s going to do so with a brigade of grand juries in pursuit. This puts him squarely into survival mode, into the land of What The Hell Do I Have To Lose? He is capable of running a presidential campaign based on pure nihilism and seems to be preparing to do just that.

Yes, it will be worse if he gets indicted, as a number of people have warned us. His cult will fly all the way to the Hale-Bopp comet on gusts of outrage. Other Republicans, who have thus far shown all the gumption of a dock full of dead fish, will scramble to get their piece of the fury. However, that simply can’t be a concern. If he has committed crimes in New York and Washington and Atlanta—and I believe he has—then he must be prosecuted, no matter how it roils up 2024. If we accept as political gospel the notion that an ex-president* cannot be prosecuted because his fans will raise hell as a mob, then we are truly lost.