As our faithful readers are no doubt painfully aware, here at The Outrage we often have a hard time understanding the English language.

For example, the Chicago Tribune features an interesting headline about one of the Chicago public school systems voting to “mandate charity work.” We find this perplexing.

We had always thought that the idea of mandating charity was something of an oxymoron. After all, our trusty Webster’s dictionary tells us that mandate means “to order or command.” The several different definitions of charity include concepts of love and generosity. Can you FORCE people to be loving and generous?

If you force people to give you their car we call it grand theft. Forced sex is called rape. But we’ve never really been very good at understanding esoteric ideas like love and generosity. We guess they’re different.

The Chicago Tribune article gets even more confusing. It talks about the growing number of school districts in the U.S. that are REQUIRING VOLUNTEER WORK. Can you REQUIRE someone to volunteer for something?

Some students say that “by mandating service administrators make it seem more like a dreaded chore than an expression of personal values.” Hmmm… that’s a little lofty for us. But we do know that we used to walk over to Grandma Outrage’s house just to say hi. Grandma was kinda lonely and it made us feel good to brighten her day. Then one day Mother Outrage told us we had to visit Grandma once a week. So we stopped our visits completely.

Other students complain that they have other things to do — frivolous things like studying and earning money at part-time jobs.

Carlos Azcoitis, Chicago’s deputy chief education officer, says, “Students need to learn they can become resources for their community.” What if they don’t WANT to become “resources for their community?”

We always thought that being forced to work without pay was the same thing as SLAVERY. But our boss, the publisher, thinks that Volunteer Service may not be such a bad idea. We kinda need to cut down on overhead.

(Source: Chicago Tribune.)

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0 thoughts on “VOLUNTARY SLAVERY!

  1. “Mandated volunteer work” sure sounds to me like the first seeds of a totalitarian society. The people who will allow their children to be subjected to that form of oppression are probably certifiable.

    Time: 2/26/98 (18:10:25)

    The I.R.S ?, may? , well I agree , my will is mine as i feel best….please don,t sign any government documents forget U.S courts , and never never agree to do anything without being paid for it ……

    Time: 1/18/98 (9:58:39)

    This to me was a gripe about shcools. And if anything, it only serves to prove a point of mine, that school is no longer about teaching, learning, or people’s minds. Instead, it is about forcing students to do whatever the administraters want, through coercion, threats of disciplinary action and sometimes legal prosecution. My opinion may seem a bit strong, but I am still in highschool. I often find myself thinking that school would be much easier and more productive if teachers/administraters cared about or even knew the students wants and needs. All too offen I find I can relate to Dilbert the comic strip character, which is sad because I’ve never had a real job in my life.

    Frustrated student,
    “Johan” (not my real name)

    Time: 9/16/97 (21:4:42)

    You make an interesting point in Monday’s Outrage about words being redefined by the powers that be. I’ve noticed a few others over the years:

    When you’re forced, under threat of imprisonment, to pick cotton, that’s called slavery, and is forbidden by the state. But when you’re forced, under threat of imprisonment, to shoot at people who shoot back, that’s called the draft, and is practiced by the state.

    When one person takes your money at the point of a gun, that’s called robbery. When a whole bunch of people take your money at the point of a gun, it’s called taxation.

    The list is nearly endless…

    Time: 9/15/97 (13:21:13)

    ANOTHER example of dogooders with nothing to do attempting to make sure others do things that makes THEM feel better. If it don’t work, they can be found attempting to do somethin else equally stupid. (Under another guise however).

  2. This reminds me of United Way “donations” drives at several corporations in the nation. At one New York company whose name sounds like the dean of a withering school, where I once worked, you receive a “request” with your name and social security number printed on it. And if you refuse to “Donate”, you have to meet with your manager to explain why . He will then “advise” you to “donate” by pointing out the expediency of being “generous” and the hazardous consequences your lack of a generous spirit might invoke; your insufficient salary not withstanding!

  3. I understand that people being forced to do good won’t make them be good, but I just want to get on record that anyone who opposes an attempt to build a little bit of conscience and sense of empathy in high school kids (the hopeful outcome of volunteer work) officially relinquishes their right to bitch about how this country has jettisoned its moral values. My parents made me volunteer in jr. high and high school, and while it sometimes felt like a chore then, it also built the habit of helping other people, and showed me how rewarding it can be, which is why I still volunteer as an adult. Even if only a few kids keep volunteering, it’s still an improvement ovdr the status quo, and maybe your average self-centered 15 year old surburbanite kid might benefit from seeing the old and infirm, the hungry, the poor — and seeing that in their own way, they can do something about it. And at the very least, some of them might gain some perspective, which is a rare and valuable commodity at that age (or any, if the posts to this board are representative). And all of you who are outraged by us “do-gooders”…at least I know that I’m giving something back and trying to make a change. What have you done about all the things you complain about lately? How depressing and self-centered you are. Get up off of your butts and serve some soup to some homeless people or babysit at a domestic violence shelter, and maybe you’ll work off some of your complacency.

  4. ENCOURAGING volunteer work is different than FORCING it. In my school, people under 18 can’t take a spare period. People who are under 18 and have a spare period are REQUIRED to do volunteer work. (Toronto). I have a friend who is forced to work in the library all the time. Ugh.

  5. Once more we see how the schools and the mony put into them are being misused. I personaly belive that vollunteer work should be on a vollunteer basis only. It makes me angry to see that my grade might hinge on someone elses Idea of moral character.

  6. I’m a HS student to andI agree with “Johan” about the Dilbert thing. They require that you learn their ideas and opinions. Then site them as facts on exams. They penalize you for holding your own opinion. I thought that having out dood food markets was a bad idea, since the food is less sanitary, and had ten points taken from a test.

  7. the soviet union had a similar program where they force kids and the populace to work in farms and in dangferous conditions for the “common good”

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