Okay, today we’ll start class with a pop quiz: What do hip-hop, evolution and Thomas Jefferson all have in common?
Answer: They were all stricken from Texas textbooks by the group of evangelicals that sit on the Texas State Board of Education.
Thanks to a new documentary released this month, the jaw-dropping absurdities of our crazy state board, which became a common punchline after its revisionist history made headlines across the country, are laid out in detail.
“The Revisionaries,” funded in large part by a Kickstarter campaign, tracks the board’s mostly successful crusade to inject right-wing politics and Christian creationism into school textbooks. By all accounts, the board’s former chairman, suburban dentist Don McLeroy, makes for a bizarre and fascinating protagonist.
Among many other outrageous things, McLeroy believes that “someone needs to stand up to the experts.” He believes that dinosaurs lived side by side with mankind and that Noah managed to get their fat asses on the ark.
I’d love to tell you more, but I haven’t seen the movie. And I probably won’t be able to see it until the DVD release since I didn’t catch it during its painfully short tenure at the Magnolia in Dallas. Like most indie releases these days, it’s hard to get wide distribution.
As far as I know, the film never came to Fort Worth at all, though the Star-Telegram wrote a review when it played for two weeks in Dallas.
Over the next two months, however, the documentary will have short showings in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and just one more in Texas (Austin, of course) this coming weekend.
The liberal bastions in the rest of the country will get to laugh at our ridiculousness. I’d love to laugh along with them, but I guess I’ll have to catch it on Netflix.