Do you remember Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”? Near the end Brian, who was born one manger over from the messiah, is attempting to evade some marauding Romans. But his flight is impeded by a throng of would-be disciples.
As he runs, one of his sandals falls off and is scooped up by the mob, whose members hold it aloft, proclaiming it “the sign!” and vowing to follow it.
It doesn’t work. “Yes!” the crowd replies in unison. “We’re all individuals!”
Brian tries again: “You’re all different!”
“Yes,” the followers chant, “we are all different!”
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Brian’s shoe – which was preceded by a gourd; follow the gourd! – as I’ve watched the previously sleepy Minneapolis Public School Parents Facebook page burst into controversy. Perpetually interested in why some schools acquire a “buzz” among the chattering classes while some don’t, I joined a number of years ago. Continue reading