The Pride of Homeschooling
By Bryan Caplan
I finally got my hands on the script for Captain Fantastic, and can now share my favorite scene. Subtle it’s not, but for me, awesome always beats subtle. The stage: Homeschooling dad Captain Fantastic and his six kids are visiting his mundane sister and her two kids (Justin and Jackson). The sister lets her brother know she’s not too happy with his child-rearing…
Sister: They’re children! They need to go to school. They need to learn about the world.
Captain: [shouting] Justin. Jackson? Would you please come down here for a second?
Captain: How old are you now, Jackson?
Captain: Can you tell me what the Bill of Rights is?
Jackson: Um, what something costs, I guess.
Captain: That’s a good guess. Justin, you’re in high school?
Captain: Do you like your school?
Justin: It’s whatever.
Captain: Do you know what the Bill of Rights is?
Justin: It’s a government thing, right? Like, rights that people have in America and stuff.
Captain: Yep. [shouting] Hey, Zaja?
Zaja: [Captain’s 2nd-youngest kid] Yes?
Captain: Would you please come down here a moment, sweetie? I wanted to ask you a quick question. Zaja’s just turned eight, by the way. The Bill of Rights.
Zaja: Amendment one: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; Or abridging the freedom of…
Captain: Stop. Regurgitating memorized amendments isn’t what I’m asking for. Just tell me something about it in your own words.
Zaja: Without the Bill of Rights we’d be more like China. Here, at least, we don’t have warrantless searches. We have free speech. Citizens are protected from cruel and unusual punishments…
Sister: That’s enough.
As I’ve said before, I don’t hate education. Rather, I love it too much to accept the Orwellian substitutes we take for granted. And if you think Captain Fantastic’s mocking a straw man, I say straw men rule the world.
HT: Zac Gochenour