Quite Alarmingly Stupid (6/11/03)

Congratulations to Superintendent Michael Silver of the Tukwila School District in Tukwila, Washington for officially being named our Bonehead of the Week! Faithful viewer vdubya tipped us off to an article in the King County Journal which reveals that Tukwila's Foster High School won a grant from an unnamed nonprofit organization-- a grant consisting of 30 new Macs and six laser printers, worth a total of $43,000. That's a serious windfall for a school in an "economically challenged community." Heck, it's a windfall to just about anyone who doesn't light his cigars with original Rembrandts. There's just one teensy little catch: Superintendent Silver is sending it all back.

Why? Because three years ago Tukwila adopted a school technology plan that essentially says "bite me" to anyone coming around to drop off a truckload of free Macs, ostensibly because it's sooooo much harder to support two platforms than one, whimper whimper whine whine whine. And so Superintendent Silver (gosh, that's long; from now on we'll call him "Dimbulb" for short), when faced with the prospect of receiving $43 grand in state-of-the-art computer equipment for one of his economically-challenged schools, decided that it would be best to "stick to [the] plan" because "going with one platform for a small school district seems most prudent." Well, okay, we actually agree with Dimbulb on the second part, there-- too bad he picked the wrong platform.

Okay, so tempers are running a little high. Fear not, though, because it's AtAT to the rescue with the perfect solution to this problem: give those Macs to us. There, problem solved. It's almost Solomon-like in its wisdom and simplicity, isn't it? Of course, we suppose that doesn't help the math teacher who applied for the grant in the first place and who now isn't going to have the equipment he needs to teach his kids next year, but hey, at least Dimbulb will be happy (that's all that matters) and the AtAT compound will wind up with one bitchin' Unreal Tournament 2003 cluster.

There's still a chance that the school board will make a one-time exception and allow Foster High to keep its free Macs, but in the meantime, we found it interesting that Foster had won a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation "about two years ago"-- shortly after the school board had adopted its no-Mac policy. Now, it's not our intention to malign the Gates Foundation, because there isn't a doubt in our minds that it does a whole heap of good in this world with its hefty bankroll of dirty money generously supplied by the monopoly-abusing megalomaniac whose name it bears. Furthermore, the King County Journal states that "the Gates grant does not restrict what kind of computers a school may use," and we know that to be true; after all, the State of Maine iBook program is partially funded by the Gates Foundation.

But to our admittedly suspicious minds, it's not inconceivable that the superintendent of a school board (especially one with a nickname like "Dimbulb"-- yeesh, where did he pick that up?) might think that a school less than twenty miles from Billy-boy's house should adopt a Wintel-only policy to help said school win a $427,000 grant with Bill Gates's name on it. Then again, it's also possible that Dimbulb's entire thought process here was nothing more complex than "Windows good. Macs BAD!!" It's tough to say without an electroencephalogram.

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The above scene was taken from the 6/11/03 episode:

June 11, 2003: AppleInsider posts a charming little story that conceals all manner of dirt about what new products are coming at WWDC-- provided you're clever enough to crack the code. Meanwhile, a congenitally brick-stupid superintendent in Tukwila, Washington turns down thirty free computers because they happen to be Macs, and Microsoft is coming out with its own antivirus software (no, we're serious-- stop giggling)...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4006: Allegorical Fiction Rocks (6/11/03)   You know what's happened, right? Rumors abhor a vacuum. (Don't take it personally, Oreck.) Since Apple pulled out of what used to be the summer Macworld Expo, from a rumorological perspective, the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference has taken over for the traditional Boston/New York gig...

  • 4008: This Will All End Badly (6/11/03)   And in the "Irony Is For Suckers" department, faithful viewer Nateman informed us of an Associated Press article which reports that Microsoft is going to work on its own antivirus software. Think about that for a minute...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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