Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Political Correctness and the slow death of civilisation.

With not so much to do at work due to the Summer Vacation, I have been scouring the internet for sustenance and have spent the last day or two here, at what is proving to be one of the most interesting sites I have ever come across.

I'm fairly accustomed with PC, having witnessed it flourishing during my high school days in the 90s. I was lightly reprimanded for referring to a 90 year old woman in a text book as "old" and in Georgraphy we were taught from day one to call countries "developed and developing" as opposed to "rich and poor".

I appreciate that in the case of the above examples, the teachers in question have a job to do and have to toe the line. What I really hate though is the way that decent, dedicated and talented teachers have been gradually pensioned off to make way for the younger lefties.

During my first year of high school in 1991/92, there was a woodwork teacher (or "construction" as the PC mob called it) who was lovingly thought of as a bit daft, but heaps of fun. I distinctly remember him commenting in his leaving assembly that he wasn't that well educated, but that we should blame Hitler because he bombed his school, to which people fell off their chairs for different reasons. He was always making little jokes like this, and we loved it. After he left, there was still some humour to be found, but not much.

Another teacher was a tall bearded guy who wore red boots and often gave his maths classes with his feet up on the table. He had a habit of calling students by the nicknames he had assigned them in their first few classes (Clever Trevor, Princess Nicky, Katie Kazoo and my personal favourite, Jessicated Coconut were some of the more memorable ones). He was a big kid, and had the earring and comedic voicings to prove it. Yet, he was strict when he had to be, and would often push unruly students up against filing cabinets and shout at them for what seemed like hours on end.

He was apparently suspended later, for undisclosed reasons, although it seems that again it was a case of the old guard being replaced by yes-men (or positive-reinforcement operatives...).

A similar thing occured when I was at University. Used to the pale, sterile associations of Political Correctness, I was understandably refreshed to find that I was in classes of opinionated, free-thinking students under the tutelage of lecturers that (on the whole) had fiendish senses of humour and called a spade a spade. Most of the male lecturers were having affairs with students. Some of the female lecturers were too. I didn't care. I worked hard and got the results I wanted.

However, the spectre of PC reared its ugly head back at the end of my first semester. One of my Literature lecturers, and man in his early 60s, was encouraged into early retirement, despite the fact that he was arguably the most popular and effective teacher in the faculty. He was very fatherly, and would set aside counselling time for each and every student. Due to an unforeseen sports injury, I was having trouble meeting a Shakespeare deadline, but when I talked to him about it he told me everything was ok and gave me an extra few weeks to finish it off. His last hurrah was to teach us Oedipus Rex, which he did with such poise and humour that it remains one of my fondest memories from University.

It's a great shame that people like this lecturer, the maths teacher and the woodwork teacher have been squeezed out. Replacing teachers like these with younger, less strict replacements has proven disastrous over the last 20 or so years. British schools now are faced with critical discipline problems, and teachers are leaving in droves. Who can blame them? They are expected to teach unruly, disruptive students who are untouchable - physically and verbally.

Perhaps my biggest gripe with PC it's anaemic, leftwing earwigs with no experience in what they are talking about that get to decide how the rest of us should live. Why should a DINKY (double income, no kids yet) decide that parents can't occasionally smack a disobedient child to keep them in line? Why should people who have never been out in the real world working be in charge of teaching our children?

In the early 1970s, the liberals wanted school rooms to be open-plan, with random seating and no rules to encourage creativity and freedom of expression. What they got, and what we all got and are seemingly stuck with for good, is disobedience, dumbed down exams and no teacher-control.

I sometimes question the behaviour of my Japanese colleagues, who will reflexively strike unruly students with canes and books, or shout and make them sit in a very uncomfortable formal fashion for a long time. However, it seems to work. The students in my school respect the teachers, and the teachers respect the students. Most students know that if they misbehave, they will be punished. And they also know - and this is crucial - that their parents will be on the side of the teachers. Of course, there will always be a chance that some students will be punished unfairly, but on the whole this system seems ideal compared to the farce that passes for education in Britain. Of course, it's not perfect here, but in terms of discipline, respect and motivation, it works.

I wonder if all those liberal students from the 70s and 80s realise just what they've done. Spoilt and rebelling from their parents set of rules, they systematically dismantled the education system, and removed those most important of virtues: hard-work, repect and common sense.

So to all of the PC mob, the champagne socialists, the liberal educators and the thought police, here's a joke for you:

A Priest walks into a whore house and ask for a girl. The owner whistles and a rough looking hooker appears, and stands next to the Priest.
"Can I have a bottle of beer?" he asked the owner, who nodded and gave one to him.
The hooker meanwhile smiled and turned away from the Priest, bent over and hitched up her skirt.
"Hey, how did you know I wanted that position?" the Priest said, mystified.
"I didn't," replied the hooker, "I just thought you might want to open your beer..."

Ok, let me guess... you didn't think that was suitable.... well how about this one:

A person walks into a room, though not in a way that would offend the physically impaired... the end.



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