Saturday 26 November 2011

Dumb down, deeper and down

So, I just sat an exam. It was easy, too easy. I got 100% but I'm no expert. Okay, I am an expert, but I'm not boasting here, it really is an easy exam. But not, it seems for many of those who take it. Ordinarily I'd say any exam should have a healthy failure rate in order to validate its rigour. It's the three bears test - Everybody passes = too easy; everybody fails = too hard. You want it just right. But the exam's not the problem here.

Ever since I first started school the 'progressives' influencing education policy have striven to drive down the average IQ while maintaining a steady grade inflation, giving the impression of progress. If I remember correctly, Winston Smith's job was much the same; massaging the figures, distorting history and keeping the population in thrall. I'm not sure that was the intention of the lovely liberal fools, but it's certainly been the outcome.

Because, the reason candidates fail this easy exam is not because they don't know the answers, it's because they can't read the questions. Really, reading and understanding plain English is now a rare skill and whole generations since the nineteen sixties appear to be functionally illiterate, with numbers being an even more mysterious Narnia they no longer have the imagination to visit. Bluntly, our masses are thick and destined (some apparently determined) to remain so.

If you can't - or don't - read, all you can realistically do is shovel shit. But even the steaming mound of bullshit spouted daily by politicians isn't enough to go around. So, in the United Dingdom we have two options; we can work hard at producing enough shit for all - creating work for shovel-makers and pushers - which is what the UK has done for years. Or we can rise above all this, get ourselves properly educated and then maybe, we can lift our snouts from the dung heap and go in search of less shitty things to do.

It isn't even a choice, really, is it? Education, education, education, droned a millionaire former manipulator, with his fingers crossed as he said it. What he was thinking was schools schools, schools, hospitals, hospitals, hospitals, votes, votes, votes and all the while seeing the world though dollar signs for eyes.

You have to be cruel to be kind - Nick Lowe said that - so next time you see your kids with a piece of technology, stamp on it, throw it in a bin, take the batteries out... anything. Then stand behind them with a weapon of your choice until they write out - on a piece of paper - the entire Chambers Dictionary*, word for word, etymology included. Accept no excuses - real dyslexia affects a miniscule number and ADHD is an invention of the makers of Ritalin(TM) et al - no effort, no reward.

Only when the population has the ability to understand all the words will they begin to have the ability to apply reason and if they apply reason they will see that our political 'elite' is a left-leaning, apathetic, ineffectual assortment of gurning morons with shit for brains and subjugation at heart. Michael Gove - love him or hate what he stands for is quite right about reintroducing real competition and elitism. It's how progress comes about. It's how we beat the malaise.

You know it's the truth.

(* Not the OED: Despite its lofty status it's still wrong.)

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