Monday 7 November 2011

Those who can...

It was grist to my mill to see this report today about illiterate, inumerate teachers. Long have I bemoaned the apparent decline in standards both in school and in the wider world, pointing to said decline from my lofty position as a, er... as a, um... teacher. I regularly rail against the abandonment of all that was sacred; spelling an' grammar an' that.

But it isn't just the edjumacators, is it? Competence everywhere is in deadly decline; as the world's technology gets smarter its users get dumber and as the world's users get dumber they acquiesce all the more readily to anybody that displays even the slightest hint that they might know something. Anything. Anything at all - honest , we're so thick we'll believe even what the Daily Mail prints.

All you need, these days, to be declared an expert, is a set of balls. Yup, pick up a pair of colossal cojones, preferably coupled with an admiral lack of self-awareness and the world will lick a path to your drawers. But there's no room for self-doubt, so a certain amount of ignorance is essential if you're going to carry it off. Ignorance allows you to spout with ineptitude without ever suffering anything so debilitating to your success as, say, a shred of doubt.

Warming to my theme I try to think of an example and I am rewarded in spades. Bankers spring immediately to mind, complete with onanistic rhyming slang. Then, anybody offering any sort of financial advice; all I have to do is point at my dismal pension-cum-share portfolio. Look! Too late, it's gone. Scientists who predict the future are always fair game - Sir Clive Sinclair, anybody? As is absolutely any politician you care to name, of any political persuasion.

How do these morons get away with it? Not a single politician anywhere in the world has any idea, whatsoever, about anything over which they have such immense control; not industry, not immigration not the economy and in many cases, not even their own private lives. None of them, not one, knows anything... about anything. Not a thing. Not a single, fucking thing.

I mean, just look at the Euro. Just look at it, will you. It is my earnest wish that, soon, that will not be possible, but I don't expect my wishes to come true. Nobody knows anything at all about what will happen next; it's all just conjecture. Kick out Greece, save Greece, help Italy, fuck Italy, protect Spain, persecute Spain. Nobody tests them, nobody actually believes them, yet nobody votes them out, because we are all too thick and our balls are too small. And because they will simply ignore our vote, after all, what do we know?

In the insane world of Hollywood, William Goldman had the rare prescience to state that "nobody knows anything". It's about time our supposed leaders had big enough bollocks to admit the same.

We used to say, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. And those who can't teach, manage teachers." Perhaps we should extend this to, "Those who can't even manage teachers, lead nations."

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