DK had a good old moan about state education the other day. I like the old Devil when he's calling everyone a cunt and essentially acting like a tourettes'-afflicted retired army major on speed reading about the introduction of compulsory military bumsex but... Well, I tend to doze off when he starts rattling about the state's refusal to adopt some some rigidly wingnut policy or other.
Like me, you'll be stunned to learn that he thinks privatising everything will solve all our problems. I think he's saying that if you can't afford to send your child to Eton, then you have no business having children at all, but then, I went to a state school in East Lothian so my reading comprehension skills are for shit. Sorry if I missed the main thrust of the argument there.
Still, he does have a bit of a point about the standard of education in the UK. I switched the radio on while I was getting ready for work this morning, and what should spill out but Never Ever by All Saints. It's an affecting, emotionally-charged portrait of the extinction of a relationship, with the singers interrogating their lover* on the cause of death.
Well, I don't exactly beat hot blondes off with a stick, but if an All Saint sidled up to me and said she had A few questions that I need to know, or told me You've got my conscience asking questions that I can't find, I'd sit her down, get her a nice cup of tea and run her through the basics of English grammar.
Honestly, young ladies these days need a bloody good Fisking. I mean, they seem to have grasped the fundamentals of literacy, since they know that The alphabet runs right from A to Z. A bit of basic syntax should be simple.
That's hardly the worst part, though. If an All Saint asked me "When you gonna take me out of this black hole?" I'd be forced to say, Well, given that a "black hole" has a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation can escape, I'll take you out of it just as soon as I've worked out how to defy the very laws of physics themselves.
I don't think I'd even bother noting that, since outer space is a brutally cold vacuum in which organic life perishes almost instantly, there probably wouldn't be much point in trying to pull her out of the black hole in the first place. If she doesn't know that, then there'd be no need to confuse her further by explaining that the unimaginable pressure would long since have crushed her body to the width of a single atom.
So, in short, I agree with the Devil - modern British schools are failing our children. Personally, I'd advocate a bit less privatisation and a bit more concentration on the fundamentals of the English language and astrophysics but then, I suspect we were trained in different disciplines.
*Yes, I thought that four-on-one relationship part was rather odd, too, but not as bad as all of those Westlife blokes singing a love song thanking a woman called "Mandy" for her sexual affections. Kids these days... They need to understand that hardcore internet gangbang porno videos are merely for light entertainment, and are not step-by-step instruction manuals for the making of sweet love to young ladies.