For those of you who have not become exclusively dedicated to news of the Royal baby, you may have heard the recent controversy regarding David Cameron’s plans to restrict pornography in the UK.
My Facebook and Twitter feed, for one, were certainly outraged over the decision which I certainly disagree with, however, it mainly strengthened my anger towards a different policy that the Conservative party are also introducing.
In 2015 it will be compulsory for schools to study a Shakespeare play and here lies the Conservative’s small, yet evident, contradiction.
Shakespeare is known for many things; his heartfelt poetry, being a magnificent playwright but also having a tendency to be a little raunchy here and there.
In fact, there’s a 300 paged book entirely dedicated to the scrupulous amount of sex that lingers amidst Shakespeare’s legendary lines.
So on the one hand we have to protect children from sex by forcing an entire country to become censored by default, but on the other hand we also have to force what is undeniably sexual down the same children’s throats in order to somehow protect their education?
I understand that I’m being a little pedantic here in comparing Shakespeare with porn (please note that’s not what I’m doing!), and you’re probably thinking that children won’t even understand the innuendos and questionable lines.
And that’s exactly where my frustration lies. Where is the logic behind forcing children to study Shakespeare when even students at university level can find it difficult to read let alone critically engage with?
By forcing the study of plays that my as well be composed of an entire different language, you are denying pupils their right to study literature.
I’m not for a moment denying Shakespeare’s importance, but when there is an entire world full of literary masterpieces it simply makes no sense for pupils to be constrained at all.
Today I found myself writing an essay. This exercise is not particularly unfamiliar to me, after all, I do pursue three subjects which almost exclusively rely upon the of churning out of endless sheets of endless script.
Unlike most of my essays, however, today I found myself (perhaps in my slowly-deteriorating sanity) creating a brand new word! Not even in the enlightenment of my own consciousness, I should say. Who knows, perhaps there is a small percentage of Shakespearian innovation (i.e. I can make up whatever the hell words I like) rattling around up there.
Although such an irrational idea seems more like just another side effect of my accumulating madness.
Instead I shall put it down to my unconscious laziness which led me to combine the words ‘with’ and ‘the’ into the portmanteau ‘withe’.
Not to be confused with the definition of a twig, (no, really…) ‘withe’ is, I have conjured, the defeatist way of writing ‘with the’.
So, for example, ‘Anna went to the dance withe handsome cheese sprayer’.
Perhaps a more appropriate title of this post would have been ‘how to alienate MY readers and YOUR friends’ but in the likelihood that ‘withe’ does not catch on, at least there is one thing that can be gained from this post: that ‘Cheese Sprayer’ is, I do not lie, an official profession!
And to think, people spend years training to be doctors and psychiatrists- they’re definitely missing a trick here!