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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: February ::
Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0460  Tuesday, 27 February 2001

[1]     From:   Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
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        Date:   Monday, 26 Feb 2001 11:34:34 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0447 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Monday, 26 Feb 2001 12:49:20 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 12.0428 Bard Bade Goodbye


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
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Date:           Monday, 26 Feb 2001 11:34:34 EST
Subject: 12.0447 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0447 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

>What is sinister is that increasing numbers of decisions about what is
>taught in schools is indeed being taken by unaccountable faceless
>suits.  No-one I know has actually met many / any of these bureaucrats,
>but streams of glossy stuff is being produced by them. The exam boards
>are pretty unhappy about what the government body is perpetrating and
>then requiring them to implement

Follow the money. The required glossy stuff may come from Cousin
Bureaucrat's Lucrative Publishing and Consulting Company.

Interestingly, a similar process happens in Ohio. I have seen first-hand
how bureaucrats can create a priesthood based on a watered-down version
of the expertise of others, then publish and control it wearing the
majestic cloak of state.

A few years ago our legislature funded training in conflict resolution
for the schools. Twenty recognized experts were urgently invited to
create a curriculum. At the second meeting two slick suits appeared
who'd just happened to form a new for-profit consulting company. The
resulting curriculum was available only to schools who won competitive
grants administered by the state bureaucracy. We were invited to add
single pages, with the promise of having our names at the bottom, but
our ideas were already there in watered-down form, basic concepts
missing here and there, but cute diagrams added, final choices to be
made by bureau. Within three or four months, the curriculum was
proprietary and the bureaucrats "couldn't" even let us see copies of the
curriculum we'd helped design. Three years later, I got a letter
inviting me to enter a statewide competition to join their training
pool.

Why wasn't I surprised? I'd had similar experience in the 1970s with
feminist Shakespeare criticism. Priesthoods have a way of springing up
and staying in power. Our planet is now largely controlled by one that a
great soldier, Dwight D. Eisenhower, saw coming and called the
military-industrial establishment.

Kezia Vanmeter Sproat

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 26 Feb 2001 12:49:20 -0500
Subject: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        SHK 12.0428 Bard Bade Goodbye

The proposal that Shakespeare's work, together with that of other
luminaries, should be dropped from the public syllabus produces the
usual wringing of privileged hands. 'It would be monstrous for the next
generation not to be encouraged to study what is probably the world's
greatest literature' intones the Provost of Eton College. Why? I can
think of a generation that by and large studied no Shakespeare, no
Dryden, no Pope, no Keats, no Byron, no Shelley, no Wordsworth and no
Dickens.  Instead, poor deprived creatures, they attended the early
modern theatres and thus made possible Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and King
Lear. We are in no position to condescend to them. They had MND. We have
Eminem.

T. Hawkes
 

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