Nov 12 2009


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“‘We don’t need no education? We don’t need no thought control?’ Obviously you can’t take that at face value,” Brigid said. “It’s satire, it’s got to be. It’s like A Modest Proposal. They’re not really advocating an anti-education point of view. They’re making fun of it.”

“I’m afraid I must disagree,” said Alex. “First of all, there’s no evidence within the song that it’s anything but just exactly what it says. The idea that such an idea is so over-the-top as to be untenable is more a matter of personal bias than anything actually in the text. Furthermore, you have to look at the song within the context of the larger work. ‘The Wall’ is a rock-opera, a large single work, of which the song is just a smaller part. It’s about isolation, it’s about a series of abusive relationships that lead to a socially- and emotionally-broken protagonist. The teachers in ‘The Wall’ are mean, small-minded, vicious — ‘just another brick in the wall’ that separates the character Pink from the rest of the world. And as a largely-autobiographical work by Roger Waters, there’s no reason not to think that it is, in fact, based on his own teachers. Far from making fun of an anti-education point of view, it sounds to me like an anthem devoted to the idea of eliminating schools all together.”

“That’s ridiculous,” said Brigid. “And furthermore, you’re a stupid-head.”

“Oh I am, am I?” said Alex. “Well let’s turn to the expert, here. You’re the literary guy, Greg, what do you think? Straightforward rant, or sly satire?”

“Well,” said Greg, “I think you’re both overlooking a much more important question here: specifically, how can you have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat?”

Brigid and Alex both nodded, impressed. “That is a stumper,” said Brigid.

-The Gneech

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