Thursday, April 13, 2006

Damn Right!

A Nevada court has granted a 9th grader the right to recite a poem in class which his school had banned. The school administration considered it offensive because it contained the words "damn" and "hell." Why, one might ask, did it take a court ruling to protect a student's right to free speech?

The poem is "The More Loving One" by W.H. Auden, written in 1957. It rhymes, which is always good for us poetic simpletons. Here it is for all you poetry buffs out there.

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total darkness sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

Wow. As you can see it doesn't get much more offensive than that. Good to know that our schools are so vigilant in protecting 14-year-olds from the unspeakable horrors of the words "damn" and "hell". Naturally their virgin ears have never heard anything like that before despite the fact those two words are uttered at least a dozen times on every prime time network TV show. No doubt the kids who are forced to hear them again the next time this poem is recited will all drop out of school by their senior year and grow up to be pimps, prostitutes, and drug dealers.

After all, four letter words do so much more to stimey the educational process than do the White House's brilliant strategies of mandating No Child Left Behind programs and then not funding them, or promoting fake science like intelligent design.

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