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That poll was because Andrew motion was on the radio this morning,… - B. Henderson Asher's Moments of Mirth [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Listen in, listen Ian!

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[Feb. 17th, 2009|04:12 pm]
Listen in, listen Ian!
That poll was because Andrew motion was on the radio this morning, complaing about his students' lack of knowledge of bible stories and other mythology hampering his ability to teach works such as Paradise Lost. He mentioned in passing - in a fairly exasperated voice - that "most of them don't even know that the title of Measure For Measure is from the sermon on the mount". Now I like to think I'm not stupid, and I have a pretty good all-round knowledge - my team finished second in a pub quiz last week, and only by one and a half points, and if I'd been allowed to put "Amadeus" it would have been by only half a point - but I had no idea of that. I'm therefore pleased to see that I'm not the only one, and my friends are certainly not thick. Well, not that thick anyway, so stick that in yer pipe and smoke it Mr so-called Poet Laureate.

You all want to know what I dreamed last night don't you? Well tough, because I'm going to tell you anyway. I was on holiday somewhere, and I'd gone on a day trip to Jamaica from wherever that was. I was wandering around, and I found a cricket ground where the current West Indies v England test match was taking place - although I'm pretty sure that's actually in Antigua - so I wandered in, and though there were several members of the exceedingly tiresome Barmy Army there it turned out not to be the test match, but a match between a local team and that well known Jamaican cricket team, Africa. Unusually, but enterprisingly many of the crowd were watching from vantage points on the field of play. At one point I was watching from somewhere around deep mid on, when the batsman smacked a beautiful drive that whistled past my ear only to be caught spectacularly by an old woman in the outfield. Then I walked round the ground, stopping briefly to look at the crocodile in his pool(?) before looking out over a wall onto the beach, and contemplating walking down some steps towards a spectacular looking old church, wishing I was spending longer than one day in Jamaica.
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Comments:
From: alnya
2009-02-17 04:23 pm (UTC)
To be fair, I knew it cos I studied it at school and have a freakish memory (and did English Literature at school).

Essentially, he's saying the Bible is a required text for English Literature classes - no shit sherlock
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[User Picture]From: offensive_mango
2009-02-17 04:38 pm (UTC)
I hate it when I have an idea and some asshole like Andrew Motion comes along and says the same thing.
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[User Picture]From: offensive_mango
2009-02-17 04:42 pm (UTC)
Also, right, they're just stories, and the only reason illiterate people from years past knew them was because someone told them. It's not hard to give your students a background of the stories you're about to reference.

Having said all that, I would want to ensure that my own children had a good understanding of their culture's mythology. If I have children and they're English, they'll know their bible stories (just without the fear of their being true) as well as their Greek and Roman myths. It makes going to museums, watching opera, reading literature, etc., far more meaningful if you get the references.
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[User Picture]From: caramel_betty
2009-02-17 04:47 pm (UTC)
Having said all that, I would want to ensure that my own children had a good understanding of their culture's mythology. If I have children and they're English

Then, like any good person, you should educate them in:

- The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
- Thunderbirds
- Abigail's Party
- Prime Suspect
- Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds
- Around the World in 80 Days with Willy Fogg
- The Mysterious Cities of Gold
- The Archers
- Eastenders OR Coronation Street (but not both, they have to pick sides early)
- Grange Hill
- selected episodes of Trisha and Jeremy Kyle
- Hollyoaks
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[User Picture]From: percyprune
2009-02-17 07:42 pm (UTC)
I second this motion.
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[User Picture]From: k425
2009-02-17 04:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, this, entirely! Which reminds me, I need to get some basic world mythology books for YoungBloke, to sit alongside his children's bible.
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[User Picture]From: freya_bean
2009-02-17 09:16 pm (UTC)
It makes going to museums, watching opera, reading literature, etc., far more meaningful if you get the references

Yep, this is true. As someone who knows very little bible stories, I have huge gaping holes in my education and miss references in many things. The only reason I knew the answer to ruudboy's poll is probably because alnya geeked it at me, well that and the Karmic Law of Retribution of course ;)
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[User Picture]From: k425
2009-02-17 04:47 pm (UTC)
This is one of the main reasons I have for inflicting church on YoungBloke. Not because I expect him to believe in God - he can make up his own mind about that. But because a) I want him to know what he's choosing to believe in or not believe in; and b) there's so much cultural knowledge to be gained - hymns (Gladly, the cross-eyed bear, can only be funny if you have an understanding that there's a hymn called "Gladly the cross I'd bear", for instance), bible stories, little rituals - all things that are not only part of being English and British, but bloody useful for things like pub quizzes!
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[User Picture]From: caramel_betty
2009-02-17 05:21 pm (UTC)
My problem is that I went to church irregularly, sang lots of hymns, and turn up to weddings/funerals etc. and find they're playing ones I don't know. My mum(+stepdad) picked something for my gran's funeral, and I'd never heard it before, ever.

Tsk.

There need to be fewer hymns, and they need to be the ones I know.
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[User Picture]From: nja
2009-02-17 07:19 pm (UTC)
IAWTC. If it wasn't in the Somerset Hymn Book for Schools in the seventies, it isn't a proper hymn. Stop singing hymns written by Ned Flanders in 1986, Christians!
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[User Picture]From: offensive_mango
2009-02-17 10:46 pm (UTC)
Your other half and me both.
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