Friday, November 1, 2013


Trick or treat?  The common core is knocking at your door
Townhall – Terrence More – 10/31/2013

If students in English class are not reading Frankenstein, then what are they reading that might qualify as fiction or, er, literature? That’s where the textbook takes us “live from New York . . . it’s Saturday Night!” Yes, under the heading “Contemporary Connection,” this literature book apportions five pages (two more than are given to Mary Shelley) to a script of a Saturday Night Live parody of Frankenstein. First, students are invited “to share their impressions of the long-running comedy show.” (In our day, did we have to be told by our English teachers to watch SNL?) Again the talented-and-gifted students are called to the fore, as they are supposed to obtain props, costumes, and make-up that will enable them to “take roles and do a dramatic reading” of the script. Let us look at a specimen of that timeless scene:

Villager #1: [to Head Villager] Well, maybe you’re the monster!

Head Villager: [shakes his head] I’m not the monster! [points to Frankenstein’s monster] Look at ’im! He’s got a square head and green skin!

Frankenstein’s Monster: Oh, great—now it’s a racial thing! You know what? You guys are a bunch of fascists! [villager with a lit torch again steps too close] Seriously, du-ude! Get that fire away from me! . . .

Lest the teacher not know how to explain the term fascist, the Teacher’s Edition lends a hand:

Point out the use of the term fascist. Explain its traditional political meaning and how it has been extended to refer to any right-wing extremist group.

Mmm . . . “Any right-wing extremist group”: might that term extend to the Tea Party?

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