Oh, what fools these mortals be!
And by “fools” I mean Ron DeSantis & Co. whose overcaffeinated-meth-addict-on-bath-salts-while-guzzling-a-handle-of-Fireball approach to education in Florida has resulted in a No Shakespeare policy.
Because sometimes, the bard gets bawdy.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day, Ron DeSantis? Prithy, no. May I instead compare you to a horse’s patoot? Hmmm. Let me think about that.
Now is the summer of our discontent. And, no, this lady doth not protest too much. She protesteth just the right amount.
To be fair, it’s only the reading of Shakespeare’s works in entirety that is frowned upon. It’s OK to read short excerpts. Oh, well that’s a relief! It’s not like you’re eliminating the work of the greatest writer in the history of the English language! You can read a sentence or two! Yay! How wonderful to reduce the works of the world’s preeminent playwright to roughly the same number of letters required for McDonald’s to announce the return of the McRib!
Instead of slogging through “Romeo and Juliet” for example, just memorize: “What light through yonder window breaks?”
Sure, out of context it means nothing, but I do so love the use of “yonder.” Clearly Shakespeare was from Southern England!
The reason for this severe editing is teachers are (rightly) afraid they could be disciplined, even terminated if they run afoul of the very foul Parental Rights in Education Act, a DeSantis pet project that’s less purring kitten kind of pet and more hissing cockroach. It doesn’t take much to rile the parents who love this stuff. You know the ones, always screeching at school boards and hassling librarians. There are more nuts like that in Florida than mildew-stained plastic chairs in a “Hoarders” dumpster. ‘Nother words, a lot.
So, the teachers have gotten wind of the notion they might get in trouble because Shakespeare’s works can lead to a bit of comic “raunchiness.” Well. That is the best kind of raunchiness, if you ask me, but these people clearly have zero sense of humor. Back in the day, we struggled through some mighty dense prose to finally be rewarded with Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” which contained the delightfully ribald “Miller’s Tale.” It was the raunchy carrot to the stick that was “Beowulf.” Well done, English 4.
Further, there has been an allegation that “Romeo and Juliet” exploits minors. Oh, Lord. Is there any of that Fireball left? This is the most crazy-making thing I’ve heard in a while. Look. You can’t take Shakespeare or any of the classics or just plain great books and toss ‘em like, well, a mildewed chair. Your kids won’t know Avon (birthplace of Shakespeare) from the company that makes the stuff that keeps the skeeters off you every summer.
We need the wisdom of Shakespeare even more these days. Only he could explain to DeSantis and his fetid posse of puritanicals how great literature works to expand the mind and elevate the soul.
To paraphrase the bard: Some are born stupid, some achieve great stupidity and some have great stupidity thrust upon them.
Sadly, the residents of Florida tumble into the latter category as DeSantis enforces his creepy agenda to dumb down the precious children he’s always crowing about. We don’t need no stinkin’ AP classes! (Just to get in a good college is all.)
Uneasy is the head that wears the crown but only if the head contains a smidgen of compassion for one’s fellow man. That’s the stuff that keeps great leaders awake at night. I imagine DeSantis is a famously sound sleeper. Like curl up beside a runway at the MCO for a snooze levels of sound.
Sometimes it’s as if the universe heard me say, “Well, Florida couldn’t possibly produce a worse candidate for president than you-know-who and basically responded with “Hold my gator.”
Oh, what fools these mortals be!