Beware Tinky Winky's Purple Pen of Death

Hey there, caballeros:


Good f***ing grief, Charlie Brown. The sad state of education in the United States of Bush continues to go accelerate downhill at a rapid rate, defying all the laws of physics, and here, friends, is proof in lavender. For those of you who haven't heard, the color red is now a no-no when teachers grade students' tests and other papers. It's "too stressful" to those poor ne'er-do-well students, and has been vetoed, bumped out to the curb outside the school, right smack on its ass. The local 7-11 who made a mint on red ink pens is now being forced to carry purple pens or face a tragic loss of business. Okay, so maybe 7-11 doesn't supply schools with pens, but you get the idea.

Purple is the new red, and red is the new black, and black is definitely out when it comes to school fashions, pretty much always.

And parents have just been statistically proven to be frickin' insane.

Forget the obvious, that red is just plain easier to see than purple. Forget that red marks have pretty much always existed since there were red pens; in fact, I wouldn't be halfway surprised to learn red pens were invented for the sole purpose of grading papers. Let's go back to what colors mean. Yes, different colors mean something. Fact is, they serve pretty notable purposes. And red? It's a very emotionally intense color. It's a stimulant, enhancing human metabolism, increasing respiration rate, and raising blood pressure. (It also pisses off bulls something fierce.) It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment (all indicators of danger, generally speaking) are usually painted red. And blood is, of course, red.

By comparison, what's purple? Blue is stable, red is energetic; ergo, purple combines both. Back in the Middle Ages and before, purple was the color of nobility because it was so difficult to produce the color (as such, only the elite could have purple things). A number of things are said to be epitomized in purple: power, nobility, luxury, ambition, wealth, extravagance, wisdom, dignity, creativity, independence, mystery, and magic. 75% of pre-adolescents prefer the color to all others. Light purple is feminine; dark purple can cause frustration.

And, of course, the gay Teletubbie (or so the Right would tell you) is purple. Coincidence...?

Now, lest you think I've flipped and forgotten my point altogether, I'm aghast that the establishment would make this terrible move. Figure the old way: the more red marks on a paper, the more danger should be felt because not doing well in school is bad! Makes sense, doesn't it? Well, forget about it! With purple, students should feel regal and proud when many marks are strewn across a paper! Make failing students feel at ease! Why didn't I think of this before? Make students feel content, nay, privileged for reaching such depths!

Why not go all the way? Why not grade with a blue pen, and make failing students feel totally relaxed and calm? Remind them of heaven, not hell (as red may symbolize to some)? Blue symbolizes intellect and reason. It's cool and serene.

Why do parents want to make their kids feel more relaxed and calm, which in my mind produces complacency and inaction, when instead they should feel indignation toward doing such a piss-poor job in their school work? It's sending the wrong message and schools across the country should be ashamed of themselves. Encourage mediocrity, encourage failure, because you don't want kids feeling bad about themselves? Rubbish! Repeat after me, kids, with your red-penned papers in hand: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Get better grades by having that bright red failing grade leap off the page!

Why am I feeling like I've stepped into Bizarro-ville? And why do I feel like I'm the only one who's noticed?

Next up: tiger cubs nurse at fortysomething zoo worker's teat, film at 11...


1 comment:

  1. LOL - Aw man, that was awesome. ^_^ Seriously, the establishment needs to realize that it isn't the *color* of the corrections that's the problem - it's the fact that so many of our students are getting things wrong. The solution to educating our woefully ignorant nation is *NOT* to make our substandard students feel better, but to raise our expectations and make a serious effort to help those who are falling behind.

    Although people may differ in their innate intelligence, I believe that every human being can achieve the same state of knowledge. It's ignorant and unfair to make excuses for poor public education performances. There *is* no excuse. Coddling children is wrong. We should expand the intellectual horizens of those who come after us - not to restrict them.

    So fuck the change of ink color, and fuck whatever justifications they may have. In the end, it doesn't matter. What we should be working towards is an enrichment of humanity, and that cannot be accomplished by pretending that all answers are equal.

    ...er, sorry that was ranty. But I agree 100%.


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