Now Politics: the Political Opinions of Thomas Sarebbononnato

A Friend of the People Opposing Elites; Social and Political Commentary of Thomas Sarebbononnato; Publishing and Contributing Editor, Jay V. Ruvolo [Copyright (c) Jay Ruvolo 2018]

SEMI LITERACY TRIUMPHANT

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Translating Shakespeare? But then when I pronounced aloud, aboard a Brooklyn bound D paused on the Manhattan Bridge for far too long, that managing the trains presents a puzzle for dispatchers that their systematic under education and semi-literacy cannot handle, a rather intelligent looking white man, from somewhere nowhere near New York City, said What does literacy have to do with running the trains, I knew we were lost in a morass of confused, confusing and confounded thinking, more akin to rapidly passing images in the mind, the product of the very systematic under eduction and stunted literacy I had said was the cause of repeated delays in service too often to be just about the betterment of the subway. But the subway in New York City is run by simians, all of them three steps to the side short of beating a baby baboon to death against a tree, something their cousins, the chimps, do, the latter being 98% identical with all of us Homo Sapiens, what we remain more starkly the less often we choose the Human which is never what it is without the humane or the civilized, and the latter can be an ordering of society and culture along a variety of metaphysics, but certainly begins to wane in the absence of all or any metaphysics, at least an understanding and a consciousness of metaphysical systems and their elemental role in the ordering of what all of us would like to call civilized behavior, civilized order, civilized management of social services.

The fact that there is a project in Oregon set to translate all of Shakespeare into contemporary English only shows me my laments about the state of literacy have been valid–yet I do not object entirely to modernizations. I do object, though, that we pretend that Shakespeare is unintelligible without translation, which is grossly untrue. Only a glossary was ever necessary for anyone who had been standardly literate, at least at a time when the average High School graduate could read on grade and not at the seventh (which it seems most of those who are now running our city read at, if I am allowed a tangent–you do know that the fact we have undermined literacy and opted for a baser form of alphabetism, separating the advances of higher literacy from civilization and what it means to be civilized, has left us with mismanagement after grotesque mismanagement of our civil orders, as well as where we are at politically . . .)

The need for translation, as some call it, is not a necessity born of distance and mutual unintelligibility, but a product of our debased sense of literacy and what it means to be a literate person–and I am not talking about a university graduate or undergraduate level reading, but what used to be high school when persons needed to read at the 12th grade to graduate High School, more specifically at time when what was a 12th grade reading level had not been debased, devalued, inflated in order to adjust reading scores by students who could no longer perform well enough. I had noted this while teaching in the City University of New York when the University decided to move from the WAT test to the ACT test for admissions writing requirements. The latter called for a much different kind essay, a much easier format was instituted, geared toward looser construction, lesser or limited complexity; and was graded through a series of recurring norming sessions designed to re-adjust the passing levels, thus requiring even lesser and lesser literacy . . . all in the name of a misguided attempt to democratize education, The only problem is that all of this backfired and has only resulted in greater and greater elitism and more power for Power and more money for Monied elites.

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Written by jvr

April 22, 2019 at 10:28 am

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