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"'We don't need no education? We don't need no thought control?' Obviously you can't take that at face value," Brigid said. "It's satire, it's got to be. It's like A Modest Proposal. They're not really advocating an anti-education point of view. They're making fun of it."

"I'm afraid I must disagree," said Alex. "First of all, there's no evidence within the song that it's anything but just exactly what it says. The idea that such an idea is so over-the-top as to be untenable is more a matter of personal bias than anything actually in the text. Furthermore, you have to look at the song within the context of the larger work. 'The Wall' is a rock-opera, a large single work, of which the song is just a smaller part. It's about isolation, it's about a series of abusive relationships that lead to a socially- and emotionally-broken protagonist. The teachers in 'The Wall' are mean, small-minded, vicious — 'just another brick in the wall' that separates the character Pink from the rest of the world. And as a largely-autobiographical work by Roger Waters, there's no reason not to think that it is, in fact, based on his own teachers. Far from making fun of an anti-education point of view, it sounds to me like an anthem devoted to the idea of eliminating schools all together."

"That's ridiculous," said Brigid. "And furthermore, you're a stupid-head."

"Oh I am, am I?" said Alex. "Well let's turn to the expert, here. You're the literary guy, Greg, what do you think? Straightforward rant, or sly satire?"

"Well," said Greg, "I think you're both overlooking a much more important question here: specifically, how can you have your pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

Brigid and Alex both nodded, impressed. "That is a stumper," said Brigid.

-The Gneech

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
My dear mother, who can't stand The Wall, likes to shout "They've all got degrees, you know!" when I'm playing it...
Nov. 12th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
I'm less-than-keen on Pink Floyd generally myself, actually, but having gone through Abusive Teacher Hell as well, I'm at least sympathetic to what Waters was getting at.

Nov. 12th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)

I saw The Machine (PF tribute band) play a few years back and they were actually quite good. The keyboardist was the one to shout those lines when they got to that song. He absolutely screamed them out. It was hilarious.

Nov. 12th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Mother should i trust the government?...
Nov. 12th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
having had that song seared into the brain one summer...
I think that Alex, while not a stupid-head, needs a haircut, a real job, and to get it together, in this case, like Uncle Bob....

mind you, Greg does have a point...

Nov. 12th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
obligitory "bad English cooking" comment
Pudding? I thought I was eating the meat!
Nov. 12th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
I've always heard it as an anti-school anthem. That's the one reason I don't like it. Teachers have enough problems with this song filling young minds with such ...
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:29 am (UTC)
All this time I thought it was about the Wizard of Oz.

Honestly, I'm impressed that Greg knows anything about Pink Floyd, even with Uncle Bob.
Nov. 13th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
I vote "neither"
"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" isn't a satire, but neither is it an earnest diatribe against the idea of educational institutions. "The Wall" describes the experiences of a very messed-up narrator, who variously blames his mother, his wife, the military, his father for "abandoning" him (by dying), his teachers, and his fans for his problems. He also offers endorsements of drugs, facism, discrimination against homosexuals and other minorities, and violence against women. This is not done as satire -- there's nothing funny about it -- but it's not meant to describe a healthy life path for the masses, either. Doubtless some of the things that the narrator focuses on as negative influences, including his teachers, were genuinely negative in his life and probably in the lives of other children as well. But I don't think the author's intent is a genuine condemnation of all schools or teachers (even if it is semi-autobiographical). It's filtered through a heavily-biased narrator, and I think the author is aware of that bias and recognizes how much it warps the views expressed.
Dec. 4th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
Whatever the case, I'm gonna bop my so-called friends next time they sing it at Karaoke just because I'm a teacher.


Edited at 2009-12-04 07:23 pm (UTC)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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