Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Can we please have a home ed stand up?

Is it anti Semitic to fool about with Hitler?

Well, I'm not likely to submit myself to the Joke Police. Not to arbitrate or judge me on my behalf, tell me what my words really meant, no thanks. Not even for my ill judged jokes, casual expressions, incautious references. I'll take responsibility for my stupidities, blind spots, prejudices, knowings, provocations, and naughtiness myself. I think I'm now old enough to do that.

Yes, I'll have respect for your world view, but don't demand that I edit from my spoken register every flippant word. Neither am I going to fret too much if my joke against you falls flat, if I get it wrong, step on sensibilities, confront a belief I never knew existed, until that offence was taken.

The way I see it, face to face, is that I have a responsibility to be aware of who I speak to, as you to me, for us both not to be unhumorously insulting, venomous, vindictive or plain nasty - unless you give it to me first, in which case have it straight back, with barbs attached. Neither should we approach each other with a list of prohibited words, illegal metaphors, and phrases placed under by-law legislation.

Better than language regulation I think we could loosen language up; all enjoy a few more wandering jokes, casual banter, rough and tumble, linguistic snap, crackle and pop and no offence taken.

Would I have a problem with humour aimed at the world of home ed? No, not at all. Neither done by school choosers nor home ed choosers. Widening the language we all use to explore, provoke, define, tempt and express ideas is fine by me. If we want to be serious about it, each home educator can use a joke against them as an opportunity to state their educational philosophy, approach, and rationale. If we want to be flippant about it, we can use the opportunity to pat that salvo straight back, find shared areas of understanding, create common ground, move any debate around, and simply find the people who laugh with us, at each other, and at ourselves.

Now please can we have a British version?

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