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Caps and Gowns and Bricks, oh my!

March 18, 2011

While buzzing around my local Target last week I was surprised, yet again, by how early season themed merchandise is placed on display.  It is only March and already the graduation party supplies are on shelves.  To be fair, I guess it would take three months to plan a slamming grad party but since I don’t have a kid graduating this year it seems a tad early to me, but I digress…. back to graduation themed merchandise.

Seeing the cap, gown and diploma covered plates, napkins and lawn signs made me reminisce about my own graduation.  1980 was a simpler time.  I mostly hated it but it was simpler.  I basked in the glow of happy high school memories for six seconds, grabbed a bag of dog food and headed for the checkout, time to pick up a child from dance.  Back to reality.  I didn’t give it another thought, that is, until yesterday.

Driving home from our co-op, my two younger kids and I were cruising through the XM stations (the subscription was free with the car which goes back Monday so now, after almost a year, I am learning how to use it) and we stopped at “70’s on 7.”  I LOVE the 70’s channel.  Pink Floyd’s The Wall had just started and, rekindling the six second glow from Target, I said “Stop! That is my class song!”

“Yes, Mom, we know.  You tell us that EVERY time it is on.”

“But this time I actually want to listen to it”

As we drove along I really paid attention to the lyrics.  Did I mention this was my class song?  As in “a whole graduating class of several hundred students voted to use this song to memorialize our graduation” class song?  We don’t need no education???  Holy shitballs, how did we manage to pick the worst class song ever?



Because we have entered graduation season (according to Target) and I am feeling nostalgic, albeit a dystopian nostalgia, I have decided to present, for your reading pleasure, the lyrics to that most hallowed song.

Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control

Yes.  Yes, you do.  It’s called a double negative.  Avoid using them unless it absolutely isn’t not impossible.

No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone

For me, the dark sarcasm was just about the best part.  Would you leave the thick layer of white goodness out of an Oreo?  I think not.  Then it would just be a dry, boring, chocolate cookie that makes your poop alarmingly dark if eaten in mass quantities, I mean, I’ve heard.

Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

Just in case they didn’t hear the first time.  Note the exclamation marks.  Floyd, in all of his pinkness, is serious now. people.

All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Well, that is just about the most depressing, effed up message with which to send hundreds of teenagers out into the world.  “Yay!  You’ve finished high school!  No matter what you do, for the rest of your life, remember you are insignificant.”  It’s like marching orders for the damned.

We don’t need no education

We talked about this, you do.

We don”t need no thought control

OK, but will you at least try an antidepressant?   It’s grim out there.  Seriously, take two, they’re small.

No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Just to be clear, life sucks and then you die.

But then, just when it seems as if all is lost, the darkness lifts and we are treated to the uplifting part of the song.

“If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”

The best sound bite ever?  Maybe.  I love it.  I laugh out loud just thinking about this line.  When I plan to serve pudding for dessert you can predict with 100% certainty that I will say this a minimum of eight times during dinner.  So I have said it hundreds and hundreds of times over the course of my mothering career but what does it mean?  Really?

HOLY CRAP… a light bulb just went on over my head!  What if, WHAT IF, this line is the real message of  the song?  You have to work hard and then you can have fun.  Can it be?  Everything our parents told us is true?  Keeping your nose to the grindstone and using elbow grease really are as important as they said?

Nope, false alarm.  It’s just a depressing song that the dumb asses with whom I went to school decided would make a good class song.  A depressingly awesome  class song.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 18, 2011 1:37 pm

    I would like to specify that if you are someone I went to high school with, I was not referring to you. I like you. The others were the dummies.

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