In olden days the deadly weight of high school English bore heavily upon all students. One needed actually read a book and report upon it, and woe to one's average if gleaned dreariness did not meet an otherwise bored teachers' expectations.
There arose Cliff Notes and Monarch Notes. A couple of bucks apiece purchased two Officially true literary synopses. An evening spent shuffling vocabulary and prose to disguise origins would do it, though manual and mental endeavors still entailed. Complete Cliff and Monarch collections are presently sold on CDROM. The Net is rich with search engines and all mankind's knowledge. It would require a singularly lazy, ignorant, clueless, and nardless waif to fail to download enough data to jigsaw together a passably cribbed book report, length and content. Hardly an iota of personal scholarly exertion need ensue. Given a choice, bet on stupidity:
>Subject: TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD >Date: 1997/05/08 >Newsgroup: news.newusers.questions > >Neil Chambers wrote: > >I AM IN THE 10TH GRADE, AND I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TO KILL A >MOCKING BIRD...IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK SEND MAIL TO >ME...THANKS A LOT
Do you wish you could revisit high school with adult knowledge and appetite for naughtiness? It can be done by proxy. American zero-goal education spawns whole generations of kids too terrifically stupid to steal answers from an open Teacher's Edition of a textbook. They sit in the hall with signs around their necks begging passersby for charitable donation of answers lest they raise a pinkie toward their own support.
Uncle Al was stuck doing R&D in the People's Republic of Canada, losing two pounds of his body/week to the loathsome UVic campus cafeteria, sleeping in a goddamned dorm, and surrounded by Socialist women with hairy armpits. Uncle Al espied an adolescent cry for help glow from his computer monitor, and could not help but charitably reward such - with a tar baby:
Re: TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD From: Uncle Al
Date: 1997/05/08 Newsgroups: news.newusers.questions
To Kill a Mockingbird is an allegorical exposition of avian holocaust enacted by Chinese during the Great Leap Forward. It is set in the American Deep South to avoid political repercussions such as Federal subpoena and interrogation by the House Un-American Activities Committee. This book is also an important archetypical Enviro-whiner diatribe antedating Silent Spring, Silent Running, and Silence of the Lambs.
Theoretical propagandistic manipulation of the polity is starkly contrasted with very real bloodshed and death of songbirds. Historic patriarchal White Protestant male European oppression is erected in synecdoche with the celebration of ethnic diversity of Peoples of Colour despite the promulgated distortions of the bourgeois Media. An underlying and unifying theme - atrocity vs. salvation - is continuously hinted by the unrelenting juxtaposition of Latinate versus ideographic written language, illusion and allusion, always held at the edge of consciousness yet never explicitly brought forward.
Courtroom litigation serves as the gossamer vehicle for subtle riffs of punditry, critique, and dialectic - Atticus! - allowing the characters to speak of themselves within the reader's mind without heavy-handed monologue or soliloquy. What is rarely appreciated is the text, in the original unedited editions, codes for orthogonal Lagrangian polynomials (the author having done graduate work at the Stanford Department of Mathematics). A secondary map is therefore placed before the alert reader, cantu and respondu, acting as a rigorous self-consistent foundation forever resistant to Jacques Derrida's deconstructive blandishments.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a political statement whispered and screamed at many levels of consciousness. It steps down the highest frequencies to plebeian accessibility. Given the Mainland Chinese physical and administrative takeover of Hong Kong from the British in June 1997, To Kill a Mockingbird is an important text to be read by us all.
(Be uncomfortably aware that every typo you enter into a Usenet post is immortalized in Google News and all other search engines' databases. Some poor bastard Masters in Education candidate in 2149 will find your fractured spew and chortle as it becomes grist for his nugatory thesis. You have been warned.)
Neil Chambers never wrote back to news.newusers.questions or any other newsgroup. He received admonitions to read the book (and at least get its title spelled right), or view the movie starring Gregory Peck. I like to think that, having obtained various summaries and analyses of the text, Mr. Chambers tossed the obviously boring charades and went in for the kill by submitting Uncle Al's definitive work as his own.