"Word Crimes" is a fun new video by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It’s a parody of last year’s hit “Blurred Lines,” a brilliant and sexy musical romp by Alan Thicke.
As for his lyrics, Thicke didn’t have much deep to say other than “You know you want it.” But "Weird Al" knocks down the door with a message we all need to hear, namely, “If you can’t write in the proper way / Work on that grammar.”
"Weird Al" doesn’t hesitate to tell his audience to shape up. Interspersed with good grammatical advice, "Weird Al" drops bombs of indignation: “In your blog, you write like a spastic… Your prose is dopey… You’re a lost cause… Go back to preschool…Try your best to not drool….You really need a full-time proofreader, you dumb mouth breather.”
This no-nonsense tone will be a shock to tens of millions of American students who have never, or hardly ever, been corrected. And do you know why? Because this country’s Education Establishment has abdicated its responsibility to teach children how to write and speak English.
These self-appointed experts typically justify their malpractice by saying we can’t dictate rules. Who can know what the right rules are? A second favorite alibi is to say that we don’t want to hurt the feelings of little children by correcting their grammar. Apparently, those 12-year-old kids are so delicate, like hothouse flowers, that if you try to teach them anything, you will crush them forever.
"Weird Al" correctly says Bleep-Bleep on both counts. He says there’s a proper way, and you better do it that way….or “get out of the gene pool.”
With this one little video "Weird Al" Yankovic does more for the country's educational situation than our Education Establishment has done in twenty years. He challenges their lazy orthodoxy head-on. Now, if only every teacher in the country will use this handy teaching tool to maximum advantage.
Thicke’s great tagline “You know you want it” does not appear in "Weird Al’s" sequel. But that is precisely the heartfelt yearning of the American public. They want their kids to be taught the right way. They would like to know the best way themselves. If they don't always bother using it, that’s an adult’s privilege. Point is, kids should start by learning what most experts agree is the correct way.
Summary: "Weird Al," one of the country’s most original geniuses, takes on the Education Establishment, one of the country’s most useless bureaucracies. They can always find a tacky little excuse not to bother with spelling, punctuation, proper usage, grammar, vocabulary, hand writing, or even reading itself. That’s because they like leveling.
Here is the background for the Education Establishment’s dereliction of duty. It’s all based on a sophistry which says that teachers must not prescribe, they can only describe. Why? Basically, because our Education Establishment says so. They were looking for an excuse to dumb down the schools, and the prescription-versus-description controversy was the perfect gimmick. You see, when anthropologists go to study a primitive culture, they should appropriately stand back and record only what the locals actually do. Obviously, they wouldn’t tell native people how to speak their own language. But progressive (i.e. far-left) professors transferred this protocol to our own society and said that editors, teachers and authors had no special authority in their own language! All that matters is what Jim and Joe speak on the street corner. (For more analysis, see second sophistry discussed in “Philosophy Weeps.”)