Ron Isaac’s Commentary: The Department of Education and “The Aristocrats”

Aug 21, 2021 by

The Department of Education meets The Aristocrats.  What have they in common, other than both being jokes?

The DOE has been the butt of much laughter, but most people are unfamiliar with the somewhat smutty humor that originated during the vaudeville-era and is still being re-worked today in comedy clubs.  It’s also been made into a movie by the same name.

“The Aristocrats” is a joke that has been told for generations by dozens of prominent and up-coming comedians with wildly different styles.  It is a test of creativity as it starts out tame and with an extemporaneous originality, leads inexorably to a seedy conclusion that is somewhere between salacious and x-rated. 

The audience hardly realizes it is happening as the often lengthy narrative unfolds.  They are like frogs on a stove in a pot of cold water being slowly brought to a boil.

Perhaps the DOE can borrow the non-prurient idea of The Aristrocrats and adapt it to their social distancing policy, which will next month go beyond the CDC’s recommended policy by mandating it, regardless of whether it is literally and mathematically possible to implement.  The DOE will not even back up school staffers who try to discipline students who misbehave during fire drills.

“We don’t want to hear any excuses!  Just make it happen!”, is their tone of command.  General Patton on the Chancellor’s tank!
Instead of having a competition of comedians, they could have a contest among teachers and administrators, who would submit narratives of actual chaos, some of it amusing, resulting from applying an unenforceable rule that demands, no questions asked, that at no time will students be less than 3 feet apart, even in hallways, cafeterias and gymnasiums. 

Whosoever turns in the winning entry gets grandfathered into a Tier 1 pension.

Unlike “The Aristrocrats” notables, the DOE does not stem from vaudeville.

But it’s slapstick.

Ron Isaac

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