not what the professor ordered…

I occasionally hand in poetry and short speculative fiction in lieu of academic papers. As you can imagine, this yields inconsistent results; I recently handed in two Shakespearean sonnets instead of a précis considering cultural norms within the context of education through the lens of an “offensive” television program of my choice.

My mark: a “WOW!”

…as in, wow, you’re brilliant and we’d like to make you the new Head of Department? Or, wow, we really need to have a chat with Admissions…

My daughter got one of these on her report card a few years ago… I didn’t get it then, either. But that’s summative assessment for you…

Sonnets from the Australian
Six feet below he lay and barely cold,
The interim a scant one thousand hours,
Thus doubly-skew’d, Steve Irwin’s corpse was sold
As satire, and his widow’s grief deflowered.
A man’s intent, that fractal most complex,
As intricate examined as when not,
Determines, fairly, where the scene bisects
Mere lack of taste from sobersided plot.
Was higher purpose served by this assault?
To follow in Swift’s steps did they aspire?
No! Rubbing in the wound their grain of salt,
To disinfect it was not their desire.
Thus veiled behind their feeble social stand,
They led us to their moral no-man’s land.

To mock, or not mock, and to what end?
For star-cross’d lovers, parody and truth,
Produce results that writers don’t intend,
And numb the heart to empathy and ruth.
Though satire lives in each beholder’s eye,
And humor can’t be trusted as our lens,
We use hard-hearted wit to justify,
Partitioning between our citizens.
The gradual eroding of respect,
Twix’t persons, peoples, nations, cross the board,
Must be replaced with intent to connect,
For cultures to live under one accord.
But we can’t stifle one offensive voice,
The power of ‘vet’ corrodes collective choice.

South Park Episode 150, “Hell on Earth.”     On September 4, 2006, Steve Irwin, otherwise known as The Crocodile Hunter, died while snorkeling off the Great Barrier Reef after being pierced in the chest by a stingray. On October 26, 2006, South Park aired a show in which Satan hosts a Halloween bash in Los Angeles and chastises one of the guests for wearing a Steve Irwin costume, replete with stingray chest accessory. When said guest turns out to actually be Steve Irwin, Satan kicks him out of the party for not wearing a costume. Bad taste? It’s all in the eye of the beholder.