Dreams are all I have…
By Tareq Adnan
The devious plot to corrupt young minds
Don’t you miss your childhood? The memories of those perfect days still make me feel like salivating, when cramming all night and writing pointless articles under a deadline that we never manage to meet were just fantasies of our future. The days when you could watch TV and play all day without being yelled at about being lazy good-for-nothings, if you chanted a few rhymes at intervals, you were actually considered cute for it!
Speaking of nursery rhymes, they were definitely an integral part of our lives once. Even though most of us grew up to be evil, twisted or downright dishonest, we were all once a host of angelic cuddly children, laughing and chanting these random verses in the playground. But are these rhymes actually as meaningless as we think? The time has come to unveil the life-changing secret (drum roll), almost all the nursery rhymes have some sort of underlying meaning which is totally negative, evil or cruel and now we have another great reason to sue our schools for corrupting our young minds!
Let's start with the all time favourite. Remember how we all loved to chant Ring-a-Ring o'Rosies in a circle and then collapse while saying 'we all fall down'? This rhyme is actually thought to be about the Great Plague of London in 1665, where the deadly disease led to a 'rosy red' rash and people had 'pockets full of posies' since they believed the sickness was transmitted by bad smells. And the last two lines refer to the cremation of those who 'fell down' and died after being infected. We started off school by dancing about the deaths of thousands of people; can we really be blamed if we grow up to be slightly murderous?
Then there is the Ding Dong Bell rhyme about the kid who threw a cat down the well, where the animal was actually left there to drown in the original version. And most people I know walk around the street and randomly throw stones at street dogs. Do you see an incredibly remote, barely there connection? If you need to see more animal rights abuse, go and visit the starved, half dead animals of Dhaka Zoo, maybe then you will be convinced that someone once taught the caretaker nursery rhymes when he was a kid!
And it's not just that, nursery rhymes teach us how to be religious bigots as well. Remember the Goosey Goosey Gander rhyme, where 'I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers, I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs'! And let's not forget about little Jack Horner who put his thumb in a pie, pulled out a plum and called himself a good boy. This is actually considered to be a Steward to some Bishop in the 15th century, who stole the deeds to his boss's property, which were hidden inside a pie, then betrayed him and got the old man to be hung and chopped to pieces, after which he took over his property and lived there happily ever after like a 'good boy'! Compared to this, we are much more respectful to our boss; we just backbite about him and occasionally steal from his wallet. And true, though some of the richest people in our country are famous for stealing property, they just threaten and beat up the previous owner, murders are committed so infrequently, they hardly count.
And then there was Georgie Peorgie, who 'kissed all the girls' and was apparently a Duke who had affairs with many married women as well. Now you guys finally have someone to blame the next time you get frowned upon for indecent behaviour! But this is still better than the really bloody rhymes. Jack and Jill who went up the hill are actually King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who were beheaded during the French Revolution. Listening to a class full of fresh-faced, smiling children singing this rhyme is definitely going to give you the creeps now, isn't it? And by the way, Humpty Dumpty stands for a huge cannon that was used to kill people, but it fell off the wall and broke and got its owners killed, and the three blind mice are actually Protestant noblemen who got burned at the stake by a Catholic Queen. At least RAB uses less painful methods to 'crossfire' people!
So there you have it, nursery rhymes set bad examples. So do fairy tales when you think about it, the wolf species become endangered in Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel burn a nice old lady in an oven just because she wears a weird hat and eats children. So if you really want what's best for your kids, make them listen to Marilyn Manson and 50 cent, and stay away from Mother Goose!
By Shuprova Tasneem
My wife and I are teachers, and our jobs often spill over into our family life. One morning as our eight-year-old Maggie was getting ready for school, I peeked into her room to be sure she had tidied it up. "You call THAT a made bed?" I asked.
No Dad," Maggie replied. "It's just a rough draft."
Work for self
About two years later, I was on vacation and was going through the town where his business was located. I stopped by for a visit. "Hey John, I heard that the first year is the hardest for a new business."
"Yeah, the first year was pretty rough, but we are doing pretty good now. In fact, I'm getting to where I only have to work half a day."
"Wow, that's pretty nice. Maybe I should think about going into business for myself."
"Yeah, and the nicest part of it is that it doesn't matter which twelve hours you work."
In the red corner...
"Amazing," said the councelor. "How did you do it?"
"I outweighed him by forty pounds and he was a coward."
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