Monday, 31 January 2011

There has to be merit in a meritocracy

Have you ever asked yourself, if you were to enter Mastermind, what would be your specialist subject?
Mine would be fuse boxes.
But whatever you go for, there is a degree of fatuity about so many of the subjects that contestants choose.
How can I be impressed by someone who has devoted their entire recent life to learning every available fact about paving stones, for example?
Far more impressive is a credible performance in the general knowledge section where you are liable to be asked anything from aardvarks to zebras, astronomy to Zoroastrianism or from AA Gill to Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Scrabble competitions are no different.
Contestants study seemingly endless lists of words with the sole aim of scoring more points.
Personally, I just don't get the point.
To encourage education, wouldn't it be far better in Scrabble if you could challenge your opponent's knowledge of the word they've just played? If they don't know its definition, then instead of accruing points, they get deducted.
And therein lies a metaphor for life in Britain today.
Too many people are rewarded for being thick. They should be punished.
Except where it comes naturally.
Me? Why fuse boxes?
As a kid, I spent many a lesson in the school corridor.
How thick is that?
Thick of me. Thick of my teachers.

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