lament for the younger generation

“Marlborough”:http://www.marlboroughcollege.org/ College is “trying to expel”:http://education.independent.co.uk/news/article305937.ece a boy merely for being thick and unpleasant. Perhaps you had to have been there to understand how absurd this is. It’s like being thrown out of Big Brother for being a shallow exhibitionist.

This is a school which has been hated by any “pupil”:http://www.bookrags.com/biography-john-betjeman/ of any “intelligence”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_MacNeice or “sensibility”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Chatwin for as long as it has existed. When I was there, the punishment for new boys thought clever was a kind of gang rape involving boot polish and sometimes sodomy with a broomstick. At the time, I would have welcomed, perhaps incredulously, any sign that the authorities thought _anyone_ could be too stupid or too nasty for the school. Now I know better. If the school has shareholders, they should sue it at once for diluting its brand equity. Up until now, to be an Old Marlburian has made a very clear statement about a man — that he is at best a rather “pious evangelical”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Fisher Christian, but very probably nastier, more fucked up or more stupid than even the average Anglican bishop. Should this change, no one will know what being an old Marlburian means, and the �22,000 a year that parents pay to brand their children will be entirely wasted.

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9 Responses to lament for the younger generation

  1. Rupert says:

    I didn’t know that Marlborough processed both Nick Drake and Chris de Burgh. Their respective fates illustrate your point about intelligence and sensibility nicely.

    R

  2. H. E. Baber says:

    Marlborough man, eh? You realize that your alma mater has just this weekend hosted the mother of all conferences on crop circles? see http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/anasazi/spiral.html We’re in Swindon and I wanted to go since I’m investigating claims of the paranormal for the debunking section of my critical thinking/logic course, but turns out to be

  3. acb says:

    Well, I only lasted two years, which explains my luminous sanity.

  4. David Smith says:

    It sounds like you had a terrible time. I taught at Marlborough for 13 years (1988-2001), latterly as Head of English, and saw it transformed during this period into the outstanding school it is today. For one thing, it is pastorally the most intelligent school I know of. (No irony where none intended.) Schools change over time and I don’t think you’d recognise it if you went back now. The grim era of Betjeman and MacNeice (whose short-lived magazine, The Heretick, we resurrected

  5. acb says:

    Well, I wonder what the proportion of girls to boys is today. When I was there it was something like 15/850 which meant that on cold days the whole school was shrouded in a fog of condensing adolescent hormones. This did not improve it.

    I did have one excellent teacher, a young Latin master, but he had to leave after a couple of terms because he was gay, so his hormones were driving him to madness in a different direction. He used to take selected pupils to his room (in groups) and have them construe Martial and Catullus.

  6. David Smith says:

    Much to say! How can I email you (this being too MC-centred to be of interest to your wider readership, surely)?

  7. Wider readership fine with more marlburianisms…

  8. qB says:

    Wider readership positively gagging for more marlburianisms… sounds like sexual gratification and a cigarette rolled together (probably in liquorice paper).

  9. Well, I know for sure only two other Marlburians.
    One used to work for me, and he seemed entirely normal. The other is the daughter of a CofE bishop who attended only the VIth form, quite recently, and was just as delightful a person afterwards as she had been before.

    So it seems to me possible that you were merely unlucky 🙂

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