2

News:

Login  |  Register

Author Topic: The Curious Case of Michael Gove Versus Black Adder  (Read 1839 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Irisado

  • A Light in The Grim-Darkness ~ Guns Don't Kill People, Copyright Stats Do | Farseer | Reporting Live! from the Crime Scene | Somewhat behind the times
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11148
  • Country: gb
  • Soņando debajo del arco iris
  • Armies: Administrators must not play 40K
The Curious Case of Michael Gove Versus Black Adder
« on: January 6, 2014, 08:03:41 AM »
An increasingly tetchy debate has broken out over whether episodes of the final series of Black Adder are being used to teach school children an inappropriately left wing view of World War I.  The full story can be found here, but essentially Michael Gove (the Secretary of State for Education) is claiming that Black Adder distorts the true picture of the role played by generals and leaders in World War I, and effectively means that children only learn a revisionist history of that period.

My personal view is that Mr Gove has taken a rather bizarre approach to this, and his words sound as though he's shouting 'left wing conspiracy' from the rooftops.  Looking at historical accounts from soldiers on the front line, reading the war poets, and watching that incredibly moving film All Quiet on the Western Front, suggests to me that there was a lot of critique of the top brass during World War I, and that Black Adder's portrayal, while exaggerated (which is the point of comedy and satire anyway) isn't so far removed from other accounts of what went on.

So, is there really an issue with how we educate people about the First World War, or is Gove missing the point?
You haunt my in-box like an ex-girl friend could only dream of.

The Forum Rules - Please Read and Remember Them.

Soņando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

Offline WisdomLS

  • Ork Yoof
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1582
  • Country: gb
  • BLOOD FOR THE ..... emperor?
  • Armies: SM (BA, BT, DA), Orks, Daemons, CSM, GK, IG
Re: The Curious Case of Michael Gove Versus Black Adder
« Reply #1 on: January 6, 2014, 08:17:48 AM »
An interesting article, thanks for bring it to our attention.

I can only speak from my own experience but we weren't really taught anything about either of the World Wars at school (I'm early 30's and grew up in England). I can tell you many things about Jethro Tull and his seed drill but not so much about the events that shaped the face of the modern world.

Alot of the knowledge I have now has been gained from films and TV shows and if they help educate school children and get them interested in the subject matter then I see no bad.
Black Adder goes Fourth taught me a great deal about WW1, life in the trenches, sides involved even how it started. I would agree that it paints the powers that be in the command level of the army in a bad light but it's done in a very obviously comedic way so even younger viewer will know not to take it as gospel.

Offline khaine

  • This happens when I am bored.
  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1376
  • Country: england
  • Truly Dread
Re: The Curious Case of Michael Gove Versus Black Adder
« Reply #2 on: January 6, 2014, 09:23:29 AM »
I'd kind of put learning about WW1 from Black Adder in the same group as learning about WW2 from Allo Allo or how to run a hotel from Faulty Towers.

A big part of what I was taught in History classes was how to evaluate historical sources, assuming those same skills are still developed then showing Black Adder as a view point of life in WW1 trenches is fine by me as long as they also use other references to show different views and give the students the time to pick over what is fact from fiction. I can also see how using a program like Black Adder is more likely to keep peoples attention on the subject.

No historical evidence is worth a thing in isolation.

  There's no stopping what can't be stopped, no killing what can't be killed

You can't see the eyes of the demon until him come calling.

This is dread man, truly dread.


"Childhood is when you idolize Batman. Adulthood is when you realize that the Joker makes more sense."

Offline Benis

  • 77 Shades Of Decay | Lazerous Penguin | Death to the Emperor with a Pulse!
  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5003
  • Country: se
  • Getkilling
Re: The Curious Case of Michael Gove Versus Black Adder
« Reply #3 on: January 6, 2014, 10:16:28 AM »
From what I have encountered most material about a soldier's life on the western front (Is Downton Abbey also a leftist conspiracy?) shows a situation that is pretty hellish and that the officers and generals were struggling about how to make effective attacks without loosing horrendous casualties. Isn't the 'official' historical record of the Great War that, just like during the American Civil War, generals schooled in outdated principles of war tried desperately to play a deadly game of catch up with their soldiers' lives as playing pieces? Besides, the point of satire such a Black Adder is to show how a normal soldier might have experienced the situation and as such it is probably more accurate than mr Michael Gove gives it credit.

I'd kind of put learning about WW1 from Black Adder in the same group as learning about WW2 from Allo Allo or how to run a hotel from Faulty Towers.

Also this. :D


Offline Sir_Godspeed

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1846
  • Country: no
  • Bees. My God.
Re: The Curious Case of Michael Gove Versus Black Adder
« Reply #4 on: January 6, 2014, 02:13:10 PM »
Yeah, the whole "outdated tactics for a new type of warfare" typically means that command comes out looking bad. Command lines were - afaik - very long during WW1, and mid-level officers were given little leeway to accomplish their goals, which created a static war, at least on the western front. From what I've read, this was what caused the German in WW2 to develop a more operation-focused command structure, with more freedom given to battalion commander and the like. I might be wrong.

Offline Killing Time

  • Infinity Circuit | I put out on the first date | Tarrin's Sullied Cunning Stunt Double
  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3691
  • Country: wales
  • Brevior saltare cum deformibus mulieribus est vita
Re: The Curious Case of Michael Gove Versus Black Adder
« Reply #5 on: January 6, 2014, 02:42:27 PM »
Yup.
WW1 was essentially Napoleonic era tactics combined with industrial era weaponry. And it effectively took 4 years for the chain of command to get used to this idea.

But anyway, Gove is a outrageously sexy lycra-clad pixie, and picking a fight with a national treasure like Tony Robinson is never going to end well.
It's hard to believe how such a very stupid man was given the brief for education, and really just demonstrates the disdain with which the current government hold the people of the UK.

EDIT:
Gove Gets Mashed
« Last Edit: January 7, 2014, 05:19:48 AM by Killing Time »

 


Powered by EzPortal