Monday, January 14, 2008

Start the Revolution Without Me

Karl Marx Day T-Shirts

What the heck is going on here? First I find out that someone I thought who had some interesting things to say (Frank Furedi) was a founder of the now defunct RCP in Britain. And now there's this. Honest to goodness, I have not now or ever have been a . . . . My daughter received this photo by email in connection with a European History course she is taking at school. They're selling these t-shirts for $10.00 a piece to wear on the first annual EH Karl Marx Day, which will be held, with the teacher's blessing (they also had a Guy Fawkes Day celebration earlier in the school year), the first day back at school after winter break in late February. Note the "Nerds of the World Unite!" on the back. The times they sure are a changing. Gosh, I know anyone who wore anything like at our school would be sent packing, possibly getting a suspension. But then I was of the generation that had the nuclear attack drills in elementary school requiring us to hunker down under our desks with our hands clasped around the back of our necks (like that was going to help in the event of a bomb). Funny thing is that the teacher is really a bog-standard (is that the word?), mild-mannered liberal -- thinks that R.R. Palmer (author of the History of the Modern World) is the cats meow (or whatever). Well, at least red is a cheerful color for mid-winter, and a t-shirt doesn't break the bank like a soccer jersey.


o-mom said...

Since I likely missed the entire point of the last one, at least I think I get this- wow- what a liberal school- I think you can't wear anything with lettering still at our alma mater. But I don't see how nerds and Karl Marx relate. Maybe your student can explain it.

klady said...

Well, I'm not going to pretend that I got the point of the last one, either. But as for this one, the explanation (so to speak) is posted at the school website on the course page. It goes something like this (names omitted to protect the innocent):

If you're interested in purchasing an AP Euro Karl Marx Day 2008 shirt, please give $10.00 to Mr. XXXX by Friday ....

Designed by our own ZZZZ, the communist red cotton shirts feature the Soviet hammer & sickle on the breast pocket area of the front of the shirt. Under the hammer & sickle it reads "APEH 2008".

A large image of Karl Marx himself dominates the back of the shirt along with the phrase "Nerds of the World Unite!", an obvious play on the final line of Marx & Engel's 1848 "Communist Manifesto."

Our plan is to wear them to celebrate the 1st Annual APEH Karl Marx Day, to be held on Monday, 25 February 2008 (the day we return to school from February Break).

It is our hopes that everyone who has purchased a Karl Marx shirt will debut their new apparel on that day. In honor of the German philosopher, we are also encouraging each student to don a costume beard on Karl Marx Day. Imagine a school filled with a sea of red shirts and false beards!

All students––past and present––are welcomed to purchase a Karl Marx Day shirt, even those that did not take AP European History.

A special thanks goes out to ZZZZ for all his hard work and dedication to this project.