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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Leave in the sex and violence; kids can handle it

Editor’s Notebook: Leave in the sex and violence; kids can handle it

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Let’s take the wayback machine not too far back (to some of us) to this last month of 1984.

The Northern Virginia Sun reported that state education officials had been debating whether to eliminate the graphic sexual and violence content from the works of Shakespeare that Old Dominion students studied.

Good lord, people: We are not Philistines. If you take out the sex and violence, Shakespeare is no longer Shakespeare!


Imagine having to work one’s way though “Macbeth” or “Richard III” only to find paragraphs such as:

“Forsooth, yonder comes a [bleeeep] with some of the [bleeeeeeping-est] [bleeeeeeps] one dareth cast eyes upon.”


“Ye miscreant, ye scoundrel, ye are such a [bleeeping] [bleep] that I cast you into this [bleeeeeep] of [bleeeeeep] for all eternity.”

(In case it was hard to tell, and I imagine it was not, those were not actual Shakespeare lines …)

Come to think of it, maybe exorcising the Bard’s occasionally bawdy filth would be a good thing for students. They could play a Mad-Libs-type game, filling in the blanks with that they THINK Shakespeare was going for.

Which, I’m pretty sure, would be far more filthy than the actual words he penned.

SPEAKING OF THEE-AY-TER Saturday night brought me to Tysons Corner Center for the opening weekend of the Traveling Players’ production of “A Commedia Christmas Carol.”

With the exception of an office party some 7 or 8 years ago, it was my first time at the mall during the holidays in decades. (This is not because of some feud I’m having with mall management; just that malls kind of freak me out when crowded this time of year.)

Got there in plenty of time, found parking and then had more than an hour to walk around and observe before the show.

The crowd at the mall is not unlike the crowds at the Giant supermarket near our old office in McLean – people are walking in two and only two ways (either too fast or too slow) and they all appear to believe that the fastest way from Point A to Point B is to haphazardly zig-zag with reckless abandon like a World War II troopship trying to avoid U-boats.

When the show let out at 9:30-ish, the crowds had died down (only the movie theater, restaurants and department stores were still open), so it was a much easier amble getting back to and out of the parking garage, onto Route 7 and home in about 10 minutes.

– Scott McCaffrey

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