Eminem’s lyrics as a school subject?

I think Eminem has a perfect right to say whatever he wants.

No democracy should censor art or pop, however shocking or disgusting it may be. Eminem is the enema for the stale, saccharine platitudes and pieties that kids are force-fed these days by their PC teachers and counselors. It’s clear from his huge popularity that Eminem has tapped into a rising tide of rebellion among middle-class white kids who are sick and tired of the canned, humanitarian schmaltz of their antiseptic, namby-pamby, culture-starved schools.

Camille Paglia, Professor of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia

It is always encouraging to see that teachers support Eminem’s freedom of speech. Being myself a teacher, I think that we should introduce more tolerance into school subjects. Kids are sick and tired of being lied to. Many educators hide reality for so called ethical reasons.

Of course, I’m not sure Eminem would be perfect for 10 years old kids, but I think teachers could use his lyrics at a higher level, because I’m deeply convinced his texts are poetry. Eminem is a poet of modern times, his words are related to reality and I’m sure pupils would focus a real interest on their English lesson if it had to do with a contemporary artist instead of real boring topics.

Unfortunately schools are overcrowded by old fashioned teachers who would be shocked by such lyrics.
If pupils could also have the possiblility to sing along with Eminem, that would probably help them to improve their fluency as well as their level of English. I myself have learnt a lot from Eminem’s texts and certainly improved my level of English skills thanks to them. I have also learnt from him how to do freestyles for my own pleasure. Playing with words has become a real pleasure for me and I owe it to Marshall Mathers. Arguments that usually stop teachers are : too vulgar, too many references to drugs, sex and violence. Maybe. But we all know that clean versions of Eminem’s albums do exist. I think that we should not try to overprotect kids. Sooner or later, they will use cusswords anyway, they certainly also will know about sex and drugs. Eminem jokes about it in his song ‘ The Real Slim Shady ‘ :

And that’s the message that we deliver to little kids
And expect them not to know what a woman’s clitoris is
Of course they gonna know what intercourse is
By the time they hit fourth grade
They got the Discovery Channel don’t they?

He is so right about it : it’s obvious .

Another argument in favor of teaching Eminem’s lyrics as a school subject would be to avoid the usual stereotypes and misunderstandings. A better understanding of the use of his words would certainly help some kids not to misinterpret Eminem and avoid some foolish behavior outside. A clear interpretation of Eminem’s song would certainly have avoided lots of problems to Manchester school. There is a related story of pupils who slashed their wrists to ‘ imitate ‘ Eminem. :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/1437026.stm

In fact, their behavior shows a clear misinterpretation of the verses of song ‘ Stan ‘
‘ Sometimes I cut myself to see how much it bleeds/
it’s like adrenaline, my pain is such a sudden rush for me’ ‘

The head teacher said : ‘ It has all been investigated by this idiot Eminem. ‘
In fact, he is the real dummy in the whole affair. First of all, Eminem didn’t investigate the whole affair. He never told the kids to slash their wrists. On the contrary, ‘ Stan ‘ was written to warn the fans against a crazy behaviors. The words of the lyrics are very clear on the subject.
If this dumb teacher would have taken time to examine Stan’s video deeper instead of calling Eminem an idiot, it would have been helpful for everybody. Stan’s character is a bad example not to follow, but this teacher would be suprised how much he could learn from Eminem.

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