The modern student has nothing in common with the fledglings of yesteryear; since then, a number of power changes have arisen which have lead to the pupil becoming the hegemonic symbol, taking over the role of the educator who has become a kind of snivelling madman amongst a rhetorically meaningless background of language.
It all started in that decade that is known, to people who lived it, as horrifying. Horrifying because men were still very much in charge, changing reality hither and thither with a refined vocabulary; women were but background noise, forced to the limelight only when they had caused trouble; but it was this trouble that powerised the student.
In the decade before horrifying, women could not even make trouble to be noticed. A French woman, who will be known as “X”, because there are no records to prove her existence, killed a man (one Sir Timothy Reginald Smyth) with an axe; a blow to the head was struck with such force that Sir Timothy became two before he had a chance to read the morning paper. It should have been the crime of the century; it was all brushed aside. In the very paper that Sir Timothy had failed to read, he continued to live for forty years as though the metal had never split his head. For, if a woman was able to kill a man, without the shackles of restraint, the common order of things would be broken and humanity, as it was then (a very different beast to as it is today), would be annihilated instantly. Thus “X” was destroyed, along with her records, by men who did not have the foresight to see the future; a future that did not include them at the top of the pyramid.
Of course, there was never meant to be any pyramid. As human nature changes, and, by golly, if a lack of research has told us anything, it will, the pyramid will become a plateau, a great monument to the achievement of the people who forced common doctrine and knowledge to be something more palatable. Or course, tastes change; sometimes the palate cannot keep pace.
“X”, it is now understood, took great delight in eating, quite often on Tuesdays but sometimes on Thursdays too, a bar of Turkish Delight. Unbeknownst to her, a great storm, a cataclysm, a fracture in the realms of truth was afoot. Turkish Delight was no longer in fashion and, thus, no longer a tasty treat; to her tongue it tasted great, to her brain, affected by society, it was disgusting, something which should be spat into the gutters of civilisation without delay. Her tongue fought with her mind (mind being that ethereal thing that floats around the world picking up postmodern detritus) and, her tongue winning, for at the time it was common knowledge that you could talk yourself into anything despite what you would usually think, she sought the instigator of the Turkish Delight scandal. Step forth Sir Timothy Reginald Smyth and accept your punishment. Of course, as you will remember, the punishment never occurred for, despite looking distinctly like a man who had lost a taxing disagreement with a chain saw, he lived on, albeit in print; one realm of truth is just as good as another.
It is these realms of truth that we must look at when we consider Horrifying later. Is the name apt, we shall ask? Any number of answers will do, and they will be as correct and as valid as each other. Which one shall we choose as the truth here? Temporality and spatiality are key indicators in the kingdom of knowledge (soon to be changed, to keep up with the latest literature, and to assuage the changing face of truth within the female world, to the queendom of knowledge). Travel to India and arrive at 14:30h and we might answer yes; travel to Bangkok and arrive at 15:45 and we might change our answer to yes, but with conditions; travel to anywhere in Missouri and arrive anytime between the rise and fall of the moon and we would, most assuredly, answer no.
Firstly, we need to return to the plight of “X”, or, more accurately, her family. Of course, I could quite easily question the existence of her family at all; if I highlighted them and pressed delete I could pleasurably scrub them from the face of the earth. Who?
So, “X”’s family continues, at least for a short while, whilst we discuss them. Even though “X” has been destroyed, both in person and document, she lives on in the minds of her family. For days they plead her guilt; but, how could she have committed the crime? Just this morning Sir Timothy appeared on the front page of “The Times” opening a children’s hospital in Dorset. They were soon declared mad.
Madness does not really exist; “it’s a power thing,” as an eminent sociologist explained to a rapt audience recently. When one has power, one can control the lives of others simply by labelling them “mad”.
“X”’s family were locked up, never to be seen again by the sun, the moon, the stars. From this moment “X” ceased to exist; not even mentioning her in these pages can resurrect the woman she most assuredly was; she never was and never will be.
And so we pass into Horrifying, the decade that witnessed the height of Man’s power. No document of this period would be complete without mentioning its most famous personality: Sir Timothy Reginald Smyth aka “The Recluse”.