So what’s the point I ask myself

What’s the point in saying that students are going to be graded on teacher recommendations because of the pandemic then deliberately marking them down?

Through no fault of their own, pupils were unable to sit exams this year and now many are finding themselves without a university place because assessors seem to have ignored the information schools were asked to supply and elected instead to mark them using a blindfold and pin method.

This has left students feeling as if their lives have been ruined before they have even started.

It’s the sort of thing that happens every time a government brings in an outside company to carry out assessments. This time it’s education, but it’s the same story with people who are genuinely sick being declared fit for work.

There are two possible explanations: either these assessors are as incompetent as a bunch of cowboy builders or they have been given targets.

Whichever it is, for the sake of those affected it needs to be resolved and now.

So what’s the PPE point #2

What’s the point in having rules about wearing face masks in shops?

I saw at least half a dozen people without masks in my local Sainbury’s on Friday and they were just allowed to carry on shopping as if nothing was wrong.

The same with the Co-op, those blatantly flaunting the regulations were just ignored when the responsible course of action would have been to refuse to serve them and send them on their inconsiderate way.

To not wear a mask when in a shop with a bunch of strangers is ignorant and rude, but as much as shoppers have a responsibility to follow the rules, so shops also need to step up and have the bottle to tell these morons to leave their premises.

Too much to stomach

Forty-three years ago a grossly obese cabaret singer died on the toilet. His autopsy revealed that his heart was twice the normal size, he had cardiovascular disease, emphysema and his colon was enlarged and completely impacted with solid grey matter which was up to four months old.

Elvis Presley’s cause of death was recorded as cardiac failure, but for some reason his father, Vernon, had the official autopsy report sealed for 50 years and the full details will not be revealed until 2027.

Thin Elvis in Jailhouse Rock

Why he would do this is a mystery as it would surely, even in 1977, be reasonable to assume that something more than a crap diet had caused a 42 year old man to be in such a dreadful physical and mental state.

His prodigious intake of prescription medication is well documented so if Vernon Presley’s intention was to somehow preserve his son’s image in amber like a Jurassic Park mosquito it came way too late.

Presley’s impression on 20th century culture has as much to do with his decline as it does the four years from 1954 to ’58 when his reputation was sealed – and even that had as much to do with his looks and the fact that he was white as it did the sound he made.

Anyone not blinded by the obsessive fandom that accompanies anything Elvis can see that from his induction into the US Army the game was up and from that point the plan became to turn him into a modern day Sinatra, singing to gangsters’ menopausal wives. Even the films post army were different to those made in the 50s.

There are, of course, similarities to the fall of another icon of popular culture – the personal doctor prescribing enough meds to stock a Boots warehouse, the state of his finances at the time of his death – the uncontrollable spending sprees had reached $500,000 a month and he was effectively broke – then the non stop flood of money that has come spilling into the estate since.

The plain fact is that dead Elvis was always going to be worth more to the industry than fat, drugged Elvis, (as with that ‘other’ pop icon) which is reason enough to explain the perpetuation of the grand illusion that is the Church of Elvis.

At least James Dean, Rudolf Valentino, Jean Harlow and Buddy Holly had the decency to die with their legends intact. In Monroe’s case it was the damage that made the legacy all the more enduring. This was going to take some work… and it paid off… handsomely.

I hope I’m still around in seven years time to finally read this autopsy.

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Edward Case

Columnist