Skewering political correctness by combining laughs with serious social commentary.

by Martin Hafer

Recently, a young Australian comedian has been getting a lot of attention because of his short films.  In just a matter of a week, Neel Kolhatkar’s film, Modern Educayshun, has received over 3,000,000 hits on YouTube!  This is practically unheard of for a short film and I even saw folks on regular television talking about it. So, I had to find out what they were talking about and why it was so popular.  Well, after seeing it I can understand exactly why and recommend you take a look.

Before you see the film, I would like to give you a bit of warning…the film is a strong but very clever attack on political correctness and it might just offend you.  I’m okay with being offended and unless you are super-politically correct, you’ll no doubt laugh as you watch. However, I have mixed feelings about political correctness in general. As a father of two disabled daughters, I am thrilled that we now live in a world where folks are far more sensitive.  Terms like ‘deaf and dumb’, ‘crippled’ and ‘retarded’ are quickly disappearing from our everyday language and many non-disabled folks are also benefitting from this greater sensitivity…and I am happy about this.  Yet, it’s hard to disagree that sometimes the pendulum has swung too far and in many western nations hate speech laws and university codes are creating a climate where folks are becoming afraid to speak their minds.  In light of this, Modern Educayshun is a very intelligent film and it takes on ultra-political correctness in the best possible way. With humor.

Modern Educayshun
Directed by
Neel Kolhatkar
Neel Kolhatkar, Cait Burley, Caspar Hardaker, Romy Bartz, Jonathan Lo, Jess Sobanski
Release Date
9 November 2015
Martin’s Grade: A

Modern Educayshun is set in a small advanced math class at some university.  A new student (Kolhatkar) arrives in class and is shocked at what is happening.  Instead of seeing math as a logical and fact-based subject, in this class it’s all based on feelings and political correctness.  Student grades are based not on whether or not they got the correct answer…and they are awarded bonus points for how many hardships they face and they lose points based on their privilege!  It’s all completely insane … and very funny.

In addition to Modern Educayshun, Kolhatkar has an even shorter but equally effective film called Equality (Grade: A-).  The film begins with a time traveler arriving in the future.  However, no matter what he says, it offends the two young people meets.  And, in this crazy future what’s important is to feel good about yourself as well as not offend. Predictably, this results in everyone tripping over their words as they try not to say something that could possibly be construed as defensive or hurtful.  The best part about this film is the punchline. It’s hilarious!

You can watch Modern Educayshun in its entirety belowInstead of describing the remaining films further, I suggest you go to Neel’s YouTube page (here) and just see them all for yourself. There, you’ll find not only the aforementioned shorts, but clips from his standup act.  Given what this guy is doing at such a young age, I can’t wait to see what he’s sure to achieve in the future!

As always, I’d love to hear from you — even if you completely disagree with my strong recommendation of Modern Educayshun.