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The phrase is, of course, from one of the good Pink Floyd songs: Another Brick In The Wall. I always wonder what could it possibly refer to in the context of the song and in general context. I mean, what kind of exchanges would you term 'Dark sarcasm in the classroom'?

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Belongs on crypticsonglyrics.stackexchange.com –  MatrixFrog May 28 '11 at 7:20
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"Cryptic Song Lyrics"... Lol! What an idea for a SE! –  check123 May 28 '11 at 7:21
    
Migration!! I love migration! . –  Thursagen May 28 '11 at 7:34
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about interpreting song lyrics - which as MatrixFrog points out, should be addressed elsewhere. –  FumbleFingers Jan 30 at 1:18
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closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Jim, choster, tchrist, medica Jan 30 at 10:18

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4 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

The Wall (the movie; the album The Wall is the soundtrack) is the highly-stylized biography of Pink Floyd - a fictional rockstar loosely based on Roger Waters.

(By the way, there are actually three songs called "Another Brick in the Wall"; the one you're referring to - which starts with "We don't need no education" - is Part II. ABitW, Part I starts "Daddy's gone across the water, leaving just a memory" and Part III starts "I don't need no arms around me; I don't need no drugs to calm me.")

ABitW,Part II is set in a Dickensian/Orwellian nightmare vision of an English boarding school. The teacher has just caught young Pink writing poetry, and he mocks Pink for his literary aspirations by waving the "little black book with poems in" over his head, crying "A poet! The laddie fancies himself a poet!" and then reading the poem out loud, in the most dismissive way possible. (The poem he reads is "Money", from The Dark Side of the Moon.)

In short, "dark sarcasms" refers to the ways in which (bad!) teachers find, and hold up to public ridicule, the weaknesses of their students in order to crush their souls and dreams.

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I could have just quoted the chanted introduction to the song: "When we grew up and went to school / there were certain teachers who / would hurt the children any way they could / by pouring their derision upon anything we did / exposing every weakness, however carefully hid / by the kid. / But in the town it was well known / when they got home at night / their fat and psychopathic wives / would thrash them within inches of their lives." –  MT_Head May 30 '11 at 14:49
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Sarcasm is frequently encountered in everyday life, and it doesn't especially have to be negative - sarcasm is used a lot in humour. Correspondingly, sarcasm is found every day in schools, used by pupils and teachers alike.

However, in the very Orwellian 'Brick in the wall', the 'dark' is meant to convey a more cynical, sinister or particularly ill-intended sarcasm demonstrated by the the teachers; a particular pernicious sarcasm that poisons the minds of the pupils, or (as I think the song intends) the conditioning of the populace by the establishment/government machine.

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+1 for listening to the album while not half-baked, or being capable able to analyze at that level while fully-baked –  JeffSahol May 29 '11 at 21:08
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"Sarcasm" is defined as "— mocking, contemptuous, or ironic language intended to convey scorn or insult"
"Dark" used as an adjective has several meanings i.e. "dark period in our history" means that period of history was rife with ignorance.
"Dark" however, in this case means " sinister; evil" as in a dark purpose

So "dark sarcasm" can be defined as below:

A taunting, sneering, cutting, or caustic remark; gibe or jeer, generally ironic phrase.

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I've always thought it meant evil sarcasm, like evilly mocking someone

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protected by tchrist Jan 30 at 5:36

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