Sunday, January 29, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
I wasn't disappointed, and found the film moving and absorbing. Just a couple of items I wanted to comment upon, and thanks to Rita Rud for sharing in developing these insights:
-the way Ennis finds out about the fate of Jack was masterfully done in the film. You already knew how Ennis had been shown what happens to gay men by his father in a vivid flashback earlier in the film. When Jack's wife tells Ennis over the phone about the tire blowing up in Jack's face and killing him, what flashes in Ennis's mind is a scene reminiscent of what he saw as a young man. But you don't KNOW if that is what happened to Jack from the film. The fact that it is strongly suggested, but plays out also as what was Ennis's big fear (recall what he said earlier to Jack that if they were caught, they would be dead) is masterful directing.
-the scene where Jack's family is having a holiday meal (Thanksgiving?) when his father-in-law insists on keeping the football game on TV for his grandson to experience...after all, real men have football on when a big meal is served. Jack turns it off, and in doing so supports his wife, who has labored over the meal. He dresses down his father-in-law, insisting on his place as the man of the family. He thus straddles being a sensitive man (sympathetic to his wife's labors over the meal) and an assertive man (standing up for what he believed was respectful behavior in his house). Again, masterful direction: the father-in-law, rather than blow up at Jack then, holds his anger within, but you know he is seething. You almost get the feeling that he won't dress Jack down in front of his daughter and grandson, but that Jack's retribution is coming.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Uh, wuzzat you say, Maggie?
Monday, January 23, 2006
"Jimmy Carter and the Culture of Death"
Thursday, January 19, 2006
A good laff...
-While he’s cool with the gay folks, Peter McLaren is no fan of the white man. How could he be, when the white man, or whiteness in general, is the font of all terror, all capitalism, all hegemony, all whatever-the-academic-scapegoat-word-of-the-moment-is.
-The only thing that stops McLaren from being the next Noam Chomsky is that his academic output, while unbelievably prolific, is often insufferably abstract, riddled with words that send even college-level readers running for the dictionary.
And this is my fave:
-With most UCLA professors, the C. V. (essentially an academic resume) is a somewhat lengthy document that can run upwards of 20 pages. McLaren puts them all to shame with a bloated C.V. that weighs in at an astounding 129 pages. One. Hundred. Twenty. Nine. While admittedly bulked up at some intervals by six-line entries for a single speech (down to the location and time, in proper Euro-notation), it also reflects the monster that is Peter McLaren.
Hey, you go Peter!
Update: An unusually short post on the UCLA outing topic from Michael B.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Wake up...the semester is starting!
Higher Education in Film and Fiction
A. G. Rud
Each group will take a few of the books assigned, and read the cover materials. Then discuss what issues you think may be covered in the book. Come up with 2-3 issues to discuss among yourselves and present a short descriptor of the book and what these issues are to the larger group. The books this time are a bit different. Lucky Jim and Changing Places are both still there, as is Moo and Straight Man, but May Sarton is out as is Roth's The Human Stain. In its place, I Am Charlotte Simmons, which I found utterly absorbing.
Think back to fall of your freshman year in college. What expectations did you have of college, and were they met? If not, what did you find out about your chosen school and yourself at that time? What advice would you give to someone going off to college now? I showed the first 6 minutes of the Felicity pilot here, where Felicity decides to defy her parents and go off to NYC based on what a boy wrote in her yearbook. While a bit farfetched, it is not entirely off the mark of how youth makes decisions...or not-youth for that matter.
Take a piece of paper and write a paragraph on the most influential person for you at college or graduate school. Then list 3 or more characteristics of that person that you find admirable. Skipped this one. In retrospect, seems a bit college applicationy.
Break into two groups, A and B. Take the words listed below for your group and create a scenario, skit, description, or story using these words
Dean of Students
Department of Economics
This was a hoot, everyone was ready for some wild flights of fancy. I think we are off to another good semester!
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I so wanted Charlotte's grades to be wrong!
I just finished a marathon read of I am Charlotte Simmons, which I will use this semester in my higher ed in film and fiction class. I found the sports sections totally absorbing, and the character of Charlotte Simmons just about heartbreaking (I've lived in the hollers of western North Carolina, eaten at plenty of Sizzlin' Skillets, and can imagine how a family there might give a Christmas present of a rebuilt Kaypro computer). I admit I set myself up for the ending, hoping that Wolfe would rescue Charlotte, but no, and it tore me up.
Now finishing Elaine Showalter's Faculty Towers, a nice little job, and I don't mind the indulgent Princetoning within, as some have.