Thursday, April 10, 2008

Running on Fumes

In the course of a discussion which begin with the how-to of inserting video clips into blogs, some of my students and I watched the following:

• "Steamboat Willie," the original 1928 Mickey Mouse cartoon, in which Mickey was much more rat-like and nasty than today's dumbed-down, cuter, and neotonous version. Not to mention that the chewing-tobacco part is so un-PC.

• The "Now is the winter of our discontent" speech scene from the 1930s-fascist version of Richard III, the one starring Ian McKellen.

Several of them had already seen it in Professor B.'s Shakespeare class, but they were ready to see it again. As for me, the opening scene of that film -- the teletype machine -- held me spellbound when I first saw it. (But I was thinking, "Run, dog, run!" very soon.)

• Jeff Dunham doing his "Achmed the Dead Terrorist" routine, holding the jihadists at bay with laughter.

I was the only who did not already know about Achmed. What will I do for popular culture when I stop teaching?



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