Saturday, September 6, 2008

1 Week Down, 14 to Go....

I have survived the first week of the semester and it went a little faster than I expected, which is always nice. My schedule is such that the first half of the week is really slow but my Thursday and Friday are a bit crammed. Obviously I am not complaining about the perpetual three day weekends and the minimal amount of obligations on Tuesday and Wednesday, but this early in the semester there is just not a lot of work to fill the time with. Now that my syllabi are in my possession all that will quickly change.

In typical grad school form, there was a fair share of Republican bashing in the classroom. Most everyone in my cohort knows that this is my grad school pet peeve to end all pet peeves and this particular incident sparked a reaction from everyone, not just me:

In my Media Ethnography class we watched a brief clip from a 1950s propaganda video entitled "The House In The Middle". The basic gist of the film is that your house is less likely to burst into flames in the wake of an atomic blast if you keep it tidy and uncluttered. They would blow up a "messy" house and watch it burst into flames that engulfed the home in a matter of minutes. Then we saw how the "tidy" house also had the roof blown off as a result of the blast and still caught fire, but this fire was much more easily "extinguishable". I don't know about you, but I would hazard to guess that I don't have a fire extinguisher handy when/if an atomic bomb goes off. And, considering my house is so tidy, I doubt there would be a blanket or some other tool to smother the blaze sitting around either.

I digress. One of the comical aspects of said film strip was the tinge of excitement in the narrator's voice when he got to say "bomb", "fire", "blaze", or any other word related to nuclear explosions. As we were discussing this a man in class raised his hand to add his own thoughts on the matter. His comment began discussing the 1950s atomic bomb film and then, apropos of nothing, the subject changed to...Sarah Palin.

Yes, that is right, Sarah Palin. I don't know about you, but apparently this fellow made the logical jump from 1950s nuclear film strip narration to the rhetoric of the hockey mom VP candidate with the greatest of ease. He explained how Palin would seem sweet and nice, but then she would inject something "venomous" or even "mean" into her speech. I must admit I did not watch the RNC despite being a registered member of the party--I do not like John McCain and I am in a bit of a quandry about where my vote is headed. What I do know is that I will not be voting for him, ergo I found the task of watching the RNC to be unecessary.

Based on this man's remarks and what I have read in the news, it sounds like he was hating on her in part because she was sarcastic. This is really beside the point though. The man said point blank that Palin is mean, evil, and venemous and no one in the classroom said anything to challenge 1) the way this information was presented as a fact everyone had to agree with rather than an opinion or 2) the pertinence of this information to the discussion at large. Even I kept my mouth shut because I am just tired of having this discussion week in and week out, but I rolled my eyes rather overtly and began to watch the clock, hoping class would just end.

One week down, 14 to go. I got through the week with 3 anti-Repub references in class, so I am going to set the over/under at 70. Any takers?

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