3.24.2008

Pop Culture

When I was studying White Noise as an undergrad, I thought that a class on Elvis would be ludicrous. I was an English Lit. and Classics double major, and I was a bit of a snob; I was certain that the reason people attended college was to get away from pop culture, not to immerse themselves in it.

Ten years later, however, my thoughts on all that have changed quite a bit. One of the professors in the psychology department at the school where I teach is researching the positive effects of gossip. One of the philosophy professors teaches gangster films and The Sopranos in order to probe philosophical conceits. And one of my colleagues in the English department teaches a class on Jane Austen and Bridget Jones.

And me? I'm fine with bringing up in fiction class how flashbacks are used in The Family Guy in order to contrast those methods with how they are used in some short story we've just read. Or I'll outline on the board the complexity of Tony Soprano's character. I even used to incorporate The O.C. into my lecture on meta-fiction.

But a couple weeks ago, right as Winter term was ending, I may have reached a new low, by pure accident. A student had written a creation tale, and in this tale he'd incorporated a number of poems. The poems were a little odd to me, and at the bottom of one of his manuscript pages, I wrote that the poems seemed to be equal parts Robert Blake and Shel Silverstein.

Then, in class, when the poems in the student's story were brought up, I said out loud that the poems seemed equal parts Robert Blake and Shel Silverstein. Not one student noticed, but after I'd said Robert Blake instead of William Blake out loud, I certainly did.

I wonder if Baretta ever wrote any poems.

2 comments:

Writing Blind said...

That is you in the latest issue of The Sun right? I got it out of the mailbox yesterday and hell be damned if you weren't right there in the middle. I haven't been reading any blogs for awhile so if you've already mentioned it or if in fact it is not you but someone with your exact name who lives in the same town as you I apologize for this rambling comment. But if it is you I just wanted to say how nice it was to see you out there in the real world, if that makes sense.

Chad Simpson said...

Hey, there, Writing Blind...

Yes, that's me in The Sun.

I haven't put anything up on the blog about it coming out because I'm waiting for their website to switch over to the April issue.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by here and let me know you came across the story.

I hope all's well.