This last week, we dealt with, looked at, simply distributed several pieces in which the authors tried to connect some larger idea to a moment in pop culture:
I passed out this piece about why the crop of that year's Oscar nominees was what it was:
"Oscar 2012: Chicken soup for the Hollywood soul"
Alexa brought in "The secret of 'Deadpool’s' success — and why Hollywood is almost certainly learning all the wrong lessons," Jonny shared "Oscars 2015: So Hollywood Is Still Racist (and Sexist), Now What?" and Alex talked about "#OscarsSoWhite: Is Hollywood part of a much bigger problem?" I also handed out "Hollywood’s Class Warfare"
On Thursday, we look at an image of Britney Spears, wrote our own reactions, and then read "Britney Spears, Outsider Artist : The real, albeit unwitting, meaning behind Brit’s acting-out." We didn't get to it, but I included a second piece about Britney Spears from around that time: "Hit her, baby, one more time: MTV hired Britney Spears to make an ass of herself and she sadly complied. The humiliation continues." Both those pieces attempt to understand what the public was able to see but to also put it in the context of what our culture says about us.
For Monday, I want you to read "Hit her, baby, one more time," and then to react to it. Please do it in the following manner:
a) if there are words or terms you don't get, list a few and see if you can provide a definition for it. An example of this would be the word "schadenfreude" that I used the other day in class and then provided the dictionary.com definition at the back of the packet. If you get here after the first few people have replied, try not to repeat the work of those who've gone before.
b) attempt to summarize either Traister's main point or some key assertion within the piece ("They Say")
c) then, give your reaction about that point. Do you agree with her? Why or why not? ("I Say")
d) provide some more recent example of what she is discussing. This piece was written in 2007. There must be some more recent example of this kind of thing (perhaps not involving Spears) that either illustrates why you agree with Traister or why you disagree with her.
One warning that is important for these kinds of assignments: It is very easy to sneer at "the public" and act as if you aren't one of them. You are one of us, though. What I mean is that you are a consumer of something popular in our culture, even if it is only to take pleasure in someone's fall (schadenfreude) or to think that you are watching ironically. Don't act as if anyone who enjoys pop culture is less than you. When you do that, you dehumanize the majority of the population, and it severely hinders honest exploration of an idea. More on this later, but just keep that in mind.
Also, don't forget that AP exam registration is closing very soon. Please register here by March 17th.