Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm losing it

I mentioned last week that my students were all going to be watching the first five minutes of the first episode of Lost as part of a lesson on television. I was pretty sure when we planned this lesson that the show was going to be a hit in class. I say this because most things from America are hits in China, irrespective of quality. My students really like the Black Eyed Peas, for example. I promise you, Lost is better than the Black Eyed Peas. At everything. You know who’s a better rapper than will.i.am? John Locke. The Lost character, not the philosopher. Actually, you know what, John Locke the philosopher is also probably a better rapper than will.i.am. You know what sucks about the idea that our tabula rasa is shaped by experience? The fact that my experience includes having listened to the Black Eyed Peas. I have Two Treatises of Music that is Awful, and they are, in brief: 1. The Black Eyed Peas 2. Also, incidentally, that Korean song “Nobody” that everyone here seems to be crazy about.

But I digress. My students like the Black Eyed Peas. In my film class last semester, at least 10 students said that their favorite movie was Transformers or High School Musical or, in one particularly interesting case, both. The point is that the bar is low. Ludicrously low.

And yet they didn’t really like Lost. I don’t have tons of time tonight, but I do want to mention a few of my favorite comments from the week. Several students said that they show was “just like real life” and “not fantastic enough.” Is that actually what your real life is like? Seriously? Also, it being just like real life would imply that Matthew Fox’s acting is even vaguely naturalistic. So, frankly, I’m dubious. Another student said that the story was a little boring so far (again, this in a scene where a man gets sucked into a jet turbine which then explodes), but that she thought that the show would be better if they included a second plane crash. She also said that she would be interested in a hijacker storyline. I told her she should probably not watch the show. One student also asked why Americans are so obsessed with plane crashes, and I said that September 11th probably didn’t help. Then we all had a good cry.

In retrospect, that might not have been a great move, but, you know what? Don’t tell me what I can’t do. You should especially refrain from telling me I can’t go to bed, because that’s exactly what I’m doing right…now.