Expected Surprises

Curriculum writing is a lot like staying home sick. Last week I got some kind of flu-like symptoms. I kept trying to pretend it was fine and that I was just feeling sorry for myself, but then I would get tired walking down to my truck. So instead of the studio I went to the Redbox and rented a bunch of narrative garbage involving kung-fu, cowboys, aliens, and couples trying to still be in love but failing. I didn't watch any pirate movies, but I did get Days of Thunder in there. For those who haven't seen that movie it's a lot like the cartoon movie Cars staring Lightning McQueen only in Days of thunder, the races are less real.

I remember staying home sick when I was a kid. Perry mason and the Price Is Right with Bob Barker. I don't know if it's different now but they never played reruns of the Price Is Right at night so the only time you would ever see it was on sick days or the random President's day holiday. So if you were watching the Price Is Right it was because you were sick. Few of my students get my Perry Mason references anymore, you have to say Law and Order or C.S.I. - Washugal. That would be a great spin off by the way for any of you TV moguls. But staying home sick was kinda sacred, I mean sure the puking was lame and why as my girlfriend Sam puts, "Did they ever think we would heal by drinking sugary Sprite and starchy saltine crackers, were vegetables just not invented back then?"

But sometime into the afternoon your body had healed enough to need something to do. My preference was to set up scenes from old westerns using the entire living room and every toy I owned. GI Joe was planing an ambush from the couch to take out the Play-Mobile settlers in their original Lincoln Log forts. I drafted elaborate make believes with complex strategies. We had cultural markers, toys that identified for us a period of time. I of course lament my lazy adult self who doesn't play nearly enough make-believe when I am sick and instead rely on Hollywood to give me their make believe in the form of a movie. But more importantly with such a fractured system of content providers will we ever again have shared cultural markers like the Price is Right and Perry Mason. Can we just transcribe our versions of culture onto the versions of today in a one for one trade. Like how we watched Sinefeld and Friends on TV in the late nineties and our Parents watched the Mary Tyler Moore show and their parents had Lucy and their parents had Uncle Milty on the Radio set and their parents and their parents and and and. The connector was a shared expereince in which each person has a shared experience but a unique take. The part that was funny to you was different from the bit that made someone else laugh. I've written about this a couple of times. But I am still currious to see what my nieces and nephews do with this fractured cultural melie.

This never turned into a full idea, so lets just blame that on the sick.


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