The place of public speaking in the general education curriculum is constantly questioned. The image of communication majors in pop culture sheds light on why. Because “it’s kinda hard to put into words.” I experienced a moment of synchronicity to illustrate this. The moment is circular, a snake eating its tail. First, I received yet another email stating professional concern for eliminating public speaking in the general education curriculum. Then, later in the week, I watched a disturbing scene that negatively portrayed the communication major in the popular sitcom, Two and a Half Men. This moment is circular because I don’t know which is the chicken
Scandal is a guilty pleasure with its bodice-ripping, twisty-turny Shonda Rhimes storyline. Lauded in many circles as a positive image, Olivia Pope is a familiar tragic trope clad in a power suit. All the blogs say that audiences, particularly women of color, have a love/hate relationship with Olivia Pope, the main character of Scandal, because she’s a two-steps-forward, two-steps-back kinda girl. Olivia Pope is a “fixer” with a heart of gold. She worked on the President’s campaign, helping him earn office. The two fall in epic-level love, and have an ongoing interracial, extramarital affair, enacted physically and sustained emotionally, even when the physical component ceases.
Big Bird was almost executed in the last election, and his stay of execution was a relief to progressives and liberals. An email exchange with a colleague reminded me about using Sesame Street in a class activity for teaching about the “death of the humanities.” Introduction to Humanities that semester focused on public humanities and the democratization of the humanities through new technology. New technology meant writing, the printing press, up to the internet, of course. Maybe students would feel empowered if they could connect “great art” or “high art” to DIY art [we watched performing arts fundraiser Ben Cameron’s Ted Talk for this]. By
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood has always been special to me. As a kid, I watched it all the time. I was introduced to the show when it moved to PBS. Although I was older than the target audience, I loved it anyway. As an adult, after treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse, I started watching again. People in AA meetings encouraged watching because it promoted affirming, feel-good life lessons that alcoholics need to hear and practice. It always made me feel better regardless of what was going on in my life. My all-time favorite character on Mr. Rogers is Daniel Striped Tiger. Amazingly, Fred Rogers voiced
I just watched the pilot of TNT’s Raising the Bar on the TNT website. I didn’t get to see it during air time because of the power outage during Gustav. The show stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar from Saved by the Bell, which I admit I’ve watched now and then. I was hopeful that the show would knock my socks off given that it is a Steven Bochco show. I loved LA Law in its time. Even though Gosselaar did a great job (he’s really grown), I was still bored. I guess there are only so many courtroom stories to be told and then it’s the same ol’,
Whoopi and Elisabeth Hasselbeck got into it recently on The View over use of the N-word. You can see the video of the exchange on Us Magazine. Elisabeth, of course, cries, wearing her white guilt on her sleeve. She refuses to understand why it’s alright for black people to use ‘the n-word.’ Of course, she cites the movie Crash as her politically correct credentials. Whoopi makes two important points in response. First, she explains that when black people use ‘the N-word,’ they have taken it from the hands of white people who use it against them. She says, “This is a word that has meaning