what does one do when they are emerging from a blurry weekend of migraines? they watch things:
1. Bill Cunningham New York. 80 year old New York Times fashion photographer pedals around manhattan on a trusty bike wearing his blue jacket while taking photos of street fashion. to me the most intriguing aspect of the documentary was the focus on the simplicity of his life and his refusal to be swayed by the money and power that could so easily have been his for the taking.
2. The Bark Side VW commercial. for the past few weeks there is someone, at all times, humming various songs from Star Wars. i am going mad from it. but this just makes me laugh. very hard.
3. Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible?. we’ve only watched one episode, but omar and i laughed, the boys laughed, and we all got to learn about Catherine of Siena, Saint Jerome, the septuagint, and what the overarching story of the bible is telling us. not bad for 30 minutes.
4. The War on Kids. documentary #2 of the weekend (you can watch the whole thing here). thought provoking film that aims to show how many (please note: i am completely aware that not all schools are like the schools profiled here) public schools are moving/have moved in a direction that denies students’ civil rights and seeks to control and instill fear in kids. the best parts are about the policy of zero-tolerance, drugs in schools, and the unfortunate results of much of the medication used to calm children. what bothers me about the documentary is how it fails to offer any ideas on how to change the state of much of public schooling. what are some possible answers? it doesn’t give any. where is the call for parents to step in and refuse to be bullied themselves? there is none. many friends of mine who send their kids to public school are deeply committed to their children’s education and refuse to sit on the sidelines and tolerate much of the absolute crap you see here. i felt i watched this more from the perspective of a former public school student than i did a teaching mother. much of it resonated with my experience. i attended public schools from kindergarten through my undergraduate years. i would say i got an ok education and had 4 teachers (from elementary through high school) that i clearly remember as being excellent and many, many, many who were abysmal. and then there were some who were downright strange and wacky (like my 11th grade AP english teacher who accused me of doodling while taking notes (guilty) and tried to force me to put my head down for the rest of class). metal detectors weren’t at my high school by the time i graduated but we did have the equivalent of barney fife as our school police officer who truly made us nervous, except he actually carried a loaded weapon.
while there are some definite weaknesses here, i recommend it.