Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Everybody Forcibly Kung Fu Fighting II: A Fistful of Loathing

In the aftermath of my little post about the filming of a Jackie Chan movie at my school, I've had the chance to do some thinking about careers, jobs and my views on various occupations. No, I've no plans to run away from K-12 teaching like my professional hair is on fire. Really, I haven't. It's just that the Hollywood movie-making "experience" (which really hasn't even happened yet as "shooting" is supposed to start tomorrow), has evoked in me certain feelings, feelings I knew I had, but not in the copious, dense amounts o' feeling I seem to possess.

As I put it in a comment late yesterday: I love film. I hate the film industry.

Okay, let's not use the word "hate". "Hate" is overused, and should be reserved for Nazis, neo-Nazis and Diane Anderson's haircut. Let's say "despise" or "loath" instead. I loath and loathe the film industry. Now I could go into all the reasons I hate loathe the film industry, but I've noticed that when it comes to ranting about the film industry people who don't loathe the film industry just stare blankly at me, the ranting person. They don't get why I loathe the film industry. They don't get why anybody would loathe the film industry.

I mean this is Jackie Chan we're talking about here.

Which frankly, is one of the reasons I loathe the film industry, because it's exactly that sort of irrational fandom which drives me crazy. A fandom that allows the film industry to treat potential "extras" as little more than cattle, disrupts daily life with the ersatz allure of "Hollywood Magic", and can make people do the stupidest things all on the pretense that they may one day appear doing that stupid thing on a movie screen.

But again, I'm not going to bother ranting about the film industry. Doing so would waste both your and my time. Especially if you have the blank stare of "Hollywood Magic" on your face.

Instead, I'd like to present a sort of chart. I got to thinking while bike riding home yesterday about my personal answer to a question. How would I rank various professions/industries? To be specific, how would I rank these professions in terms of whether I would want a representative from said industry to appear in my classroom, telling my kids about their profession, what they do in it, etc.

My bikedreaming led me to think that I should rank these professions from top to bottom, but put spaces in the listing to show distance between quality of profession/industry. For example, instead of ranking baseball players like this:

Babe Ruth
Scot at Burque Babble

It would be...

Babe Ruth

Scot at Burque Babble

You get the idea. Also, I figured this way I could have the single longest Burque Babble entry (by inches) in history.

Here we go (a very, very limited list):

Peace Corps Volunteer
Homeless/Domestic Violence Shelter Director

Medical Researcher

Mortician (always wanted to have one of those talk to class)


Commodities Broker

Insurance Salesman

World Series of Poker Champion

Real Estate Agent

ROTC Commander (at least they're honest about it...sorta)

*Discount Stock Brokerage Schlub

Film Industry Person

TV News Anchorperson


Robo Call Center Manager
Robo Call Scriptwriter
Political Advisor Responsible for Robo Calls

Those bored at work today, feel free to add occupations in the appropriate blanks, or rewrite the list entirely. I plan to do the same while bikedreaming my way up the river bike path this morning.

*I have been one of these. God, what an awful job.


amber in albuquerque said...

Well, you can put freelance technical writer somewhere between news anchor and blogger.

I get what you're saying about loathing the film industry...I really do. But I still think you're taking the whole Jackie Chan thing WAY too personally. I'm not saying it's not a stupid, time-wasting, pain in the ass, I'm just saying you're usually worked up about stuff that's much more relevant (I mean, what's UP!! with Dianne Anderson's haircut...same place she grooms the dog???).

(Don't mind me, I'm loopy from editing student intern papers.)

Abuelita2 said...

Well, I think I would react like Scot does. It's personal in the sense that the state of our society now is quite personal; it's the water I swim in, and somehow it's changing into a substance that I think is not quite healthy. In other words, it's very relevant, since it's my, and my grandchildren's world.

I get worked up at the mindlessness it reflects - the fame is good by definition attitude which pervades our culture.

It is also a waste of resources -- time, minds, money. We teachers are particularly sensitive to that issue.

Amber in Albuquerque said...

Abuelita, I agree...I just don't think the problem is Jackie Chan or the film industry. I think it's that the school administration (or whoever made the decision to allow the filming in the first place) is either so in thrall to Hollywood that they'll let it do whatever without considering the consequences or that they don't have the stones to tell them no.

Thing is, they don't have the insight or the stones to say no to the big fundraising conglomerates, the big reading and math 'program' publishing conglomerates, and the people pushing the junk food either (and that's only a short list).

Until the district and each and every school is ready to walk the talk (education is the only priority) 24/7 nothing will change. Sad, but true.

Oh, and you all need (and I mean NEED) to stop whining about parents not being involved. Many aren't, many are. You can't change who is involved and who isn't...Oh wait, yes you can. You can (and regularly do) ensure that parents who are involved get uninvolved by insisting that the only way to really understand "the issues" is to be an 'educator'. Been there done that...not letting it slow ME down (obviously), but I know many others who've given up or shut down because of these holier than thou attitudes. It's not all teachers or every one in the district, but there are enough bad apples that...well, I think you're well aware of how most of the public views APS. Whining about parents isn't going to change that...but I guess it does shift the blame.