These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

the film festival

because i've been so blah about writing here, not having enough time, and pure neglect, i've failed to mentin that i've been recruited to be part of a local latino film festival's film committee.

the chairwoman approached me last week and asked me. i was surprised but agreed to do it. a group of us would get together to see and discuss films. we'd see one at a time, then rate them, giving them honors, such as best documentary or best drams, best short and bet overall film for the festival.

we watched "guitar holiday" thursday. it was a documentary about this village called parecho from the mexican state of michuacan. it was interesting for the most part, really showcasing the work ethic and tradition these people have of making, by hand, guitars. it had its lulls, though. musicians were really great.

i don't knw, though. i've my own ideas of art. i amnot a snob about things. i do like a good movie and kow i don't like others. for example, back in the day when i was a teen, i enjoyed "caddyshack." now, not so much. kind of bores me. other films from back then, don't do it for me. music, too. i enjoy all types. i'm still a metalhead, but my range has greatly expanded to include so much more. i can easily switch gears from listening to iron maiden to beethoven and enjoy both. which is better? well, that's subjective. an upperclass lad will obviously say beethoven. a metalhead would scoff at beethoven and call the music shit. it depends. i don't like making a decision about what is art and what's not.

in my litle recruiting talk, there was brief mention of what is art. i joked that the festival should bring los tigres del norte. there was some talk, then the mention of it not being art. then retracting the statment and saying it's art, but not for the festival. yes, los tigres aren't a classical act where one can sit and drink tea and eat biscuits to, but they're still music. and to many they are art. i consider their music art. it's in its own form. one form isnot better than the other, though.

i wonder if the festival caters to one type of person. the uppercrust. i'm most certainly not that.

i'm torn. the average person may not enjoy watching many of the films. however, maybe they will.

in my view, a mixture is best. high art, low art, if i can call it that. you get a mix of both, you get a mix of people and everyone is happy. i dunno. i think it works.

or perhaps it's about culture. who knows.

Monday, May 12, 2008

a slap in the face

my mom told me about a situation going on in my ole alma mater. apparently a teacher is accused of asking a student to slap another student. he allegedly did three times. the kid who got slapped told his mother, whi in turn told police, the media and filed charges. the student who did the slapping is alleged to be the super's son. there's an investigation going on. the teacher has been placed on admin. leave with pay until the end of the school year.

as i was told all of this, i recalled a similar circumstance when i was in the sixth grade. i was in ms. g.'s class (which i hated, the woman scared me). i think one of my classmates hit or slapped another. it was a boy who slapped a girl. i don't recall the circumstances, though. but i do remember who they are.

well, ms. g. got really pissed off, grabbed both of them. both were crying, one from hurt and other from embarrassment. in front of the class, ms g. tells the girl who'd been slapped to slap the boy back. clearly the girl was frightened. she didn't want to. ms. g. urged her to do it. i can still see her beady little eyes behind her glasses looking on malevolently, her teeth clenched. she kept on until the girl gave the boy a feeble slap across the face. it was an hard to watch. i'd supressed it all of this time until i heard about it yesterday. crazy times then and crazy times now.

i don't know the circumstances of the situation going on now, so i can't really comment onit, although a teacher shouldn't ask another student to slap another and have that student oblige. if that' indeed true, the teacher should be punished and the student suspended for following through.

with the incident back in sixth grade, well, i think ms. g. was out of line. she should have sent the boy to the office and gotten his just punishment that way. who's she to allof a suddent adopt the biblical an eye for an eye motto. though she always was a bit off kilter.