Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

30 November 2009

Time Travel and the Worst Childhood Ever

As time-travel movies go, I have to say I didn't really buy The Butterfly Effect. Anyway, I watched the movie for the prison rape scene(s) in it. (I am currently writing a long, epic chapter/article/something-or-other on representations of prison rape in cinema, so I am watching all of the films that I can think of or find.)

The Butterfly Effect is not really about prison rape, though. It is about time travel. Well, no, to be accurate, it wants to be a film about time travel and madness, but instead it is a film about filmmakers, by which I mean that The Butterfly Effect is really a movie where the directors and screenwriters threw a whole bunch of stuff at the wall and then figured out how to make a movie out of it. The film attempts to be clever throughout its entirety, and it is clever, but this cleverness never really works in its favor and the main character becomes more and more impossible to root for as the plot becomes less and less believable and the lives of the people in the movie become more and more horrifying.

By the time it was over I was really happy about the main character's suicide. It all made a sort of cinematic sense in the world of the film. The trouble is, it doesn't actually make sense at all, and to make a film that is a really good justification for suicide seems a rather odd task.

It made me wonder about time-travel movies that I like. I am not sure if there are any. I don't think I've ever thought about it before, really. I remember really liking Frequency, but I can't really remember any other ones that I've loved. Frequency is a father-son narrative, anyway. I am a sucker for those.

29 November 2009

Destroying Lives

Since all I do is teach and write, I might as well post about teaching and writing...

Last week, I sent my students an email to extend their paper deadline in one of the classes I teach. Now, usually, I would just tell them their deadline was extended and move on, but I must've been feeling a little punchy because I asked them to email me back responses. I have nineteen people in the class and I got ten responses in three and a half hours! Here is the email, followed by their ridiculous responses.

Would it destroy anyone's life if I extended the deadline for this paper a week? Email me back with thoughts.
And let's remember to discuss this tomorrow morning.

1. My life would not be destroyed.

2. I just want to make sure I am reading this correctly. This would make the due date Sunday Nov. 29th at noon, right? That would be really great. Can you please email me after it is decided.

3. If you extended it a week I think I would be a happy child and not go bald....

4. Destroy?! It would make my life because I would actually have the time to thoroughly work on it this weekend! And I am already running into a million questions about my topic.

5. It would not destroy my life and I think it would be a great idea!!!

6. i would be eternally grateful.

7. It would destroy my life if you DID NOT extend the deadline. I will bring in homemade cookies Monday morning if you extend it :)

8. Dear Aaron,
From the bottom of my heart, I am beseeching you to please please extend this paper deadline. I will bake you so many brownies and cookies and whatevers if you do this. Since I won't be there tomorrow, I'm telling you now I will hug you a thousand times over if this goes down!

9. I encourage this extension!!! =D

10. Oh my "god" I'll make a shrine in your honor and sacrifice virgins to you... if I'm going to find any in this town I better start looking now.
Thank you Thank you Thank you....