Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lesson 17: Not with a bang, but with a whimper

Chris wanted me to try out this new type of presentation (called prezi).

Because of this, I spent a lot more time this week with TS Eliot than I ordinarily would have.

We bonded.

We argued.

An he got me to consider rereading Heart of Darkness. Because maybe, just maybe 17 year old me missed something.

But mostly, Eliot just made me sad.

I can deal with idiots full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Idiots have bang.

What I can't deal with is the whimper.

I want Eliot to hang out with Thomas and his dying father. I am all about raging.

But whimpering?

Not for me.

So when only one of my students got mad at the poem, I got sad again.

The majority sat there saying - this is true. this is inevitable. we can't stop this.

But one student just said - this is stupid.

And it's weird, because I know that academia and the world of intellectualism scoffs at comments like that.

Especially comments like that about Eliot.

And they sneer and say things about opiates of the masses or the unbelievable naivete of youth.

But I thought he was BANG on.

I think I prefer Whitman.

All of his YAWPING and celebrating self, strutting his grey beard down Manhattan.

I prefer him.

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