Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mackey reading and *Burr* ....Twilight

I really enjoyed Margaret Mackey's "Salience and Fluency: The beginnings of stories” in Literacies across media: Playing the text. It makes me happy that young people, at least the ones in the study, are not partial to any one medium. Why? Well I hope it is because they are concerned with the story aspects of what is being presented to them. Though there were some comments that made me sad inside, such as the one person who didn't like Japanese animation or the one who did not like black and white films (another favourite thing of mine). Yet everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and at least they explained why they disliked some aspects of the mediums.

So before I go on, I would like to point out something I found strange. Cat’s Eye, if it is indeed the one written by Margaret Atwood, isn’t exactly age appropriate material for an 8th grade student, though if I personally knew the student and I knew they could handle it, and I knew the parent’s would not object to the themes, I would recommend this book. Then again, I read this book in high school and again in university, and a few times on my own since then, and it is one of my favourite books (I have a lot of favourite books, don’t I?) and I know that the story would have appealed to me in the 8th grade as well.

83 “They showed no signs of having an automatic preference for one medium over another; instead, they judged each text on its merits. Nobody either selected or rejected all the texts in a single medium without qualification.”

“Colin also took fluency into account with some of his decision-making. He rejected the black and white video of the old movie version of The Secret Garden: ‘I don’t really like movies in black and white because it’s kind of hard to decipher one thing from another.’” See, this guy actually has reasons for his dislike. That's more than I can say about A LOT of adults who look at something and just say they don't like it (I recall the first time I was watching A Tale of Two Sisters on television, and I was super into and my mother wanted me to do something upstairs, so I put it on upstairs, and the first thing she says is "turn it off, those Japanese movies are so boring." First of all, it's from South Korea, and it's a psychological horror film that was on for less than three minutes (if that), so it's not like she could judge from that. At least these kids are giving these materials a chance! </rant>  

Another thing is that I see how trying to guess a young person’s reading tastes can be difficult, especially if they cannot clearly articulate what they prefer, such as in the case of Megan on pages 83-4, wherein she does not like the big words in Anne of Green Gables, but she liked how The Golden Compass describes everything. The Golden Compass does get dense in ideas, but she seemed more inclined to keep reading The Golden Compass because the plot is more interesting.

And I appreciate Japanese anime, but I didn’t like the anime adaptations of Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon. While Kaze no Shoujo Emily is the more recent adaptation of the two I’ve seen and remember well enough to judge, the Emily adaptation just deviates too much from the book, though at times the animation if beautiful. 

I think I've wrote so much to avoid blogging about Twilight. So, fine. I'll do it. I don't like the text in print form. I find the non-existant plot boring. Meyer has a way of writing that is boring, yet has a way of hooking you, making you believe that at any moment, something will happen. I could have sworn that something  mildly interesting was about to happen all the time. But nothing ever does. I finished the book and felt like nothing had really happened. A guy stalks you and watches you in your sleep and you're like "Awwww! How cute!" Just to let you know, stalkers are scary. They aren't something that you go  "Awwww! How cute!"  to. The only remotely interesting character, in my opinion, is Alice. Can Alice have her own book, please? But in the end of Twilight it didn't make me want to read the rest of the books. Awesome. That wasn't a complete waste of my time. The movie (thanks youtube!) was an adequate adaptation in my opinion, though it was just as boring. Between the two, I prefer the movie because it ended my pain and boredom much more quickly. I have to say though, I can understand why young people like the book. It's a pretty basic romance (though there is nothing particular to vampires) with an otherwise boring and plain girl who moves and suddenly is so popular that everyone wants to date her. Isn't that a teen-agers dream? That what you once where will not follow you? 

And completely related to this topic is a youtube video from the "How It Should Have Ended" Channel. 

      (Just in case there's something wrong with the video here, it's also here.
 "Are you afraid she's going to play baseball better than you?" Yeah, Seriously Edward. 

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