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Thursday, March 14

March 14, 2013

Poetry Workshop: Today: Holness and Shaffer. You also turned in your annotations for Miss Johnson and Miss Fox; we’ll start with those Tuesday. Comments and annotations due for Peterson and Turner.

Fourth rotation poems should be due on Tuesday, April 2.

Fiction Workshop: Today we workshopped Victoria. Heaven was absent, so we are holding her story over to Tuesday. Sami’s story was handed out and we will also workshop it on Tuesday. Please see the blog post from Tuesday for the round 3 due dates. Please remember that round 3 is your choice but whatever you turn in must be complete in your opinion.

World Lit:

Daily Prompt: Today we did not have second block classes due to portfolio reviews. World Lit test review Tuesday.

Film Studies: Finished watching Dr. Strangelove. Afterward we covered the following points:

* The film takes a satirical look at the nuclear arms race during the 1950s and 1960s. Specifically, it pokes fun at the emerging doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) for short. This was a line of thought popularized by mathemetician John von Neumann, which stated that the two major nuclear superpowers (the U.S. and U.S.S.R.) would never use their nuclear arsenals on one another because doing so would invite retaliation. Therefore, both countries (and big chunks of the rest of the world) would be devastated. Therefore, common sense would insure that neither side would initiate a nuclear attack.
* At the time the film was released, the U.S. had probably double the amount of nuclear warheads as the U.S.S.R. (say 30,000 to 15,000). That might seem like a big advantage, but the Soviet Union was closing the gap. (And they certainly had enough nuclear arms to retaliate against a U.S. attack — making the M.A.D. doctrine seem realistic.) Eventually, in 1986, the U.S.S.R. would have more nuclear arms than the U.S. (Some of those warheads probably went missing after the fall of communism. Hooray!)
* Director Stanley Kubrick (who would become even better known for such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket) filmed but scrapped an ending which included a huge piefight in the U.S. War Room. The reason given was that he thought it pushed a satire (that is, a form of humor which exaggerates to make fun of those in power, or of established opinion) into farce (a more ridiculous, over-the-top version of satire, like Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron.”
* The film used stereotypes as a source of humor — the American cowboy, and the drunken Russian, for example. It also used physical comedy overtly — Dr. Strangelove and his Furher-saluting mechanical arm — and more subtly (Peter Sellers played Strangelove, President Merkin Muffley and Capt. Mandrake, paving the way for lots and lots of films in which the star plays multiple roles, and is thus a built-in source of comedy).

We’ll give an assignment for your next paper Tuesday. It will be due the following Tuesday, the 26th.


7th Grade:

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