Friday, May 18, 2018

Good to Be Back!

Harmony on the Set!

Following the publication of Dreams Given Form in the fall, I just had to back off of this blog for a while. It was an amazing year at my day job, as I worked on a major restructuring of my Public Speaking class - with help from generous colleagues, I took the leap and went from "flipping" the classroom to "gaming" the classroom. I've had to make adjustments on the fly, of course (any revamp requires flexibility to find the proper balance), but the initial results are heartening. I was goaded into agreeing to participate in a sprint triathlon at the beginning of June (so I've got about two weeks of training time left) and that's taken a considerable amount of time and energy.

I won't even try to catch up on movies and TV that I've immersed myself in over the last eight months. But I will say that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is well worth your time, I found myself wondering if The Good Place will become a supplement to philosophy and ethics classes, Black Panther justly took the world by storm, and I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the current season of The Americans yet. (Honestly, that show is beginning to seem prescient.)

Also on my list - Legion and The Handmaid's Tale

I'm also preparing for the upcoming Whedon conference - this is the 8th Slayage and pulls attendees from across the country as well as from Europe and beyond. The last one was held in 2016 in London, and I missed it (due to the aforementioned Dreams Given Form). This one is at the University of North Alabama in Florence, AL. I'm excited to attend. My presentation is more of a roundtable this time with several other scholars with diverse points of view. We'll be arguing over the revelation that Whedon gaslit us and the impact it has when a creator turns out to have feet of clay, if not outright mud. (Then again, after some of the thoroughly icky revelations of the #MeToo movement, Whedon seems like a garden-variety jerk, rather than a predatory monster.) Plenty of creators aren't particularly enlightened human beings - how does it affect the relationship with the art? It's going to be an interesting session.

But I've been missing this blog. So I'm back! My summer film class begins on Monday and I'm sure I'll include some material here about their films, along with other bits that catch my fancy.

And - if you've never seen Babylon 5, it's coming to Amazon Prime in June. Buy a copy of Dreams Given Form to pair with your watch (or rewatch - seriously, B5 is crazy-relevant these days!) and see what the fuss is about!