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September 6, 2006

let's leave telly behind for a while

Posted by dogpossum on September 6, 2006 1:01 PM in the category teaching

I spend quite a few hours each week talking to young people about media. I begin every class asking them what sorts of media they've consumed this week (and that's how I say it, because I like the thought of these fierce 20 somethings leaping onto BB or Women's Weekly and devouring it - critically or no).
There's much enthusiasm (this has been a surprisingly - satisfyingly - effective teaching tool), but all I can ever think to talk about is Smallville.I think it's because I'm somehow still stuck at that point where the television = media. It's certainly not the center of my media world.
I do watch a lot of [i]Smallville[/i], but I also watch broadcast telly. And other DVDs.
I listen to the radio online - the ABC almost exclusively, and Radio National specifically. I do listen to some lindy hop talk shows and music shows, but the ABC always scores the greater portion of my time.
I read the news online, through various websites.
I read blogs, academic and otherwise.
I read, voraciously, insatiably - I read over breakfast (half an hour at least), on the bus (an hour each way), in breaks, and at bedtime (at least an hour or two). I am a reading machine. And I only read science fiction or fantasy.
I do work reading - I read articles, books, magazines, journals, websites.
I haven't seen a film in a while, but I do love the cinema. When I'm not so busy...

And I listen to music every day. I've just discovered The Squeeze's ipod, and that's neat. Though I mostly listen to the ABC, I have found it a neat tool for previewing my music for DJing. I don't have time to sit on the couch and mull over my laptop any more - I have to listen to music on the bus. This isn't an ideal arrangement for DJ preparation, as the sound quality on the ipod is very different to a night club system. And different to the stereo at home. When you're dealing with old music, quality is all. But it's also a matter of intimacy - it might sound neat on my ipod, locked away in that little sound bubble on the bus, but it mightn't really work in a crowded room full of manic dancers.

But I don't talk about this with my students. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'm trying to keep this part of my everyday private. Maybe I'm self conscious. Or perhaps I've bought that DJ bullshit where 'only DJs understand', or rather, where we assume DJs listen to music in a unique way. Poppycock.
But I do know that it's difficul to explain the pleasures of swinging jazz to 20 something media students. It's difficult to articulate to non-dancers, to non-jazz dancers, the absolute delight we find in the jumpy, fun, wickedly naughty humour 1920s and 30s pop music. It's certainly difficult to explain why the saucy innuendo is such a source of delight, and I wonder if that is because young people today (bah humbug) are more conservative, more prudish than the young of the 20s and 30s? It makes me wonder if that's why I like nannas so much - they're far naughtier than these youngsters.

This week I'll test it out. We might talk about music this week, and leave telly behind for a while. I'll try to tune in and let you know how it goes.

Posted by dogpossum on September 6, 2006 1:01 PM in the category teaching