Lately, I’ve been cleaning up. This might sound boastful, but really I mean it in the humdrum sense of organising my life. Not that my life isn’t organised, but my files need sorting. I want to have everything backed up and archived before I move house then head into Asia in December. There is a special type of phobia about the possible loss of digital files which I’m sure already has a name. Anyway, the important thing is that I have lots of work to do and am rather enjoying being busy.
Work has genuinely been enjoyable of late as I’ve been teaching Genre this term to year 10 high school students, and the last few weeks have focussed on military science fiction. It’s an odd early focal point for a study of genre, it makes a degree of sense in that it’s quite an easily classifiable genre, so far as its salient features are concerned. This subject was paralleled with a look at the “going native” narrative, prevalent in films such as Dances with Wolves, The Emerald Forest, The Last Samurai and The Mission. Winding up with a close look at the mixed genres of Avatar – military science fiction, going native, fantasy, western, romance etc. all rolled into one – made for a clean lead into the MSF material.
It was satisfying to find myself standing in front of a class showing clips from Aliens, having been such a fan of the movie as a teenager. It’s a testimony to the post-modern world we live in that we treat these popular works with the same intellectual rigour as high culture products. It is indeed satisfying to know that the cultural context in which I grew up has become a part of the global cultural and intellectual corpus. This week was a look at the parodic elements in Starship Troopers and its apparent subversion of the novel’s happily fascist narrative with a futility of war twist.
Right, definitely rambling now. Above are some photos. I’d like to think I’ve also been cleaning up with the camera as well, but judge for yourself.