Politicians, “Lies,” and the Urgency of Decoding

This afternoon CNN Reporter Rick Santorum (yes, you read that correctly) said that Barack Obama constantly singles out and criticizes people of Christian faith. He also said: …I take big issue because President Obama was probably one of the most vindictive presidents that we’ve ever dealt…One of the things that made it him hard for himContinue reading “Politicians, “Lies,” and the Urgency of Decoding”

What is Capitalism, if not Bureaucracy

The nature of capitalism in the United States (and elsewhere) has been on my mind a great deal lately. And the more I think about it, the more it seems to mostly be a system that needs bureaucracy and inefficiency for survival. Think about highways: Are all of the road signs we have really necessary?Continue reading “What is Capitalism, if not Bureaucracy”

Obamacare is Saving My Life. Will you let me live?

No one is born voluntarily. Even more, no one asks to be born with permanent disorders and diseases. And because of capitalism and its inhumane nature, people like me “cost” millions of additional dollars over a lifetime in order to live. And this is largely due to being born in the United States. The UnitedContinue reading “Obamacare is Saving My Life. Will you let me live?”

Teaching Texas History Backward – Update #1

Almost since I first head about the “new, radical” notion of teaching history backward, I have been intrigued. I first heard about it while overhearing a conversation–while presenting a paper at Rice University in March 2014–about how Dr. W. Caleb McDaniel was teaching his survey course backward, starting with the present and working backward.  It tookContinue reading “Teaching Texas History Backward – Update #1”

Quotations about Television

All television is educational television.  The question is:  what is it teaching?  ~Nicholas Johnson I find television to be very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.  ~Groucho Marx If you came and you found a strange man… teaching your kids to punch eachContinue reading “Quotations about Television”

“Monsieur Lazhar” (2012): A Teacher Movie Without the White Savior or White Gaze (and with much more)

So many “teacher films” focus on the seemingly unprecedented abilities of White teachers to successfully reach and transform those who are apparently the most unreachable students in the worst neighborhoods. These students are typically poor and non-White, as well. Such films include Music of the Heart (1999), Half Nelson (2006), and Freedom Writers (2007)–to just name a few. “Teacher films” areContinue reading ““Monsieur Lazhar” (2012): A Teacher Movie Without the White Savior or White Gaze (and with much more)”

AJP’s take on Josh Katz’s “Speaking American” – An exploration of culture with maps and digital humanities.

Journalist Josh Katz has done some incredible work in the digital humanities (i.e., using computers to analyze information and then making that information visual). See his map about the new phenomenon of men not working in the United States. And this map about the popularity of various contemporary television shows. His book Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, andContinue reading “AJP’s take on Josh Katz’s “Speaking American” – An exploration of culture with maps and digital humanities.”

“La Mission” (2009): Ubiquitous Mammy and White Savior Characters

I figure a great way to start 2017 is with a blog! In preparation for planning and teaching Mexican American History II this Spring 2017 semester, I gave Petter Bratt’s La Mission (2009) another view this evening. Watch the trailer here. (I’m trying to select a few of the best movies for us to examine. There’s notContinue reading ““La Mission” (2009): Ubiquitous Mammy and White Savior Characters”