Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Kunta Kinte! Beeep!

In the eighth grade, we had to watch Roots in one of my classes. Each class was about 50 minutes, so we had to watch Roots over a span of about my entire eighth grade year. This wouldn't have been so bad because it's a very interesting movie, but I went to a ghetto junior high. See, for some reason, we didn't have access to video tapes of the film, instead, we had to watch the filmstrip of roots. The film really loses something when it's in a tense situation, like when Kunta is getting whipped because he won't adopt his slave name, Toby, and you don't actually get to see the whipping, just still frames of the whip being pulled back, then another picture of the guy from Reading Rainbow writhing in pain. This is even less effective when, in order to get to see the next frame, you are prompted by a beep telling you to push the button to go to the next still frame.

The Slavemaster stands poised behind Kunta Kinte, the whip held over his shoulder ready to crack Kunta on the back.

Slavemaster: What's your name, boy?

Kunta: Kunta...Kinte.

Whip crack! Kunta screams.

Beeeeeeep. The kid pushes the button to go to the next frame.

Kunta has a look of "Oh, I'll never read another book to children again" on his face. The slavemaster looks very happy that he's beating up the guy with the wicked awesome sunglasses from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I'm not that old, either. It's not like I went to school in a time when VCRs were few and far between, they were just trying to squeeze all they could out of the free copy of Roots that the local public library lent out on 8mm.

The worst part about having to do film strips in class, as opposed to a videotaped program, was that somebody always had to push the button when the beep sounded. Somehow this was always the job given to the dumbest, most ADD-ridden person in the classroom. I just remember thinking, "Shit, not Ramon working the projector--maybe he'll let somebody else do it." But that never happened. When the first beep would sound, he would always miss it because he was too busy talking into the cooling fan of the projector because it made him sound like Darth Vader. Then, by the time he started hearing everybody telling him to push the button, the thing had beeped again, so he had to go ahead two times. So, he'd push it three times because he's an idiot. Because he's gone too far, he'll try to go back, but he can never find the back button in time, so the thing has beeped again, putting him on the right page now, but he doesn't hear it because he can't listen and look at the same time (I think this is connected to why people turn down their car stereo when they're looking for a parking space). So he finds the back button finally, goes back a page, and I reach over and rip off both of his arms and beat him to death with them.

Maybe I was just too anal retentive about the projectors, but goddamn if I couldn't sleep at night if the sound and the picture didn't align.

I've gotten a few comments from some "anonymous" poster who seems to know me in real life. He's right, I have a story about hugging a retarded girl, but I'll save it for another time as I've written a lot about retarded people lately.

Interesting thought of the day:
People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but nobody ever tells them what they should throw--naked midgets with glow sticks hot-glued to their bodies.

1 comment:

kambi said...
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