Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I weep for the American educational system and the future

Yea, I know, it's been a while. I had things to do so I wouldn't get fired from my job, which coincidentally, I need so I can get money and not get evicted or something.

So last night going home on the 1 train I bore witness to a conversation so epic that I was in fear of my brain dribbling out of my ears. I just sat there, like Odysseus lashed to the mast of his ship, listening to this siren song of lowered expectations that made me wish I could dash myself on the rocks and end my life like all the sailors before me.

I'm typing mostly from memory here, so please forgive me if I can't get everything, but it's like the recording of the professor's voice reading the Necronomicon from "Evil Dead." I fear just hearing this conversation in its entirety will put a blight on the world that none of us are prepared to fight.

A girl standing talking to her friend seemed to be having a conversation about a party they had been to that I wasn't really paying attention to until my ear caught the end phrase of "...but yea that's I was [drifted out]...the movie...[drifted out] books."

Thinking I had just caught the beginning of a conversation about how stupid movie adaptation and having just come from seeing a movie, my curiosity was piqued. And I continued to very impolitely eavesdrop.

Girl: "...because I'd read the book you know? And you know what? It's SO different and I was SO mad. There's like way more characters in the book!"

Me thinking: Ah, yes. I can imagine the movie was highly disappointing and lacking compared to the richness of the original...

Girl: "...I mean, it's basically the same Harry Potter story, but the book is just SO long! The movie make WAY more sense. The book is just so boring. And, like, all the characters are named the same, you know? Like, there was one guy named something like Aragon...and then guy like called Oragon! Like you can't have all those character and name them all the same! I can't keep track of all those people."

Me God...

Full disclosure here. I have not read a single Harry Potter book and I may have watched one movie (I don't even know, which, so there's a good chance it may have been two) in several pieces -- never its entirety -- on TV a couple of times. So I have no personal stake in this. Who knows, maybe the Harry Potter books are too long, maybe there are too many characters. But seriously, I could not believe what I was hearing. It was like a line someone was writing to say, "Haha, those stupid American people."

Also, I just wanted to point out she was mixing canons. How the hell can you mention Aragon as a name of a Harry Potter character? I know it was just a random example, but come on, that's just being sloppy.

Girl: " my mom said, 'I think I might read that.' And I went, ' It's really stupid, trust me.'"

Me thinking: Sweet jesus. Did she just say the movie was better because it's dumbed down but the book is stupid because it's long? I mean, I get preference, fine you don't like too many characters confusing you in a book. You enjoyed the streamlined plot and character developments of the film. I don't think that's bad, it's just what you like...

Girl: "...I mean like honestly, I was so looking forward to reading the book, I read it in like...a DAY. It's like 800 pages long and I finished it in 24 hours. I don't even think I went to the bathroom....[trailing off into talking about Potter fandom]"

Me thinking: WHAT?

Girl: "...You know what I'm looking forward to reading? That book, 'Anna Karenina'?"

Me thinking: SHUT UP.

Girl: "'s like 800-pages too or something like that."

Girl's Friend: "What's it about?"

Girl: "Well, it's about this old woman who like gets involved in an affair with this really young guy and they take away her baby or something like that. It's supposed to be like really hard too or something, but I think I'm going to try and read it. But the movie was real good. It was like on Oprah book club."


Anyhow, I just had to share that because I was afraid I imagined the whole thing in my head and wanted to leave a record of it somewhere in case they carted me away.


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