I am giving this season's flu a big thumbs down (and so next year I'm getting the flu shot, as my wife and children -- who all got the shot -- remained perfectly healthy while I suffered) as this flu's plot was repetitively long (a week? when does the flu last a week?) and boring (fever, chills, fever, chills, ad nauseam) and there were no twists to speak of -- you'd think vomiting and diarrhea would be a bad thing, but I would have welcomed intestinal problems to break up the sweats, aches and glassy eyes, plus an embarrassing and graphic puking episode is always fun to recount here on the blog, but instead all I could do was read for very shorts stints and watch marathon amounts of Portlandia; I must admit, the illness was not a total waste of time, as I did find three things that I will use in school during my minimal reading and maximal TV watching, which I will list here so that I can reference them and add them to my lesson plans when I finally return and so you can enjoy them as well, as they are perfect examples . . .
1: the Brunch Village episode of Portlandia, which is a perfect example of a mock-epic, something we cover in Creative Writing . . .Tim Robbins has a fantastic cameo at "the end of the line,"
2: the Alexandra episode of Portlandia also works in Creative Writing, as the episode satirizes post-modern "art projects," which will connect nicely with the documentary My Kid Could Paint That,
3: and an example to go along with my "logical fallacies" unit in Composition class . . . David J. Hand's The Improbability Principle describes the "cargo cults" of the South Pacific, these tribes saw Japanese and Allied soldiers build airstrips and landing fields during World War II, observed them marching and dressing in a military manner, and then large ships from the sky would come with loads of valuable and exotic loot . . . so when the war ended, the natives "built airstrips out of straw and coconut, and control towers out of bamboo and rope, and dressed themselves to resemble the military personnel they'd encountered during the war . . . they sat wearing carved wooden headsets and duplicated the waved landing signals" but, of course, no cargo planes ever came . . . this is the most vivid example for the old statistical maxim "correlation does not imply causation" that I've ever heard.