Thursday Open Thread

Happy Thursday!

Today I am sharing a post that made me laugh so hard I cried. It took snarky to a whole new level. It’s a review of Titanic, 15 years later. It coincided with the film’s 3D rerelease last April. (Warning: there are cuss words. Lots of ‘em. And one is in the cover photo.)

The part that had me in stitches was her description of Fabrizio, the Italian character. Abbondanza!

I adored this movie when I first watched it as a recently engaged 22-year-old, but must admit it strikes me as cheesy now. It’s still visually impressive. I also used to adore I Love Lucy as a child and well into my 20s, but I watched an episode recently that made me cringe now that I’m an old married lady. All of Lucy’s scheming to hide her “naughty” actions from Ricky just struck me as so infantilizing. And the kicker: at the end of the episode, Ricky actually put her over his knee and spanked her for being “bad.” Turns out it was recurring schtick. Ick.

On the other hand, I can never get enough of Sixteen Candles and When Harry Met Sally, 80s hairdos and all. Are there any movies, books or TV shows that haven’t stood the test of time for you? And which ones still hold up? Please share!

What else is on your mind? Chat away!

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83 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. I had a funny conversation with my husband’s grandmother over the holidays – she’s 90 – she was just beside herself at the absurdity of the people in steerage cavorting with the people on the upper decks. That simply would not have happened!!! Her mother was a very proper Englishwoman and these kinds of class mixing situations deeply offend her. Lovely woman but a bit stuck in the early part of the last century.

  2. Hilarious! I loved that movie at 15 but I have zero desire to see it now. That was the first movie I ever cried at. I went with friends and there was a whole theatre full of sobbing girls. It was like a contest of who could sob the loudest! I would totally hate that movie today.

    You know what Leonardo DiCaprio movie from back in the day should make a comeback? Romeo and Juliet. Now that was awesome.

    • I had to sit in the front row for that Romeo and Juliet movie and boy did I have a headache afterward! I think that must have been when they were just discovering the “fun” of jumpy handheld cameras.

    • DSD-14′s English teacher showed that version of R&J in the classroom when they read the play (they also got to go to a staged version since the university’s repertory company did it in December and the high school is right next door). I hadn’t thought about that movie in years so I got it for DH and I to watch, and we enjoyed it. It stands the time test, I think. DSD certainly liked it, too. (It was kind of funny–the movie’s Mercutio and the play’s Tybalt were both really good-looking black guys with dreadlocks, and DSD and I both zeroed right in on that. She’s developing good taste in several ways.)

      She also went to a Titanic party/sleepover with some girl friends very recently. Thought it was the saddest movie ever; I think they may have had a sobbing contest. I don’t have much patience for it, personally (never did–mostly because I saw both Titanic and Good Will Hunting on initial release right about the time my fiance was leaving me and I had zero tolerance for the overblown romantic plots, which has remained to this day). She did, though, comment specifically on the one thing in Titanic that really moved me and I’ve never forgotten–the older couple spooning on the bed and preparing to go down with the ship. I give her credit for that too.

  3. I couldn’t stand Titanic when I saw it when it first came out but I took the 8 year old who wanted to see it when it came back to the big screen recently and I thought it was not quite as bad as I remembered. The story is ridiculously flat and cliched (particularly the bad fiance’) – that part remained awful – but the visual spectacle was pretty impressive. I am not a fan of James Cameron storylines – Avatar was equally obvious and annoyingly overdone (want to beat us over the head with your point some more? I’m not sure I got it the first 50 times). But he does make pretty pictures.

    • If only Cameron had hired an actual writer instead of writing the screenplay himself. Titanic had the potential to be a truly great movie. Visually it was stunning, and technically groundbreaking, but the dialogue, holy crap so bad.

  4. I’m sitting in a coffee shop trying to get some work done. The kids don’t go back to school until Monday and my class starts Wednesday. I’m not done with the syllabus… But, I’m at the stage right now where I’m realizing this is the first block of time I’ve had on my own since before Christmas and there’s something very nice about that. I’m in denial about the vast amount of work that I need to do. The anxiety has started to hit in the middle of the night again. Blah. I hate that.

    The class I’m teaching this semester is small – about 15 students currently enrolled. I’ve never taught a class this small and am kind of struggling as to how to structure this so that it takes advantage of the small class size. Let me know if you’ve had any great experiences or ideas :-) It’s a class on leadership and environmental stewardship – so basically how to lead for the environment in different organizations. I have some individual exercises and simulations to make it more “action-based” learning and a handful of class visitors by people who are “doing this” in their jobs. But am still going back and forth on ideas for the class time itself – lecture vs. discussion, how to integrate the content and readings, etc. Long term the class will likely be capped at 20-25, so I want to also make sure I do things that can scale to that size so I’m not reinventing it every year :-)

    • How about setting up a set of problems for them to solve in teams, centered around your key themes and ideas, with the readings, simulations and guest speakers as resources? I also use a lot of text protocols like this one: http://schoolreforminitiative.org/doc/4_a_text.pdf to discuss texts from different points of view. E-mail me directly (lthomas at antioch dot edu) if you want to talk more. I’m at work but working really hard not to get anything done apparently.

    • I always tend way way more toward discussion than lecture in a class that small, especially on leadership. Sometimes I make a little agenda with key terms or something so we have a way to stay on track, but it’s so much better to get them talking than to hear myself talk, IMO. Does your text have case studies? Lots of good discussion points there. Do you have a decent supply of other leadership textbooks? If not, you should start requesting them from publishers willy nilly, as there are often short little case studies that you can pull in and even have them just look at them in class and then respond. I have like 20 textbooks with the word “leadership” in the title. Most are terrible as whole books, but all have at least one activity or case study I can use.

  5. I have now eaten an entire box of expensive chocolates for lunch. Wonderful, delicious, perfect chocolates. Well, except for the white chocolate mouse and he’s going down the hatch in the next minute or so.

    I love late Christmas presents.

  6. Something is wrong with Jezebel – I can’t actually read the stories. I’ll check back later…..

    So funny you mentioned 16 Candles – I hadn’t watched it in so long, but my 14 (almost 15 yikes!) yo daughter and I watched it just last week and loved it. We watched Breakfast Club a few months ago which she also really enjoyed. It is so fun watching all the teen movies from my teenage years with my now teenage daughter.

    I have never seen the whole Titanic. I was hugely pregnant (with the above mentioned almost 15 year old) when it was in the theaters and couldn’t imagine my bladder making it through such a long movie. Then I saw part of it on TV and couldn’t handle how long it took that damn ship to sink! I’m sure it was accurate, but there was only so much I could watch.

  7. We watched It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, and I was so torn between “I effin’ love this movie” and “Good lord, everyone in this town is screwed up.”

    • Hey, that’s Seneca Falls! Or so Seneca Falls claims anyway. That town ended up with the Women’s Rights Hall of Fame and national park so it’s really OK.

  8. I’m conducting a little experiment today. H forgot to ask me where he was supposed to go after school today and I forgot to tell him. Instead of calling school with a message, I’ve decided to just wait and see how he solves the problem. I’m at home, the sitter’s waiting for him over at elementary school where she gets M, and I’ve got my phone next to me in case he calls. I’m sort of surprised that he didn’t come here since that’s what we did yesterday, but I’m assuming he’s at the school with M. There aren’t that many places he can go and all of them are on the same bus line, but usually real world problem solving causes a massive brain freeze in my kiddo.

  9. I love Lindy West (who wrote the post) soooooo much. My sister put me on to her; she’s absolutely effing hilarious and I would like to go drinking with her.

  10. You know what has sort of tarnished with time? Say Anything. I still mostly love it, but that whole big scene with the boom box? When I was 17, that was sooooooo romantic. Now I’m thinking, hello stalker!?!? Amirite?

  11. It’s only 10 years old, but on New Year’s Eve we watched Pirates of the Carribean. Ds is really in a pirate phase, so he loved it. And of course, jack sparrow. So a win for me. Orlando bloom was so cute in that movie, too. It’s still such a great movie IMO. So many great actors. The other 2 jumped the shark.

    We also watched Hook this week; still good. But the almost-kissing scenes with robin Williams and Maggie smith and him with Julia Roberts were a little awkward.

  12. Good grief.
    First grader suspended

    This is a weird story that I have the feeling there is more to, but if your child had been suspended in first grade for misbehaving and you thought it was unfair, would you get a lawyer and go to the media? Or would you maybe go talk to the teacher and principal about how they handled it? (Also, I can’t read the phrase “permanent record” without snickering.)

    • I”m sure there’s more here, but also

      Schools are not good at preventive and proactive strategies. School discipline codes usually focus on consequences for bad behavior, and have little about teaching good behavior. So, this looks like a kid who needs a bit more structure, maybe some prosocial skills training, and some collaboratoin between home and school. Clearly being sent to the principal doesn’t work, if he was sent three times in one day. But in my experience, most teachers don’t know many other strategies to use.

    • It sounds to me like they gave the boy a one day suspension for being completely unresponsive after repeated and persistent attempts, not for the specific infraction. Which seems like a reasonable way of getting the parents’ attention if they’ve exhausted what they can do at school. I noticed the article didn’t mention whether letters were sent home. But since the parents’ response was to lawyer up, I can sympathize if the teacher was reluctant to talk to them face to face.

      • ARRRGGGGGH! Terrible. I posted this when I was so sure we’d have another great night, and even though I didn’t say anything here about it, I still jinxed it! She woke up at who-knows-what-time, DH went down with her, and then brought her up at 3ish. I took her back down to her room to nurse her to sleep and at 4 I tried to put her in her crib. Wild screaming ensued.

        At least I’d fallen asleep at 10 so I am not a total sleep-deprived monster today.

        Thanks for asking….

          • That’s what I’m wondering. Is it willful angry screaming or ouchy screaming? Can you try putting her in the pack n play or a guest bed to sleep, to see if she just needs more space? So sorry you’re having to deal with that. Exhaustion is the worst.

          • Hugs, LG. j did the same thing. I tried a toddler bed, crib mattress on the floor, you name it. We went to ikea and got her a new crib (low to the ground) and a really comfy, fluffy mattress. that worked, dont ask me why. shes having sleep issues again currently tho, in the toddler bed. naps great but ends up in our bed every night.

            Hugs babe

        • I’ll repost what I wrote on Weds in case you didn’t see it.

          Have you considered moving her to a toddler bed? When my son was 20 months we set up the toddler bed next to the crib and explained that big boys who can stay in their beds all by themselves get to choose where to sleep. Cribs are for babies who are not ready to stay in bed by themselves, so if he got up out of the toddler bed that meant he was not ready yet. This made perfect sense to him. He decided at first to nap in the big boy bed but spend nights in the crib, and fully switched to the toddler bed by 22 months. He was never a good sleeper (still isn’t) but he slept much better in the toddler bed.

  13. Guess who has a sore throat, chills and achey joints? This girl, aaaaaay! Yeah. I’m assuming DH’s tonsillitis has hit me. I’m not going to wait to get to the fever and shivering part; I’m going to the doctor in two hours. It feels a little … odd … going to the doctor before I feel like I’m crawling through glass, but I really don’t feel like being out of action for three days before starting ABX. Maybe she won’t give me a DX, maybe she’ll give me one but ask if I can wait and see (she’s done that before). Either way, I don’t want to go down the slope hard.

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