An Insidious choice

A teacher at an elementary school gave his fifth graders the chance to watch a movie in class as a “break.”  (Way to maximize class time, teach!)  The class chose to watch Insidious, a pretty decent old school fright fest by Saw‘s James Wan and Leigh Whannell.  One of the boys in the class went home so scared that he vomited until midnight.  This school has a common sense policy that any video to be shown in class must first get the administration’s approval; in this case, that approval was not sought, so the teacher is indisputably in the wrong on that score.

Perhaps the most salient point is that the class, as a whole, voted to watch Insidious.  This wasn’t something simply inflicted upon them by the teacher; they chose it.  One of the first questions I had was whether the kid who went home sick voted with the majority; that question isn’t answered in that story.  Let’s assume he didn’t, though.  Let’s say that, once everyone else voted for the scary movie, he had no choice but to go along with it.  Ten is a tender age at which to learn life’s harshest lessons, but one of them is that participating in a representative democracy, despite its advantages, sucks sometimes.  This is an election year.  We, the American people, are being offered a choice between two mainstream contenders for the presidency (and several outsiders that have virtually no chance whatsoever at winning the election).  I am opposed to both the establishment candidates.  The boy in this story — as well as his class — was apparently presented with a choice between a scary movie and a comedy.  The options were apparently preselected by the teacher.  Much like that class, the American public is being given the choice between a joke and a horror show.  It’s a wonder I don’t vomit through the night, too.

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About tardishobbit

Reads. Writes. Watches movies. Occasionally stirs from chair. Holds an advanced degree in heuristic indolence. View all posts by tardishobbit

7 responses to “An Insidious choice

  • jubilare

    Interesting point. The direction in which you took this post really surprised me. Ever since I could vote I’ve been frustrated by the fact that my “choices” aren’t choices at all.

    On a side-note, I am astounded by that teacher’s idiocy. I mean… really? What part of that seemed like a good idea?

    • mjschneider

      Re: the direction. What I posted was about one-fifth of what I originally drafted, which ranged over several different angles of attack on the incident, but I settled on the current incarnation because it was the most concise and trenchant.

      Yeah, dumb teacher, though. Above and beyond the lack of wisdom in screening a genuinely scary (though often admirably crafted!) flick for fifth graders, it boggles the mind that he took class time away from the actual subject for this. What a waste. I’m always gobsmacked at how many people had teachers that just threw movies in whenever they basically didn’t feel like teaching.

  • jubilare

    It was an effective use of surprise, I think. It made me double-take.

    That was slack and irresponsible, but the choice of films is what astounds me. I have a sneaking suspicion that, if offered a tub of paint, this teacher would paint a target on his chest.

  • jubilare

    Such a glaring lack of thought calls for the maximum penalty.

    A volley of glue-filled water balloons followed by a marshmallow gun firing squad.

  • Alex M

    But Insidious is a funny *and* scary movie. Furthermore, underneath the surface gloos it’s also a pretty facile and stupid one…

    It really is a good analogy for the American Democratic system, isn’t it?

    • mjschneider

      I don’t know if I blame the system so much as its most privileged power brokers and the people who enable them. But yeah. It’s a good analogy. And the movie falls apart in the final act. I hope the analogy doesn’t extend quite that far in real life.

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