A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Pixar red-head versus fascist community building

The tease for this post is wrong. Sorry. I changed my mind yesterday so this will come out of left field. Two things happened yesterday to change my mind, one was a conversation with my son. More on that in a second. The other was we saw Brave (2012).

The marketing for the movie has been two pronged. One was girl-power. The other was more boy-centric "Kilts Gone Silly" mode. There is a third theme I noticed and it was one my patriotic list so it got me to thinking about it.

Brave is a pretty good movie. The animation is amazing and its alot of fun to watch. Like Mulan in some ways. The theme that I was struck with was community. Merida's conflict creates conflict for the clans and that conflict drives the story as well as a backstory involving a legend Merida is told as a child.

That got me to thinking, you can't be a patriot without being a part of community. Patriotism requires a level of community pride and commitment which moves us from self-involved to civic-mindedness. Community offers a sense of belonging and a connection to an idea beyond 'us'. There is a certain intoxicating nature to community.

The other thing which happened yesterday was a brief conversation with my son about a German movie: Die Welle (The Wave) 2008:

I had recommended it and he had watched it. The movie is based on actual events (stayed tuned) from the 60s in California. The story is transplanted to Y2K Germany, three generations after the Nazi's. The story follows a teacher who sets up a class exploring political autocracy and explores great questions. How does facism take hold? What motivates women and men (and students) to give up an individual identity to be part of a central one? How does that affect them and ... what could possibly go wrong? This is the shadow side of community-when competing voices and ideas are squelched in the name of unity.

I'm finding I place some of the ideas of patriotism at odds with each other to balance them out. Community balanced with speaking truth to power. Memory and tradition versus innovation and creativity. Hmmm....

Up Next: I have no earthly idea at this point. (Not a clue as much as a statement.)

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