Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sooo....Uh....Yeah. No.

I'm a subscriber to a listserv that allows teachers of AP US history to discuss their work. It's very interesting. Verrrry interesting. And, sometimes, it's disturbing.

The video above was the subject of a brief chat yesterday. Some teachers use it to introduce the Declaration of Independence.

I find the very idea horrifying. Take a little look at this thing. King George? A horrible, fat, grape-eating meany. Apparently, there's no such thing as parliament! The founders? They like to sit around the table stroking their feathers (!) and making angry faces. That is, when they're not rocking out, shirtless. [Yes, you read that.]

And content? Essentially none. Oh, wait. They imply that George denied Americans tea. Because that's accurate.

I'm torn between showing the video next week and inviting ridicule (fun!) or just moving on, shaking my head at the fact that somewhere, someone is using this in a classroom.

[EDIT: Per Megan, in the comments, the phrase "funky jig across the land" is now a part of my lexicon. US History will never be the same...]


John and Sarah Bowes said...

Two things. First, you need to use it, but use it after you have taught the lead up and the students can tell you what is wrong with this picture. Second, Ben Franklin is more awesome than I ever anticipated. He can wail on that guitar. Thanks for sharing.

Megan said...

That truly is one of the more bizarre things I've seen in a very long time. I especially enjoyed both how they (unsuccessfully) tried to shoehorn the phrase "unalienable rights" into the melody, and the bridge with the random "Fiddler on the Roof" character spreading his message of liberty through a funky jig across the land (which Founding Father was that supposed to be, exactly? Jefferson?).

I personally wouldn't use it, because I wouldn't want any of the students to mistake my intentions and think I actually thought the video was cool. But I suppose if you ridicule it enough, it might be fun. And it'll certainly be memorable.

Miriam said...

The original song is by OneRepublic. So a group of very geeky guys got together to change the words to make this video.

It must have been a triple dog dare, because no one would really ever do that otherwise....

Linus Kafka said...

Just yesterday I was telling my students about "insurgency" (tea party), "weapons caches" (Concord), "terror cells (Sons of Liberty)," etc.,

The look on their faces must have been about how I looked when I watched this and realized that the Founding Dads shopped at both The Pottery Barn and The Hustler Store.

Oh, and I especially dig the lyric, "we're standing on new ground." *NEW* Really? Wow.

I am definitely showing this to my students. Assignment: Ridicule!