Comments on: Pirates and Emperors: from the Schoolhouse Rock cutting room floor http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 01:22:40 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Digger http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-478274 Mon, 09 Nov 2009 23:46:29 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-478274 Pirates and Emperors was great! When I’ve made similar arguments to people… well, obviously I’ve been temporarily inhabited by alien terrorists, how could I say such undemocratic, socialist, terrorist, treasonous, must be a Commie things!

My favorite school house rock was “I’m just a bill, I am only a bill…” And conjunction junction. I don’t remember the history ones; maybe the Canadian educational station didn’t play them?

I do miss the WB’s Hysteria though. Wonder if those are on YouTube.

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By: Paul http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-478133 Mon, 09 Nov 2009 16:39:54 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-478133 I’ve seen the “Pirates and Emperors” clip, although strangely enough I never watched the original Schoolhouse Rock cartoons growing up, which I think makes me kind of an oddity!

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By: Jacqueline Whitt http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-478003 Mon, 09 Nov 2009 13:03:21 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-478003 For a couple of years now, I’ve been using “Pirates and Emperors” and “Elbow Room” on the first day of class as a way to talk about historical questions and narratives–that, given a set of facts, historians can tell wildly different stories about American expansion and involvement in the world. I have my students identify three things 1) what does the producer/author want you to believe about American expansion/international relations?; 2) what does the producer/author get right about the story?; and 3) what does the producer/author get wrong (or leave out)?

My students do a remarkably good and thorough job analyzing both videos, and it’s an excellent opportunity to get them to think about the craft of history and the idea that history, at its root, is about storytelling and interpretation.

Currently, I’m teaching at a military academy, so showing “Pirates and Emperors” on the first day of class is a pretty sure way to get students fired up, talking, and wondering (perhaps lamenting) how they managed to get the crazy civilian woman teaching them military history. I also wonder what my boss thinks as he roams the hallways on the first day of classes, but carry on regardless.

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By: shaz http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-477816 Mon, 09 Nov 2009 04:29:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-477816 I loved that camping adjective girl! And all the others, frankly. Only reason I know my times tables.

I actually use the No More Kings in my U.S. history survey class — last meeting of the term. After I confess my own conflicted nature about revisiting a childhood favorite, we deconstruct it: where are the slaves, where are the women, how are Indians portrayed, why is George feminized, etc. They completely get into it, and I hope emphasizing my own shock at seeing it through my now-historian eyes helps them be willing to come to terms with some of the new perspectives on U.S. history I’ve taught throughout the term.

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By: Notorious Ph.D. http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-477796 Mon, 09 Nov 2009 02:50:18 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-477796 I dunno, H — Every time I grade a paper that a student has artificially inflated with fluff in order to almost but not quite make the page limit, I sing under my breath: “So I unpacked my adjectives…”

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By: Belle http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-477712 Sun, 08 Nov 2009 23:43:46 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-477712 So I’m a geek. I didn’t hear these until I was out of school, and wished we’d had ‘em before! Would have made grammar easier for a non-grammar me. But I gotta tell you, I’d love to post this parody on my class web site. If only they’d not lynch me…

Life in a RedNecked state…

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By: truffula http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-477698 Sun, 08 Nov 2009 23:35:44 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-477698 No way! The Tale of Mr. Morton is far and away the best School House Rock song & cartoon. Really, I insist. Subject & predicate with a sweet (albeit heteronormative) story even a feminist can tolerate. Three is a Magic Number runs a close second in my book, for the tune & the family planning. Eight and Zero are up there. Conjunction Junction rocks it too. Not to say I don’t like the history songs but just go watch Mr. Morton and Three.

I’m reliving all of this stuff with my kids via YouTube.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-477674 Sun, 08 Nov 2009 22:46:08 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-477674 Wow, I never even heard of this series; the underlying genre, I mean, not the parody version. When was it in the schools? I’m reading some early American midterms right now that might be elevated by consulting some of these titles. On the “scaleability” comparison between emperors and pirates, when I was admitted to college they sent us something that quoted Theodore Roosevelt as saying that an uneducated tramp might steal from a boxcar, but with a university education, the same guy can steal a whole railroad! How timely in light of the Berkshire-Hathaway acquisition last week. Full steam ahead. I also think of Capt. Kidd, who served as an anti-piracy consultant to the English empire in the Madagascar Straits both after and before he helped himself to some of the choice fruits of commerce. Then they fed him to the rope!

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-477626 Sun, 08 Nov 2009 20:59:58 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-477626 I remembered the grammar cartoons fondly–until I went back to review them for this post. And they’re just not as good as the American history cartoons, which are a much better match of subject, visuals, and musical forms.

I liked Conjunction Junction too–that Lolly Lolly Lolly adverbs one was irritating even as a child. (And I still don’t know what the hell an adverb is. I know they sometimes end in -ly, and that’s about it.) There just isn’t a story to tell about nouns or adverbs or conjunctions–kind of like suffrage!

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By: Bavardess http://www.historiann.com/2009/11/08/pirates-and-emperors-from-the-schoolhouse-rock-cutting-room-floor/comment-page-1/#comment-477623 Sun, 08 Nov 2009 20:53:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=8234#comment-477623 Uncle Sam on the sofa in his jammies crying ‘why does this keep happening to meee?’ – classic.

I wonder if the quirky format helps the message sink in for people resistant to more serious modes of delivery, or if the fact it’s a cartoon allows people to dismiss it as not serious? Thanks for the links to the other clips, too. Even though I haven’t lived in the US for over 20 years, I can still recite the preamble to the Constitution pretty much word-for-word thanks to Schoolhouse Rock’s childhood indoctrinations (and that has come in useful in more than one pub trivia quiz).

Squad – You’ve just reminded me of Conjunction Junction! I’ll be singing these all day.

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