The story behind the name:

One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Public Sphere and Penguin Underware

Mark and I watched three movies this weekend. It was a good weekend for sitting on my fabulous couch and letting entertainment media transport me away from the fact that it was snowing in mid-April. On Saturday we watched "Invasion," the Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig interpretation of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." I must admit, I enjoyed it very much. I thought it was exciting and suspenseful. It also ended with an interesting social commentary. Most importantly... It was not a horribly depressing ending. I know it's not realistic, but I want my movies to have happy endings!! I mean, if I wanted to be depressed I would turn to real life. But no, I want escapist entertainment. For me, this means happy endings. It's like when Mark and Jared and I went to "Pan's Labyrinth" in the theater. Beautiful movie... But it totally ruined my day. Too real.

On Sunday we watched two completely different movies: "Good Luck Chuck" and "Atonement." "Good Luck Chuck" had it's funny moments. It was pretty average as far as those romantic comedy with disgusting humor go... Not nearly as good as "Knocked Up." "Atonement" certainly had the potential to ruin my day. Don't get me wrong, it was a great movie. It was beautifully acted and visually stimulating. It also elevated James McAvoy into the category of ridiculously good-looking. But (and stop right now if you don't want any clues about how the movie ends) it does not end in a happy way. In fact, it's pretty tragic even though they try to put a somewhat positive spin on it. Anyway, after watching it I could feel myself slipping into a bit of a sad-movie-funk so I quickly watched several episodes of "Psych" to snap me out of it. I love "Psych" and was psyched (ha ha) to discover that season 2 will be released on dvd on July 8. Hooray.

My other recent exposure to media was this morning on YouTube. I decided to show Barack Obama's A More Perfect Union speech to my public speaking class. I admit that I had not yet had a chance to see it, so I was especially glad I decided to show it in class. Obama is an amazing and charismatic speaker. Even better, his speeches are relevant, make sense, and are full of excellent thoughts, attitudes and ideas. The worst is listening to a charismatic speaker with nothing to say. Anyway, after the speech we talked about his reasons for giving that particular address and what made it successful. It was a great class, even though I know some of my students tuned out for some of it. I would rather have them exposed to it even on a limited basis than have them know nothing about what is going on in our world of politics -- especially because we are going through a Presidential campaign that is singularly unique.

Well, the sun shining through my window is reminding me that time marches on and I do have some grading to do...

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