Friday, April 4, 2014

Student worksheets for the second and third year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

I made the following program note in Poverty and austerity for the third year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
I'm showing "The End of Suburbia" this week and this is the kind of information I can share with my students.
Entries about "The End of Suburbia" and other films I show my students will be the subject of the next retrospective.  How timely!
I'm doing something irregular by writing this entry now.  I'm skipping the tenth and eleventh place entries and featuring the twelfth most read one instead.*  It's because of the timing.  Otherwise I wouldn't be posting this retrospective while my students are looking for answers.  I can tell, as "end of suburbia answers" is one of this week's top search terms.  That written, it's not the top post in this entry.  Instead, it's Showing "An Inconvenient Truth" to my students again posted on April 15, 2013, which had 337 page views.  This did not get any play over at Kunstler's blog at the time, as the closest I got was mentioning that I was "compiling environmental news for Earth Day ranging from local events to how NASA is marking the occasion."  Instead, I think it was through web search, although "Inconvenient Truth" did not get above the threshold of 81 uses that would have been recorded among the top ten search terms for the history of the blog.

The next most read entry is the one I promised, Guide to entries that contain answers to 'The End of Suburbia' from November 17, 2013.  It came in thirteenth among all the entries I posted during the third year of this blog with 321 page views.  Unlike the entry with the worksheet for "An Inconvenient Truth," this entry earned its page views by my promoting it at Kunstler's blog.
I’ve been giving my students that message of Jim’s for the past five years, as I’ve been showing “The End of Suburbia” to them along with a worksheet they have to fill out that whole time. Last week was one of those showings, and I found two student responses to it worth repeating.

The first was from a student who has been critical of Jim’s message, who, after hearing our host predict that “Americans will elect maniacs who promise to allow them to keep their McMansions and their commutes and that’s going to produce a lot of political friction, probably a lot of violence, probably a threat to our democratic institutions” responded “I’m amazed that all these predictions were made ten years ago and they’ve all come true.” That’s why I keep showing the movie.

The second was a student who found the worksheet posted to my blog (that’s not a first; students have been doing that for years), and gathered enough courage to ask me where the answers were. I have them scattered all over my blog, so I posted a guide for him to find them. He won’t find them all; I’ve only written about half the questions over the past two years. Still, here’s to his following the links.
That's right.  Not only do my students read my blog, but I ever respond to them here if they leave a comment.

Those are the entries about my worksheets that made it into the top twenty for the third year of the blog.  Follow over the jump for the entries from the previous year about "The End of Suburbia" and "Food Inc." that earned enough page views to gain entry into the top twenty for the second year of the blog.

The eleventh most read entry of the second year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News was Showing my students "End of Suburbia" again tonight posted on April 23, 2012 with 264 page views and no comments as of March 21, 2013.  As I did for the third year's entry about my worksheet for the film, I promoted this entry at Kunstler's blog.
Looks like the basics have remained the same since the filming of “The End of Suburbia” almost a decade ago. All that has changed is the names of the celebrities that those in charge of maintaining the Consensus Trance are using to distract the American public. Honestly, I think the substitution of the Kardashians for J-Lo is a big step down. At least J-Lo can sing and sometimes act. I don’t know what the Kardashians are good at, other than being famous for being rich and famous. Even Paris Hilton can do a little bit better than that.

Speaking of “The End of Suburbia,” I’m showing that to my geology class tonight. After I finished my lectures a session early with an examination of the relationships between energy and the economy, I gave my students their choice of which of three films, “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Rainbow of Stone” (a film about the Grand Canyon), or “The End of Suburbia,” they could watch tonight for extra credit. The students who had taken my Environmental Science class unanimously asked to see “The End of Suburbia” again. I think they want to scare the crap out of everyone else.

Over at Crazy Eddie’s Motie News, I summarized the reactions of my students to “The End of Suburbia” during the past three years that I’ve shown the film and posted the worksheet that I assign to my Environmental Science students. Surf over there to see how well you do. I’ll post the answers once the semester is over. Some of my students read my blog, so I don’t want to give them an unfair advantage.
Like all the rest of the posts this month, I conclude [this] one with a music video. Sing along with Mitch (or Kriscan, as the case may be), baby!
The entry has continued to be popular, as it now has 442 page views and four comments.  Thank you to my students, who keep searching for it.  At least now I have some of the answers available to them, so long as they're willing to follow the links I give them.

The fourteenth most read entry of the second year of this blog was On Thanksgiving eve, I present "Food, Inc." posted on November 21, 2012 with 232 page views as of March 21, 2013.  That was another entry I promoted at Kunstler's blog.
Thanks for repeating the messages my students got when they watched “The End of Suburbia” last week. They got a good dose of the awfulness of the industrial city and how a lot of what they’ve gotten used to is in danger of going away. They did appreciate your comments about the tackiness of suburbia, including your observation that suburbs and their subdivisions are named after the things that were destroyed in the process of building them. The students were also amused by your calling the situation they are now experiencing as a “clusterfuck” and a “shitstorm.” I hope they got your justification for using those terms; that’s what I was really interested in.

As I promised last week, I blogged about “The End of Suburbia” while discussing “Dispatches from the FEMA camps” by Metro Detroit’s own Jeff Wattrick, who writes for Wonkette. I posted another of my worksheets for a film on Wednesday, this time on “Food, Inc.” The analog to Jim there is Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Like Jim, he has an ecological economic viewpoint and thinks the current system should be scrapped. On Thursday, I posted a linkspam of food news from universities on the campaign trail for Thanksgiving. On Black Friday, I combined Buy Nothing Day and Boycott Walmart. The week ended with Small Business Saturday, which promotes the kinds of local retail outlets needed for a resilient, post-peak-oil future.
Like Showing my students "End of Suburbia" again tonight, this entry has continued to gain readers, as it currently has 381 page views.  May my students keep finding this one for years to come, too.

*Don't worry.  I'll work back up to them in the next two retrospectives.

Previous entries in this series.

Entries in the previous series:


  1. HI. Ned sent me. I guess you also find that commentersw follow blogs about animals and cuddly toys, closely followed by poems about depression.. Mmmm. Stuff about real issues like politics and environment get zilch attention, as most of them do in the real world, unfortunately. But we keep going because that is all we can do. Nice to see we are not alone.
    Coal: Nature's hazardous waste dump!

    1. Stafford, I don't know who Ned is, but tell him thank you. Yeah, I know about how animals get attention. The very next retrospective entry, My readers love to write comments about pets, is all about how my two entries about pets got more comments last year than any of the rest of my posts I wrote during that time. The ironic thing is that entry is not getting much attention so far. Let's see if the pet lovers find it and start leaving comments, just as they did for the entries I was reviewing.