Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gatsby, Greenstyle

As I've stated before, I'm a Crash Course junkie.  People used to say about their favorite entertainers that they could watch them read a telephone book and it would be interesting.  Since telephone communication and printed phone books are both passé now, let me just say I like John Green so much he could read the comments from his YouTube videos and I wouldn't click away.

Seriously.  I'm not a big fan of either Romeo and Juliet or The Great Gatsby, and yet the videos John Green has made on his Crash Course channel about these two works of literature are fantastic.  I shared Romeo and Juliet in this blog post previously, so now I'll share John Green's Gatsby with you:

My favorite quote?  This one, of course:

Oh, it's so cute when you think you're entitled to your opinions, Me From The Past, even when they're entirely uninformed opinions.  As penance for being such a little Hemingway [when John Green wants to cuss on Crash Course he replaces the swear word with an author's name] about this stuff, you will one day have to host a show about the glorious ambiguity of literature.

He had me at "ambiguity".  After that, despite my dislike of the novel, I sat glowy-face enthralled watching John Green talk about it.  Great teachers help us understand that you don't have to like something to accept its importance and to educate yourself about it.

Make sure to click on the Closed Caption button to read along with the video, if, like me, it's difficult to always understand fast-talkers like Mr. Green.

Lately there's been lots of chatter on the internets about The Great Gatsby.  I guess there's a new Baz Luhrmann movie coming out in May of this year, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  Another Luhrmann-DiCaprio teaming I thoroughly enjoyed was Romeo + Juliet despite having gone to the theater thinking I wasn't a fan of the story.  Great educators and authors and directors and actors will trick you like that.  You think you don't like a story, but come to think of it, the way they tell it, you do.

If you're really catching Gatsby fever and want more more more, here's a witty post I found today, comparing Jay-Z to Jay Gatsby.  Jay-Z is in charge of the film score for Luhrmann's upcoming version of Gatsby.  I wonder if Luhrmann hired Jay-Z with the excessiveness of his lifestyle in mind?  Blending art with real life interests me.  That's why I like watching John Green nonfiction lectures on YouTube just as much as I enjoy reading his novels.