Western Pop Culture with Chinese Characteristics

10 12 2009

My students have been given an assignment. They must do a 5-7 minute presentation about western pop culture. The presentation must include a small poster, a short speech and a powerpoint (or PPT as they call it here- the Chinese are NUTS for powerpoints) or video/audio clip. I’ve handed out various singers, bands, tv shows, movies and actors and this week I’ve had them explained to me from a fascinating new perspective. Considering they must get all of their information from the internet, there are abundant comic opportunities.

Some of my favorite moments so far-

Jennifer Lopez- "She is famous for her sexy buttock."
Friends- The actresses’ pictures were listed next to their names and then again next to their character names- which had Courtney Cox next herself and Jennifer Aniston’s name. Skinny, white women all look the same. This ended with an internet spoof of the show called "Let’s sleep with everyone we know" which I had to explain was NOT Friends.
Pele- The student ended the presentation with a techno version of the football "Ole, ole, ole" cheer and encouraged everyone to dance. (I had tears running down my cheeks from laughter by this point.)
Elton John- Started playing some song I’ve never heard that was neither by or sung by Elton John.

On every PPT the background has nothing to do with the subject. Usually it’s kittens, puppies, cartoons, babies or a Korean pop star. The other interesting thing is that none of the most famous songs are being played for the musician presentations. It’s these weird, obscure b-side videos I’ve never seen but they have on Chinese youtube (tudou.com- it means potato.)

And people, we’re only about 20% of the classes down.

love, Missy


Intellectual Intercourse

4 11 2009

I have brought Beyonce’s Single Ladies video to China… and it has blown their collective minds.

My students may never recover from the coolness.

love, Missy