Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Boycotting Tanya Markova's Linda Blair

There's this interesting discussion in one of my egroups - Pinoy Teacher's Network, on the song Linda Blair by Tanya Markova. The song has some lyrics that are offensive and a story line that puts teachers in a very bad light. A suggestion to boycott the song is in discussion. I gave my two cents worth on the matter and I'm posting it here --

I do not like the song at all but my 13 year old son listens to both versions - the edited one and the original one. I have no issues on this. As a parent, I have discussed and processed the context of the song. My husband is a musician and majored in Psychology in college so I have an ally.

As a teacher, I see two perspectives on this  - one is to boycott the song and raise hell. The other is to continuously teach our students high order thinking skills -- critical thinking and analysis, creating value judgement in art and life in general, and allow them to make decisions themselves for they have a voice too. They too have rights. Every one does, actually. Even Tanya Markova has the right to express their angst towards school and teachers in particular. 

In some schools, there exist a program known as MEDIA EDUCATION where students are taught and given engagement on the different media available in the market. This would mean, teachers creating activities that lead students to think critically on the print material they read, movies they watch, TV shows they patronize, the music that they love and online resources they interface with. Such programs can be in place and implemented across curricular offerings. I have seen schools who run Media Education programs integrated in the Guidance Program. A good number of schools choose to have this under the Reading and Filipino Program or Language Arts Program. One time, in an accreditation visit, I observed a teacher who was teaching Christian Life Education on the Passion of Christ but used Michael V's song. I forgot what it was but it was very violent. One line of the song goes like -- Sinaktan mo ang puso ko! Pinukpok mo ng martilyo!

What a violent song! But the teacher successfully processed the violence that the song implies; the black humor embedded in the song; and the passion and sacrifice of the persona in the song. I was even impressed at how the teacher compared and contrasted the song's persona  to the redeeming sacrifice of Christ's love and God's message of eternal salvation.

The point is, we can boycott the song but we are not sure if our students would never be exposed to such songs -- ever. If we teach them how to critically examine the media and the different stimulus that surround them, I think we stand at a better chance in creating skilled and empowered thinkers.

Perhaps the more pro-active thing to do is to inform and educate students on songs like those of Tanya Markova. Maybe, we can learn strategies on MEDIA EDUCATION and see how we can possibly integrate this in our lesson plans. It might also help if a training session on MEDIA EDUCATION or MEDIA LITERACY be given to teachers, parents and other allied professionals.

Being a librarian as well (who owns a blog), I can post and talk about this in my blog. In my work place, I can suggest and recommend media and other learning materials that lead teachers and students to opportunities in becoming intelligent users of media and information. At the same time, have them appreciate art and culture.

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