Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


I Want to Take a Class From This Guy


It's been a couple of years, I think, since I've reference Calvin & Hobbes in this blog, but it's always--far and away--been my favorite comic.  I find it to be not just funny and entertaining, but more often than not quite thoughtful, insightful, wise, and profound.  Calvin thinks like I do.  When I was working my through The Complete Calvin & Hobbes a couple of years ago, I even wrote, I feel blessed to have read these during my formative years. There is much of Calvin in me (and I see much of myself in Calvin).  I didn't quite finish that collection, as I got busy and distracted in the middle of the third book.  I think I need to get back to a daily reading like I grew up with in the morning newspaper.


Sociology has always been one of my favorite subjects.  In fact, had I encountered it earlier in my school path, I may have pursued it as my main thing.  Instead, I studied it vicariously through all the literature I read as an English major, then in seminary took all of my electives from the Social Theory/Social Ethics department.  The subject has been a core--if unstated and indirect--component of much of my independent reading and writing for fun since then.


About a Boy--On the Sociological Relevance of Calvin (and Hobbes)

One of my favorite sociologists is Bill Watterson.  He’s not read in most sociology classrooms, but he has a sociological eye and a great talent for laying bare the structure of the world around us and the ways that we as individuals must navigate that structure . . . 

I’m convinced that if you can’t find a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon to put on your syllabus for a sociology course, there’s a good chance you’re not teaching sociology. . . . 

Using the charm and wit of a megalomaniacal young boy, Watterson challenges us on issues of gender inequality, sexual socialization, religious identity and ideology, racism, classism, ageism, deviance, the logic of capitalism, globalization, education, academic inquiry, philosophy, postmodernism, family forms and functions, the social construction of childhood, environmentalism, and more. . . . 

Quite simply, Calvin often simply refuses to play the social roles assigned to him, or, somewhat more mildly, he refuses to play those roles in precisely the way they were designed to be played.  And in that way, Calvin helps to illustrate just how social our behavior is. . . . 

I like to think that Calvin’s life, perspectives, antics, and waywardness help students call the systems of social inequality and the world around them into question, learning to see sociologically.  Calvin is a great tool to help students recognize that they can question the unquestionable, problematize issues that might lack the formal status of “problems” in the first place, and analyze the taken-for-granted.  Watterson used Calvin to help all of us learn to see the ordinary as extraordinary–a worthy task for any sociology course. . . .

comic source


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