Since we have been running pieces on pedagogy to kick off our new “Teaching American Humor” section (run by Jeffrey Melton), I thought I would re-run this piece on teaching and time machines. At this point in the semester, a time machine (to either go backward or forward) would be most welcome…
Originally posted on Humor in America:
by Tracy Wuster
On January 11th, 1992, I gathered with a group of friends to watch Saturday Night Live, our usual Saturday night activity as high school sophomores. This was a special night. Nirvana was playing, and we were living just north of Seattle. Grunge was our thing: flannel, mosh pits, and, most of all, music.
This was the episode on which the band played “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” thrashed their instruments during “Territorial Pissings,” and kissed each other during the closing credits. The band’s anarchic spirit expressed not only our (possibly exaggerated) teen angst but also the humor of destruction, noise, and pissing off parents and other authorities that went hand in hand with the angst.