Derrick Bostrom of Bostworld provided an invaluable service to the world by scanning a vintage Classroom Filmstrip and uploading it to YouTube.
Classroom Filmstrips have been a staple of kitch fans since time immemorial (that’s about four decades, in Kitsch Years), yet the Web still lacks a truly marvellous repository of the things. Collectors are apparently afraid to let them out of their little plastic tubes for fear they’ll crumble in the air. Others would rather compile them onto equally crumbly paper and weigh in on the matter with their own two cents.
Thusly, I couldn’t resist a box of Sunday school filmstrips during a recent antique store outing. I also couldn’t resist scanning a couple of them, adding the included soundtrack records, and combining the whole mess into a couple nifty QuickTimes files – just the thing for an upload to YouTube. The colors have faded and dust has burned permanently into the images, but the somber message for our little ones is as clear as on the day these filmstrips were manufactured. After weighing the pros and cons of simulating the film-roll experience, I ultimately ruled it out. It would have been too much trouble.
Today’s lesson is the intriguing story of the little cloud who gave his life to help humanity. Not only is it a terrific primer for helping kids visualize fluffy Casper-like supernatural beings floating overhead affecting our lives, it also introduces children to the concept of self-sacrifice (very important in a society that relies upon a standing military), the value of prayer in an agrarian economy, and the scientific role of cloud sadness in the production of rain.