The real Henry Jenkins

Julia Roberts was my student, and I had to send her to the principal's office.

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Professor Henry Jenkins of MIT said or did no such thing. However, when asked later to comment on this piece, he did in fact say this: “How ironic you should ask me this question. I happen to have a bit of inside data here. I began my career as a student teacher at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia. Julia Roberts was a student in my American history class. Unless I have mistaken her for another student, which is always possible after all of these years, I sent her to the principal’s office for misbehaving in class. If I am right, then I was prescient in recognizing that underneath that pixielike exterior beats the heart of a hellcat!…



“Can we blame her if she slips home at night … and blasts evil minions to hell and back — something else she never gets to do in her movies? Shouldn’t we feel bad for the way our culture exploits her grace, charm and beauty in vehicles which amount to little more than shameless and gratuitous displays of niceness and appeals to our prurient interest in innocence and levity … Mr. and Mrs. America, don’t let your daughters give themselves over to the light side … the best thing to cure them of all that pent-up purity may be a really bloodthirsty video game…”

“By the way, the first part about Julia being a former student is true. The rest you can judge for yourself.”

Wagner James Au is a frequent contributor to Salon, and also writes "Notes from a New World," an online journal for Second Life, an upcoming MMOG.

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