Our instructor had us watching this oldskool VHS tape about Bach one class period - the tape pretty much ate the whole period, especially after the first 20 minutes got spent trying to repair the mis- and de- configuration some earlier instructor had abominated upon the (locked) A/V rack (that we didn't have the key to). But finally I got that working, and we were off into the dubious wonders of an early 80's educational VHS tape about how timeless Bach is.
Oh yeah... early 80's. "Timeless" indeed. Man, it never ceases to amaze (and amuse) me how clueless the people who make educational videos are when it comes to dating their products. And you KNOW the damn thing is going to get replayed over and over and over again for DECADES, given the way formal education works, so... why in god's name do they always have to prove how "modern" they are by picking the absolute most transitory elements of style current at the exact last minute of their period when they make them?
I swear, it was a long running battle not to just crack the hell up for almost the entire time this thing was playing. Mr. Long was smiling beatifically and humming and tapping his toes, and most of us were sitting there in TEARS trying not to just die laughing at the godawful B-movie actor (I forget who the guy is, but think of the "Troy McClure" character from the Simpsons and you'll have the right idea) ham-fistedly portraying Bach in little skits, or, worse yet, when they quit doing "the life and times of Bach" and STARTED doing "how relevant Bach is throughout the ages."
Because, y'know, that latter bit... meant showing how relevant Bach was "in these ultramodern times." IN THE EIGHTIES. There were kids with three-foot afros rollerskating through Harlem in packs in a godawful music video, there was a Saturday Night Fever full on lighted dance floor - with ENORMOUS colored lights in the floor that oscillated with seizure-producing rapidity in absolutely no synchronization AT ALL to the music playing - there were leisure suits, there were shirt collars that generated more lift than the wing on a 747... man, this video had it all. (And had it all set to Bach).
But as hilarious as the various godawfulnesses of clothes and culture were, I think the funniest thing to me was when they tried to show how ultramodern Bach could be by proudly showing us through a low-budget recording studio, featuring the best of mediocre already-somewhat-outdated electronic music tech... being used to fuel the "electronic Bach" craze of the 80's.
Up until this point, nobody had said anything. We'd all tried to remain quiet and at least visibly attentive, no ruckuses created at any of the unintentional hilarities of what boils down to the "Reefer Madness" of music appreciation videotapes. But at the sight of this beauty, I finally couldn't take it anymore and said "dude, I think Bach HAD one of those." And EVERYBODY lost it.
I love being able to get away with the occasional show-stealing wisecrack without pissing off instructors. College pwns. =)