This article got me thinking about a project that came to me this summer. The articles says students who can read complex texts are likely to succeed in college, and those who cannot, are not.
This summer, as I was reading CK's FRC, I was seeing in this text some pretty amazing levels of complexity. Okay, maybe not amazing in the big picture, but much more complex than the cover, the subtitle, the subject matter would suggest. When my student read the text and attempted a rhetorical analysis, the most common complaint was "he is all over the place, it doesn't make sense." While of course I would prefer that they love it and see its beauty, this complaint also confirmed for me that the text is college level worthy--this is the kind of complex reading text that will, hopefully, challenge students and prove to be a good lesson in reading complex texts.
I also imagined a paper this summer, about CK, about FRC, about CK as the "affective scholar," and more generally, after reading this particular article, about the value of using other complex texts about rock. But complex in the CK, affective way, not the middlebrow way that Sirc rightly complains about in "Box Logic." Greil Marcus comes to mind. Some of the documentaries. Interestingly our students who listen only to Xian rock don't find this writing about popular music to be valuable--for so many reasons. I wonder if there is good writing about X'ian rock? I am sure many people use readings about rock, rap, etc., but I haven't seen a fully articulated argument about the right combination of things: subject matter, complexity, relevance. Reading Don't Fix No Chevys seems relevant here too. Gotta bring Amy into the picture.