Alternative Math: A Visit to Post-Truth America

16 July 2018


An experienced maths teacher runs in to more than a little trouble when she tries to correct a student who has failed his recent math test.  What should have been a quiet moment of teaching and learning turns in to a traumatic week-long hell on earth for the teacher: She may have a trick or two up her sleeve but what chance does she have against Tommy, his parents, the principal, the school board and the media?

All satire exaggerates and Alternative Math has hyperbole in spades.  The premise is ridiculous but it resonates because it has its roots well and firmly dug in to the truth – whatever that may be in 2018.  We may have breathed a sigh of relief decades ago when 1884 became 1985 and there was little sign of Orwell’s dystopian vision coming to life.  Yet a few decades later, Alternative Math highlights, through comedy, the insidious nature of what truth means today.  George would have recognized the scenario all too well.

What makes it a little depressing is the fact that as a teacher this resonates a little too familiarly with me. The exaggeration in the film aside I have colleagues who have been through a form of what happens in this short albeit without the ending we have here (and it is worth the nine minutes of this short just to get to that point, believe me!).  It may be close to home but I am happy it's here.

Alternative Math is brought to you by Dallas-based Ideaman Studios and was written by Malcolm Morrison and David Maddox, with the latter doing the directing honors.  Well, that is if you believe the end credits are truthful, of course…



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