“Thug Notes” Brings It
- By Garine Isassi
- May 16, 2014
Giving the Western canon the gangsta touch it's always needed.
Every year, I tell myself I’m going to reread all the classics. Every year, I’m wrong. Luckily, I no longer have to worry about finding time to brush up on all the oldies but goodies — Thug Notes does it for me. Like hilarious video Cliff’s Notes, the YouTube series synopsizes classic works with a brilliant gangsta spin.
“Sparky Sweets, Ph.D.,” the alter-ego of L.A.-based comedian Greg Edwards, challenges the stuffy elitist attitude of great literature and entertains students whose eyes glaze over at the thought of reading The Picture of Dorian Gray. He makes good on his tagline as he brings “da illest classical literature summary and analysis that yo ass ever heard. Educate yo’self, son.”
He colorfully runs down real plot lines and offers insightful, original interpretations geared for the type of high-schooler who might be cutting class and has no trouble dropping the F-bomb on a regular basis. Meanwhile, I love Sweets’ descriptions for their own lyrical language and authentic point of view — they skillfully bring home why these stories are considered classics in the first place.
My favorites episodes of Thug Notes include:
Garine Isassi is a writer and communications consultant. She is a tree-hugging,
singing cynic, a lover of chocolate and altruistic sarcasm, and
considers herself a sage of the ‘burbs (and beyond). She is chair of workshops for the Gaithersburg Book Festival Committee and recently
completed her first novel.