He's got scratch arms
February 26, 2008 10:56 AM   Subscribe

"He's got scratch arms." Help me identify the sociology video that contains this unforgettable dialogue from a four year old child.

All I know is that this was a film apparently produced as a supplement to college sociology courses, or for community college cable-TV based courses. A friend of mine was shown it as part of a class at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, CA, and related the dialogue to me; I was later fortunate enough to see it myself on local cable, entirely by chance. It couldn't have been made later than the mid 80s. One of the things depicted was a young boy describing a drawing he had made which depicted a policeman, and a monster with long claws. He spoke thusly:

"He's got scratch arms,
to kill you, and to wake you up.
But policemans, can give you only milk.
But monsters, can give you hundreds.
To buy you cars, and dinners...
a whole bunch of dinners!"

I'm reasonably certain that's a close transcription. I've never forgotten it. I'm assuming that the policeman represents authority and adherence to social norms, but also boring, unpalatable results (milk), while the monster, however threatening, represents the imagined great rewards to be had by throwing off societal restraints to behaviour (and diet).

Even if I knew where it came from, I don't know how I'd go about 'consuming' it again. But it'd be nice to have some lead. I've been googling bits of it for years with no luck. I'm afraid this'll just be too dang obscure, but any help is appreciated.
posted by anazgnos to Education (4 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Google already sees this post, and most of my queries yield only this post.

But I'm not a Sociologist, and there's still hope in someone in that field coming along and remembering some arcane bit of curriculum.
posted by SlyBevel at 1:28 PM on February 26, 2008

Was there a host in this program? If so, was it a man or a woman? There are a number of community college psych videos that might fit your description, in particular "Discovering Psychology". It could possibly be "The Sociological Imagination" as well, or a child development program.
posted by fiercekitten at 4:33 PM on February 26, 2008

Response by poster: Ah, I really can't remember. The only other things I do remember about it was a bit on youth street gangs (that now that I think about it, must have been filmed in the 70s), as well as a bit on, I think, some older black men who had a very stylised, complex, poetic form of oral history. I'm almost certain these were all from the same program.
posted by anazgnos at 8:14 PM on February 26, 2008

Watching with interest. "scratch arms/to kill you, and to wake you up" ... man, that is poetry.
posted by eritain at 10:10 PM on February 26, 2008

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