flurries and knowledge

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

This really goes to the space issue, but I’ve been muddling over what needs knowing, especially since I’ll be teaching Shakespeare in the Fall and wish I didn’t have to include Midsummer in the reading list, but will anyway. (I’m not a great fan of the play, but so what?)

Big tv, same-sex marriage, Iraq, 9/11 report and its influence . . . issues in the radar.

But what should people, just the average me and you, really worry about?

That’s the question I can’t answer with a standard that doesn’t include “context” in the answer. But are there things that need to be known such that if they go unknown, ignored or missed the missing and he ignorance can have dangerous consequences?

In my mind, we have major issues with how we do politics in the institutional US, which may even include conversations over coffee, since coffee houses were invented “for” something. All space, all our circles of experience, has value if valued, used for a meaningful purpose and not a frivolous one. Is this what Turner is getting at below, really?


5 responses to “flurries and knowledge”

  1. Maureen says:

    It seems that the overriding issue is not necessarily the news itself, but how it is delivered. That is, as we witness the loss of more and more independent companies [Ted Turner], we won’t have to worry so much about what we “know” as much as what we “don’t know”. [Are we getting the whole story?]

    You mentioned “coffeehouses” or meaningful spaces. Where is the meaningful space for political conversation?

    The Sunday morning political shows [Meet the Press and so on] still hold sway, but for how long? Are younger generations interested in watching Dick Cheney being grilled by Tim Russert? Do they even care about politics at all? Are all the issues a blur to them, like so many pop up screens on their internet homepage?

    Most Graciously,

    Maureen
    *A Mayde in her own little woode…

  2. steve says:

    M,

    Consider the upcoming Dem convention, a traditional “political” discourse space, now become an entertainment “space,” hense losing its meaning of the former. In a prior post you mentioned Moore’s 9/11. This doc transforms the traditional movie house as a space of entertainment to a space of political discourse, thus making a kind of meaning and interaction, agree or disagree.

  3. Maureen says:

    Indeed, the political conventions [Dem or Repub] are no longer “political” discourse space. Years ago, there would actually be debate and/or suspense over who would be the final nominee. Now, by the time the conventions roll around, it is a forgone conclusion who the nominee will be. It is almost a coronation. I think that is why tv ratings for those conventions are down. It’s like watching an awards show already knowing who will win. There’s no fun in that.

    I agree that Moore’s “9/11” goes beyond being a mere documentary. The movie house does indeed become a place for political discourse.

    There has been a long simmering undercurrent of dissent, however, few wanted to take on the administration..head one. Moore’s film opens the gate..making it safe to question once again.

    Timing is also key. I wonder how Moore’s film would have been received if it had opened a year ago..when Patriotic fervor was at it’s height…

    Film as political discourse is not a new thing. Many young folks will say that they get news and/or historical information from films. [Those JFK films and so on]

    It is an odd transition..that as news [local, national] becomes so much “entertainment”..film becomes more “political”.

    Will film become more “relevant” than the evening news? Certainly, a filmmaker does not have to conform to a time limit. [30 minutes or even less] He/she can also spend more time on certain pertinent “images”. [Those images usually reduced to very quick sound bites in the normal news hour or half hour] Finally, a filmmaker can tell a story or create a narrative. It is not just “Here is what’s happening in Iraq”..It’s here is what’s happening in Iraq and here is what that means for you…

    Fascinating….

    Most Graciously,

    Maureen
    *A Mayde in her own little woode…

  4. Maureen says:

    Okay, one more thing…the very fact that Moore’s “9/11” has been so successful proves that many are itching for real political discourse..not the smokescreen issues..[like Same-sex marriage and such]… The film has appeal beyond the liberal base…It’s not just a question of liberals vs. conservatives… Many republicans have misgivings over this administration as well..and that does not bode well for Bush…

    But we shall see what November brings…

    Most Graciously,

    Maureen
    *A Mayde in her own little woode…

  5. Beverly says:

    It’s interesting how you should bring up the context of movies and their messages, Maureen. Hollywood has been producing effective messages for their audiences from the beginning of movie making, but it has not been until now that the public depends on this type of media to inform themselves of what is going on in society. Reality shows that are becoming ever so popular are just another avenue the public uses to learn modern political strategies, your typical coffee house talk. The coffee house may be where the young people start in politics and where the more adventurous progress into active politicians. Perhaps it’s becoming too easy and convenient for these active politicians to confuse the institutionalism of Hollywood film making with the responsibilities of upholding legitimacy to the Constitution. Too many risk factors involved in speaking your mind alone, at the podium.