Thursday, October 30, 2003

Greet the Day

It is a beautiful day here, after many soggy, gloomy ones. And, there is a new Van Morrison album out.

A quick thought, courtesy of Mark Twain:

"You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus."

...And another, courtesy of Joseph Campbell:

"The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature."

Enjoy it!

Sunday, October 26, 2003

'Fright Night' on the Hill

"Seeing the adults dance was really scary," commented my 12-year old upon returning from a black tie benefit. As she tells it, she and her two buddies looked on in mortification as the over-the-hill crowd engaged in "spastic gyrations," which were rendered even more appalling by too-tight, shiny clothes that emphasized their lumps, bumps, and bulges.

With Halloween a full five days away, I shudder to think what's next.

Quel horreur!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

....A wonderful poem, to picture, to ponder, to contemplate.

The Door

Too little
has been said
of the door, its one
face turned to the night’s
downpour and its other
to the shift and glisten of firelight.

Air, clasped
by this cover
into the room’s book,
is filled by the turning
pages of dark and fire
as the wind shoulders the panels, or
unsteadies that burning.

Not only the storm’s breakwater,
but the sudden frontier to our concurrences, appearances,
and as full of the offer of space as the view of a cromlech is.

For doors
are both frame and monument
to our spent time,
and too little
has been said
of our coming through and leaving them.

Charles Tomlinson 1927-

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Musical Interlude

Tonight's Picks:

Hey Ya! OutKast. Click on "The Love Below" and you'll find it.
Ekwa Mwata (Affirmation of the Spirits), Richard Bona
Itche Koutche, Angelique Kidjo
Tabou, Les Princesses Nubiennes. (Find it in "albums and videos" by clicking on the album cover for "Les Nubians." It's number 7.
Where is the Love, Black Eyed Peas. Click on audio/video, and you'll see the album cover for "Elephunk." It's at the bottom of the list. Stream it--you won't regret it!

Friday, October 03, 2003

This morning's lecturette

I just sent this in to "Bloggercon," the site for a conference I wish I could attend. I just get so frustrated by the U.S. press's coverage of the rest of the world that occasionally I have to issue a proclamation!

I agree with Dave about the disturbingly high level of distortion in big-time press reportage. Add to that the binary, ideological manner in which it is organized and presented, and one wonders how anyone in the U.S. could possibly discern what is going on "out there."

I do think it's a mistake to attribute primary responsibility for this to individual reporters, since they are not the people who choose to hire, fire, print, or broadcast their work. The network brass are the people who do this, and if you want to see whose world view they don't want to feature here in the U.S., try watching the news at 3:00 am or even going to the CNN International web site. (These are just two examples.)

It appears to me that the U.S. media are so dominated by money, especially big money, that any view--no matter how ridiculous or uninformed--will get ‘play’ as long as people will pay attention. The "marketplace of ideas" is a nice phrase but is misplaced since we are not talking about something as simple and straightforward as buying and selling.

In this world, not everything is for sale. Experience is infinitely more colorful and nuanced than is the calculation of media market share. Moreover, I believe that ideas, yes-even ideologies--should exist in relation to empirical reality and to experience rather than being overlaid onto them. Tolerating the silly and pathetically limited coverage we get from so many of the major media outlets only hurts us in the end, since it keeps us ignorant.

That is one of the reasons why "newsblogging" is a good thing. Yes, some of the "newsbloggers" are just as ignorant and limited in their thinking as are the big-media outlets. However, because there are many, many voices, we have a chance to stumble on one that conveys a different view than our own…. But that in presenting things differently, imparts wisdom. When these views are "edited out" because they don't sell, we are all the poorer. Note that poverty--especially poverty of thought-- rarely brings out the best in people.