Sunday, November 13, 2005
Please read the following link .
Afterwards, please answer the following questions:
1. a) ex-Mayor Marion Barry: con artist, or conned?
b) Dick Gregory: con artist, or conned?
c) Simon Romana: is that he real name, or not?
2. If you really had a machine that could transform solid waste into gas, electricity, and clean air, to whom would you demonstrate it?
a) to a board of renouned scientists?
b) to two seedy figures like Barry and Gregory?
posted by Green Voicemail 11/13/2005 12:45:00 PM
"Good Night, and Good Luck"
My wife and I saw "Good Night, and Good Luck", the movie about Edward R. Murrow and his fight against Senator Joe McCarthy. (I'm not going to give you any background. You should look up these things for yourself if you've not heard of either man.)
The movie chooses an interesting set of bookends as its message -- before the story starts, and after the story concludes, we are treated to a speech Edward R. Murrow gave a group of broadcasters in 1958. What Murrow said applies to the Internet as much as it applies to "big media". The speech, in part:
It may be that the present system, with no modifications and no experiments, can survive. Perhaps the money-making machine has some kind of built-in perpetual motion, but I do not think so. To a very considerable extent the media of mass communications in a given country reflect the political, economic and social climate in which they flourish. That is the reason ours differ from the British and French, or the Russian and Chinese. We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.
I do not advocate that we turn television into a 27-inch wailing wall, where longhairs constantly moan about the state of our culture and our defense. But I would just like to see it reflect occasionally the hard, unyielding realities of the world in which we live. I would like to see it done inside the existing framework, and I would like to see the doing of it redound to the credit of those who finance and program it. Measure the results by Nielsen, Trendex or Silex-it doesn't matter. The main thing is to try. The responsibility can be easily placed, in spite of all the mouthings about giving the public what it wants. It rests on big business, and on big television, and it rests at the top. Responsibility is not something that can be assigned or delegated. And it promises its own reward: good business and good television.
Perhaps no one will do anything about it. I have ventured to outline it against a background of criticism that may have been too harsh only because I could think of nothing better. Someone once said--I think it was Max Eastman--that "that publisher serves his advertiser best who best serves his readers." I cannot believe that radio and television, or the corporation that finance the programs, are serving well or truly their viewers or listeners, or themselves.
I began by saying that our history will be what we make it. If we go on as we are, then history will take its revenge, and retribution will not limp in catching up with us.
We are to a large extent an imitative society. If one or two or three corporations would undertake to devote just a small traction of their advertising appropriation along the lines that I have suggested, the procedure would grow by contagion; the economic burden would be bearable, and there might ensue a most exciting adventure--exposure to ideas and the bringing of reality into the homes of the nation.
To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost.
posted by Green Voicemail 11/13/2005 02:21:00 AM