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Topic: OT:$, Now - What is Reality? (6 msgs / 271 lines)
1) From: an iconoclast
On 1/7/07, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
The former is mediated experience --
Wow, well put, Scott!  I have 5 yr old granddaughter, Hana and 2 yr
old grandson, Jack.  We have probably 100 DVDs for those kids and
they'll see thousands of movies before they're teenagers. I'm not sure
there is any way to stop it.  I think each kid will bring their own
perspective mediated by adult and peer input. Unfortunately for all of
us, many kids will not have adult input.
My granddaughter tends to be like her grandmother and passionate about
things. She will listen a particular song she likes over and over.
When she has questions about a movie, she wants you to watch it with
her over and over and answer her questions. We remind her constantly
that this is a movie, show her how the special features on movies are
made and discuss the feelings that arise when they come up during the
movie...because they do relate their feelings watching movies and TV
to their reality.
She loves the Lion King. We watched the making of the movie last
weekend and found they had a beautiful stage production. We talked
about the differences between a movie and theater.  We saw they
created a CD with music different from the soundtracks called "Rhythm
of the Pride Lands".  I found it on the internet, it arrived a few
days ago and she was thrilled. She asked us to put on the DVD, but
play the CD instead of the sound from the movie and start a particular
song during the scene where Simba's dad died.  Then she started crying
because the music, combined with the scene, was so powerfully
emotional.  Then we talked about her fears of parents dying.  She was
involved in caring for my dad who died two years ago, so we are very
open about life, living and dying.  She wants to be an actress and a
biologist, maybe she'll be a director and a biologist.
Life is so different for each generation of kids.  We try to keep it
balanced as much as we can.  We watched "The Music Man" last weekend,
rather than cartoon movies.  We talked about how grandma was in that
play in high school.  But we also went to the creek about 4 times,
counted the rings on the tree that came down with the wind, put up a
new bird feeder we got for Christmas, shoveled snow, baked cookies,
read Dr. Suess and Shel Silverstein books, played reading games on the
computer and on PBS.org, played Zooreka, Cariboo and Hoopla. I played
family with Hana in her bedroom. We took turns being the mom, then the
dad. We taught "the babies" their phone number and address for safety.
Of course, Hana learned it, too.  Their mom took them bowling and to a
play area where they could jump. Their mom and dad took them swimming.
 My almost 2 yr old grandson now points to the TV and goes into the
tree pose for yoga.  He's starting to do this daily. The whole family
My daughter asked me the other day, "Why didn't parents talk about how
much work and how hard it is to raise kids when I was growing up?"  I
told her we did talk to each other and we just did it. And I told she
wouldn't have listened anyway. There's no way to know what the next
stage of life will bring, because you won't really understand it until
you're right in the middle of it. And then you have to
adjust....forever, all the time.
Geez, so philosophical today!  I go back to work tomorrow after 19
days off work. I didn't get much of a rest.  It's winter and I and the
rest of the family have a bit of SAD. I just have to remember, it's OK
to be lazy. We're supposed to be hibernating.  As I told my
son-in-law, I'm still figuring out how to survive reality.
I've never been to Disneyland or World, etc.  I'm into reality more
than fantasy.  But my almost 18 yr old nephew wants to be an
Imagineer...I think that's what it's called.  That's his passion. I
suppose I'll have to visit one of these days.
Take care,

2) From: Brett Mason
Tell me you've
  never watched TV, even black and white, and
  that you've never had your hands on comic books
  or fictional literature - Reader's Digest included...
  Radios of course would be out as well.
  Art should be banned because of its departure from reality.
  Photography is OK, but no trick lenses...
I think you guys need a ride on "Carousel of Progress" - alas that was
Disneyland, in the 60's, and sponsored by Westinghouse....
Life is too short, but then I am in Cedar Rapids IA
  and haven't had my dose of Balz-Off today....
On 1/8/07, an iconoclast  wrote:

3) From: Brett Mason
OMG I forgot going to the movies, even the Drive-In...
How in ******'s name did you get your hands on a computer in that
Amish community you live in?
On 1/8/07, Brett Mason  wrote:

4) From: Tom Ulmer
While I agree with you on this point on other levels as well as culturally -
I have to at least point out that it's not the predatory practice of
capitalist that is to blame. It is the unilaterally bound consumer mentality
that allows the pillaging you disparage...
On 1/7/07, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
Culturally I don't like seeing things leveled to common denominators of
cultural exchange by a few big players who view the consumer as a pawn in a
quest to dominate markets.

5) From: Scott Marquardt
(acknowledging Ann's wonderful response here, first ... )
Well, this is like saying that the reason the home team kicked off was not
because the side that hit the grass was heads, but that the side up was
tails. I don't think "blame" is quite the right word. Some things "just
I'm a pretty conservative feller, but I marveled years back at a Lewis
Lapham essay where he compared the postmodern landscape of global barons to
feudal periods in history. The essay didn't quite floor me at the time, but
the significance of what he was saying has strengthened over time. It's also
interesting, the extent to which the most ridiculous buffoons can
nevertheless, in their own confused fashion, trill the canary's last gasp in
the mineshaft of, for example, globalization (think anarchists protesting
the WTO in Seattle, etc.; one could have said of them "You're not right --
heck, you're not even wrong." Even the Village Voice engaged in some fear
and loathing after these nuts exhibited the rational capacity of a sea
urchin on the occasion . . . )
OK, now THAT officially qualifies as OT on top of OT, a rant. Back to
Wait, where was it?
Oh, yeah . . .
Genuine art, Brett, would be a different beast entirely. But to acknowledge
the general rejoinder, yeah -- even B&W teevee. It's easy to see older
programming as almost erudite compared with contemporary pap, but television
was already a wasteland in the 60s, and I'm sure much sooner than that.
Think of how quickly the Internet became a spam-infested, virus-plagued,
mindlessly chain-mailed me-too club for the early flood of AOLers, like some
Gary Larson parade of nerds. In less than a decade, we had to block our kids
from it. For the most part, we weren't doing that a decade into television
(we just sent them to bed ;-)
Context is key, too -- what are my influences? I work I.T. in a company that
educates learning disabled and behaviorally disordered kids, from K - 12.
The kids are almost entirely beneath a divide that's a lot more profound and
important than a "digital" divide. It's the consumer/producer divide. It
doesn't matter if the ARE producers (they aren't), but it's frightfully
important that they ought not think like consumers in the sense that it's a
"role" they assume as if it's their God-given station in life -- the Western
capitalist variant on Caste stratification, or for that matter Plato's
Republic. Know your place. But anyway, these kids gain literacy on the 'net
and what happens? They get dragged even further into victimhood.
It's not enough for me to say, with Hamlet, "'tis a knavish piece of work:
but what o' that? your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us
not: let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung." Yes, critical
thinkers can tread about confidently, though not incautious for that. But I
just can't walk by on the other side, if you'll allow me to mix my allusions
freely and quickly.
When capitalists are as willing to do good as they are insistent on doing
well, I'll be happy. Until then, my pleasure lies with small capitalists,
and my greatest concern lies with those whose power rivals that of many
governments (cf. Lapham).
Ah! I actually found a quote:
The postmodern frontiers define markets and spheres of commercial interest,
not the boundaries of sovereign states, and corporations that employ more
people than lived in medieval Paris acquire the rank and dignity of princes.
The consanguine hierarchies of international capitalism imitate the old
feudal arrangements under which an Italian noble might swear fealty to a
German prince or a Norman duke declare himself the subject of an English
The lords and barons of the smaller fiefs become vassals to larger holding
companies, owning their allegiance not to Britain or the United States but
to Citibank or Bertlesmann or Matsushita, and all present (stewards,
castellans, knights-at-arms, seneschals, waiting women, and the court fool)
depend upon a corporate overlord not only for the means but also for the
terms of their existence-gladly relinquishing the rights of free citizens in
return for a greyhound and a room with view of the Rhine.
That has less to do with Ludditism than with appreciating -- vigilantly --
how history repeats itself in novel ways.
Sorry if the rant seemed preachy. Isn't quite meant to be.
- Scott
On 1/8/07, Tom Ulmer  wrote:

6) From: Brett Mason
Apart from my Feudalistic tendencies, there is a notion that
imagination and innovation are actually helpful and useful.  I
appreciate Disney for this.  I am somewhat more reluctant towards the
individual focussed video game industry, as this does tend to isolate
I am conducting an experiment right now: I raising seven sons and
noting the influence of animation, games, movies, art and also reality
on these.  My boys are avid video-gamers, and also are very much into
Naruto.  They grew up 15 minutes away from Disneyland as well as
Knott's Berry Farm in Southern California.
Their passion for animation, movies, video games, and fantasy has not
seemingly detracted from their development or their contribution to
society.  ALthough many more hours have been spent on the fantasy
side, this has not detracted from swimming at the Great Barrier Reef,
walking on the Great Wall of China, meeting with Burmese soldiers at
the Burma-Thailand border, leading ministry trips to rebuild homes in
New Orleans, Teaching music and arts in Ukraine, performing at the
Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbor, Carnegie Hall or St. Patrick's
Cathedral, swimming to rescue a drowning man in the riptides at Fort
Lauderdale, and more.
I do hope you enjoy watching a shark from behind that coral - sounds
like a very full life.  Beware the vassals and royalty.
Along the way I hope we all work to make a difference.  But I still
like Ice Cream Sundaes at Carnation on Main Street USA, Disneyland.
On 1/9/07, Scott Marquardt  wrote:

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