Breaking Through The Media Fog

ignite dc logoWhat would Society Matters look & sound like if it were condensed into a five-minute, twenty-slide presentation? Last month at IgniteDC, I had a great time finding out:

  • David Jeffery

    Nice, Alan:
    But wasn’t “It’s A Wonderful Life” a series of thousand of pictures flashing before a bright light at 24 frames a second as they were projected on the silver screen? With its supernatural deus ex machina of the inspiring angel, was it hooked to any reality? At all?
    Tonight there’s a brilliant full moon in a cold sky. There’s also a picture of a full moon on an Mac app. For fun, some app person put a sound behind it–the bay of a wolf, or werewolf to be more current.
    I’m with you on the real, silent moon.

    • http://societymatters.org Alan Mairson

      Hi Dave,

      Good point. But I’m not making an argument against all pictures, moving or otherwise. Rather, I’m suggesting that pictures can often become an endpoint, a cul-de-sac, a virtual dead end.

      Case in point: Ed Wardle in Alone In The Wild — which aimed for a literal Dead End, but pulled up just short.

      Re: Reconciliation in Australia, there’s clearly something to “see” — but nothing to take a picture of. As for Egypt, we can’t see the counterpoint to Pharaoh because that counterpoint can’t be seen (or so says the Bible, which is definitely not a picture book). It’s A Wonderful Life depicts that invisible realm in some fanciful ways, but when the movie ends (at least on first viewing), the feeling that washes over you is the awareness that your life is an adventure — and a blessing — in ways that you can’t always see or appreciate. (Of course, there’s another possibility: The movie ends, and you’re dizzy from an overdose of Capra-esque saccharine sentimentality.)

      I believe that as long as NGS continues saying The Action is Elsewhere, members will keep leaving. But if they/we can find a way to say: The Action is Wherever You Are — and we’ll help you document that adventure — then there’s hope for the Society. That’s the lesson I learned from the elderly gentleman in Bethesda who told me why he’d come to hate National Geographic. I’m afraid that a magazine filled with eye-popping pictures of cheetahs and full moons — with or without sound effects — will never bring him back.

  • David Jeffery

    Nice, Alan:
    But wasn’t “It’s A Wonderful Life” a series of thousand of pictures flashing before a bright light at 24 frames a second as they were projected on the silver screen? With its supernatural deus ex machina of the inspiring angel, was it hooked to any reality? At all?
    Tonight there’s a brilliant full moon in a cold sky. There’s also a picture of a full moon on an Mac app. For fun, some app person put a sound behind it–the bay of a wolf, or werewolf to be more current.
    I’m with you on the real, silent moon.

    • http://societymatters.org Alan Mairson

      Hi Dave,

      Good point. But I’m not making an argument against all pictures, moving or otherwise. Rather, I’m suggesting that pictures can often become an endpoint, a cul-de-sac, a virtual dead end.

      Case in point: Ed Wardle in Alone In The Wild— which aimed for a literal Dead End, but pulled up just short.

      Re: Reconciliation in Australia, there’s clearly something to “see” — but nothing to take a picture of. As for Egypt, we can’t see the counterpoint to Pharaoh because that counterpoint can’t be seen (or so says the Bible, which is definitely not a picture book). It’s A Wonderful Life depicts that invisible realm in some fanciful ways, but when the movie ends (at least on first viewing), the feeling that washes over you is the awareness that your life is an adventure — and a blessing — in ways that you can’t always see or appreciate. (Of course, there’s another possibility: The movie ends, and you’re dizzy from an overdose of Capra-esque saccharine sentimentality.)

      I believe that as long as NGS continues saying The Action is Elsewhere, members will keep leaving. But if they/we can find a way to say: The Action is Wherever You Are — and we’ll help you document that adventure — then there’s hope for the Society. That’s the lesson I learned from the elderly gentleman in Bethesda who told me why he’d come to hate National Geographic. I’m afraid that a magazine filled with eye-popping pictures of cheetahs and full moons — with or without sound effects — will never bring him back.

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