Follow posts tagged #infotainment in seconds.Sign up
“One of the simplest stories for a reporter to tell is “An important idiot did something stupid”. This can take the form of “Senator is caught taking bribes”, “Movie star gets arrested driving drunk” or even “religious leader says something offensive to people of other religions.” 1000 years from now, assuming we are still around, we’ll still have these same headlines, just with different people. Since there will always be important idiots in our population, these stories, as a collective, are not news. They do not express a new trend in idiot behavior, nor do they offer any context for how our view of the world should change simply because this particular important idiot did something stupid. It is non-news masquerading as news. Unless it’s news that this person is capable of doing stupid things, it’s the telling of a story we already know… Whenever you read the news, or watch Fox or MSNBC, please keep the idiot theory in mind. If the arguing is all about what some idiot did, and how much of an idiot they were or were not, engage your better half and move along.”—
Scott Berkun, The Idiot Theory of News.
Bonus: See Jihii’s recent post on slow news and hyped scandal.
“Professor Charles Xavier, when we meet him, is actually Dr. Charles Xavier, but he becomes a professor during the course of the movie," James McAvoy clarified. "His power is he can read, bend and manipulate your mind, and his relationship with Erik [a.k.a. Magneto] is probably the closest relationship he's ever had." ”—MTV
The events in Boston last week drew the world’s attention and sympathy, not because they were any more tragic or gruesome than the drone strikes that killed women and children in Pakistan and Yemen or the two hundred plus people killed by an Earthquake in China, but because US Hollywood Infotainment Inc. has much high production values for reporting on when Bad Things Happen To White America. Those values implicitly carry a weighting system that can be seen in most movies - white people characters are nuanced (men much more than women) have emotions and can empathise. We are encouraged to identify with them, to admire them, to value them. They are worth saving. They. Are. Worth. More. People of colour, in comparison, are most often either objects of the White Saviour Complex, pitied / dis-empowered / emasculated victims of injustice, or they are villains who threaten white civilization. So it is that a relatively small disturbance in the fabric of White American Suburban Life can garner such attention, and time / web + print space spent on coverage, whilst other much larger, systemic and institutionalised disturbances in American and foreign lives are relegated to Shit Happened To Other People Worth Less.
Walter Mosley: The Older You Are, The More You Live In The Past
Big Think Editors @ bigthink.com
Walter Mosley is the author of more than 34 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring the character Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 21 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel.
“A lot of people get upset at young people,” says Novelist Walter Mosley, “They say, ‘Young people aren’t living up to their potential. Young people are interested in things which are shallow, which are meaningless, which are unimportant. But the truth is, is that the older you are, the more you’re thinking is historical, and the more historical things become—especially in our world today, where things change so quickly because of technology, the more they’re invalid.”
Aspiring writers shouldn’t measure their success in dollars and cents or fame, says Mosley, but rather in their ability to entertain people with their writing. “Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, you know, Victor Hugo. I mean all of these people, they’re popular writers. They’re writing to the broadest range of people,” explains Mosley. “Yeah, it’s great literature, but it was popular literature when it was written. And that’s the case with almost all of the literature that survives starting from Homer. You know? It’s the adventure; it’s the story; it’s the fight; it’s people falling in love; it’s people with deep, you know, personality disorders who succeed anyway; you know, beyond themselves. That’s what great literature is.”
Continue reading here.