The "story" was important, from ancient Greece and written culture ( a record in history of original material ), and those stories have changed over the thousand years.
From classics ( comedy / tragedy) to current amalgamation of various combinations. Cartoon heroes, dramas, film Noire, melodramas, docudrama, reality TV, character driven episodic TV, etc. etc.
Now the story is still important and attracts the audience to monetize it.
The 'artists' of the world have always been at odds with the commercialization of their work vs. the reality of having a patron that allowed them to live.
The culture we deserve is now part and parcel of what we have for editing software. Automate some things so people don't have to think about the story and nuance. Just make it work FAST. Grading 500 clips in a Day IS NOW a boast that a control panel allows one to accomplish.
Check this out... Barzun is dead, and so is the idea that we are responsible for the culture we deserve.
That was a great article, Thank you. Couldn't agree more re "the hash we have made" of the academy.
Ponytail, I'm glad you liked it. His books were really fun to read. Except from dawn to decadence (big fat book). My impression is that book was done as a sort of "life's work final project" with the help of a gazillion graduate students or something like that. All his lectures and materials from giant pile of stuff about various historic people and events and epochs, etc.
Was sad when he got old and stopped teaching and eventually passed away.
I still remember some of the stuff he said, like, " Art: the detergent." And went on to explain what he meant by that.
As I went to school for art it was especially refreshing to read his stuff. He was a cultural history professor.
What a very interesting review. I'd like to read the book. I found the part about overspecialization interesting as he may have identified the origins of modern-day political tribalism. I also find overspecialization to be problematic in the workplace, where the polymath is often devalued as one who cannot be easily classified.
They are all (his books) worth reading. Eventually you get a feel for the author as a person, because he does have subjective views about some things that are interjected beyond the strict format of 'cultural history' norms. You could say that Gibbon was into cultural history ( decline and fall of Roman Empire), and in some ways Umberto Eco also. They all interject (as you read more and more of their stuff you get a glimpse ) things that are peculiar to the individual author.
Is fun to keep learning and thinking
I can't remember her name right now, but a woman ( kinda like a self taught 'historian' who was a fantastic humanitarian (nice person )) wrote something I think is called, The First Salute. And some other stuff. All her work is fantastic. Although not a cultural history person per se she is one of my favorite authors because she really brings things down to a level of common sense 'relationships' … events, famous leaders, and results on the world at large.
There's also a great appendix usually included in War and Peace publications, about Tolstoy's VIEW on 'how to tell history'. How to write about it. This woman I refer to did exactly that... took into account all the obvious 'headlines' ( famous events, famous leaders, etc. ) and made the material factual but also 'human'. Hard to explain. Barbara Tuchman.. just remembered her name.
hehe... here's an example of Tuchman's sense of humor and reality...
In the introduction to her 1978 book A Distant Mirror, Tuchman playfully identified a historical phenomenon which she termed "Tuchman's Law," to wit:
Disaster is rarely as pervasive as it seems from recorded accounts. The fact of being on the record makes it appear continuous and ubiquitous whereas it is more likely to have been sporadic both in time and place. Besides, persistence of the normal is usually greater than the effect of the disturbance, as we know from our own times. After absorbing the news of today, one expects to face a world consisting entirely of strikes, crimes, power failures, broken water mains, stalled trains, school shutdowns, muggers, drug addicts, neo-Nazis, and rapists. The fact is that one can come home in the evening — on a lucky day — without having encountered more than one or two of these phenomena. This has led me to formulate Tuchman's Law, as follows: "The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold" (or any figure the reader would care to supply).
Tuchman's Law has been defined as a psychological principle of "perceptual readiness" or "subjective probability".
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On a tangent... our computer programs to 'do things automatically and FASTER' seems scary to me. It takes away the time necessary to THINK and absorb the result of the editing, for example (PPro etc. ), and come up with new creative ways to do things.
It's a rush to the lowest common denominator, in my opinion.
I actually have heard people say (in the PPro forum ) you can edit a motion picture on laptop while it was being SHOT, like, stand in the driveway of a location, and hand hold a laptop and EDIT the movie. I'm not kidding ! And that the EDITOR is the one who decides how a movie is SHOT.
BACK to Tuchman. She was involved with the NYC library ( board maybe ? ) and vehemently objected to computerizing the card catalog system. She basically argued that research ( say the 'subject' catalog ) a person often came across things while flipping through the cards that were related to, but not necessarily exactly what you were looking for. Then you write down the authors name on scrap paper, go to authors thing and look them up, and see what they wrote, and go look at those books...
You learn stuff. It can be called a TANGENT to the initial research desire, but it is related and may or may not apply to your final product ( report, essay, etc. ), but it is both fun AND enlightening.
Computerizing it means you say you want something and zap, that's exactly what you get. Specialized. Like a horse running down the track with blinders on.
Yes, there did used to be more of a "Things I learned on my way to looking up something else" factor to research for sure. And now, with Google, it's more like "I googled "Little Women" and got five pages of dwarf and midget porn."
I enjoy the tangential findings. Often they are little goodies that can be applied to something in the future. Similar to the card catalog, the current process of looking up words in the dictionary online has been affected. At least on the Merriam-Webster site, I can scroll down to the bottom of the page and find a few words that would be found near to the one I searched. Unfortunately, I don't stumble across as many as I would like. I think sites are trying to make related findings discoverable. The problem is that it can be the unrelated item that the user finds that makes an unexpected and unique connection. I have to believe that we'll find other ways to make these connections. It's part of the process of creativity.
Ponytail, that's hilarious. OMG. Still laughing.
That's probably the 'keyword' factor... even when I upload a video to vimeo there's a place to put keywords ( separated by comma as per instructions) so anyone looking up "affordable housing" would be directed to that video. On youtube and websites it's the same thing ( websites hoping google search will find the keywords and bump up to top of list of results of search ).
That's why FLASH failed. You couldn't SEE the text and stuff for the search engine to identify it.
Anyway, thanks for that laugh.. re: little women.
I agree with you Myra, at some point people do find a way somehow to make things work for us.
After all, we've been ( apparently cause there is still life on earth ) doing that for a long time.
Haha! That actually happened in the 90s to a 7th-grade girl in Michigan. She was doing a book report for school, googled that title, and up came the porn. Her mom said she was in the other room and heard "MO-O-om!"