So it’s an era of content overload, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how to apply a sort of slow-food/deep-economy/earth-democracy ethic to media making and consumption, and that has me thinking about what kind of media really moves and disrupts and changes and inspires, and I find myself most valuing writing that is rigorous and processed, that simultaneously makes connections between often separated parts and adds layers to seemingly simple conversations, and/or that provokes readers to care about something they haven’t been caring too much about. For instance, on all three points, BFP on the John Edwards drama and Rebecca Solnit on the Olympics.
Brownfemipower starts by saying, “all the angles have been covered beyond to death, pretty much. but there was one thing that i did want to say…” — and then she proceeds to just rip that whole conversation open, revealing how tired and limited the discussion has been pretty much everywhere else and forcing me to remember that, no matter how little I tend to care about electoral politics or marriage or parlor dramas or anything else they’re talking about on TV, every single story is a social story, a political story, with all kinds of deep and layered context and implications.
Which reminded me of Rebecca Solnit’s column about the Olympics (that other presently televised drama I haven’t been watching) in the current Orion, and the way it is both eloquent and critically politicized (as she pretty much always is, as so few writers are), bringing the usual critiques around the Olympics (displacement of local communities, human-rights violations, nationalism) full circle to face the central myths of the Olympics head-on, which makes the critique that much more substantial and devastating:
the Beijing Olympic Games will begin, and television will bring us weeks of the human body at the height of health, beauty, discipline, power, and grace. It will be a thousand-hour advertisement, in some sense, for the participating nations as represented by athletes with amazing abilities. In reality, the athletes will be something of a mask for what each nation really stands for…
It serves the nations of the world to support the exquisitely trained Olympian bodies, and it often serves their more urgent political and economic agendas to subject other bodies to torture, mutilation, and violent death, as well as to look away from quieter deaths from deprivation and pollution. In the struggles for land and resources … bodies are mowed down like weeds. The celebrated athletic bodies exist in some sort of tension with the bodies that are being treated as worthless and disposable.
- Where have all the role models for girls and young women gone? by Ren August 18, 2008
- Fembots Have Feelings Too by Sarah June 10, 2010
- We take a brief moment to rant on about terminology with regards to sex work… by Ren August 23, 2008
- African Village Bans Domestic Violence by Jill September 26, 2006
- Some things you should know about the Vancouver Olympic Games by Chally February 25, 2010