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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Portraits Of A Millennial: 4 Windows

In NEWS AND COMMENTARY on August 8, 2011 at 3:19 AM

From The Archives: Media Eating Its Head

In 21st Century Culture on August 4, 2011 at 2:55 AM

Media Eating Its Head.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: POST ONE

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This article remains as relevant today as it was when I published it, October 31, 2009.

The motif of 21st Century news media and information technology affecting our culture demonstrates an unintentional theme manifest throughout this blog. Originally, GidgetWidget 2.0  began as an experiment. I never imagined myself still here and blogging two years later. Most of all, realizing many of my published articles explore and question the affects of media on the social and political theaters. Our ability to distinguish propaganda and how technology affects our understanding, these represent motifs emerging from the Archives. “The Media Eating Its Head,” may be the first, building up to articles like MINING EMOTIONS: WHAT MAKES US SO INVINCIBLE?   or 21st CENTURY STORY TELLING AND ART: PART ONE 

My Twitter bio states that I read the Western Canon for fun. The truth is, I continue reading and learning the Classics not because it is fun, but because of its relevance. Its value, dear reader, diminishes with every ad hominem tweet.

We are very much the same as our Ancestors. Whether we follow the pattern of mistakes, or whether learning from these mistakes we avoid the horrific consequences, remains to be unseen.

Now in many ways it was natural to our ancestors, moved by a single resolve, to fight the battles of justice: for the very beginning of their life was just. They had not been collected, like most nations, from every quarter, and had not settled in a foreign land after driving out its people: they were born of the soil, and possessed in one and the same country their mother and their fatherland. [18] They were the first and the only people in that time to drive out the ruling classes of their state and to establish a democracy, believing the liberty of all to be the strongest bond of agreement; by sharing with each other the hopes born of their perils they had freedom of soul in, their civic life, [19] and used law for honoring the good and punishing the evil. For they deemed that it was the way of wild beasts to be held subject to one another by force, but the duty of men to delimit justice by law, to convince by reason, and to serve these two in act by submitting to the sovereignty of law and the instruction of reason.

— LYSIAS, FUNERAL ORATION [17 – 19] from Perseus

In what manner has the use of reason and logic changed over time? Enough so that in the 21st Century, with access to infinite resources and information, its application is falling into a state of entropy.

If you see the ignorance manifest in our media and in the digital landscape, then how can you not ask your readers to look more closely and notice it? We have intelligence, enormous potential; but will we throw it all away so easily? Our Ancestors have. They chose the Bread and Circuses, and the consequences which followed stand out as the Dark Ages.

We are hardly invincible but yet, why do we presume we are?


*

COPYRIGHT 2011 BY KIMBERLY COX

~ GIDGETWIDGET™

Little Moments of Freedom, Fireworks & Spontaneous Song

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, I Can Sing!, Millennial Generation, NEW! on July 5, 2011 at 5:11 AM

Surprised, I See The 4th Of July Fireworks From My New York City Balcony from Gidget Widget on Vimeo.

I was late for the party uptown. I looked at the clock. I knew it. I’d miss the fireworks… again. Then, BOOM! I ran to my window to look out and to my surprise a perfect view. So, after battling with the door leading out onto our balcony, I stood watching them, a perfect view. I had my phone in my hand. I turned on the video record and then, for no reason, I started to belt out the “Star Spangled Banner.”

A piece of life captured in its moment. Perhaps, little things like this, go unnoticed. Yet, all together they add up. Each of us experience these pockets of moments, insignificant to many, but special for those who share them.

Celebrating Independence allowing for freedom to experience life, here’s a July 4th record by a young woman in New York City, USA.

Written On The New York City Subway

In Excerpts of Prose, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, poetry, Short Fiction on July 3, 2011 at 12:40 PM

The F Train runs the course of Manhattan into Brooklyn Heights.

Late one evening, on a Wednesday, she steps onto the south bound train to go home. She takes a window seat, alone at the end of the subway car. Biting her lower lip, she opens a book and begins reading. But not for long.

Distracted, she closes it and removes a pen from her purse. Using the beige paper bookmark, she begins to write.

I picked it up long after the train crossed into Brooklyn. It read:

Did you ever consider that maybe what we’ve got isn’t so bad?

Maybe what we have is more than what we’ve had.

And somehow we manage to sleep at night.

(The free flow of thought is like a magnet catching dust. And sense has a lock that’s covered over with a thin layer flaking red rust. My mind is somewhere behind.)

But what I have is so much more than what I have had.

We move,

In and out and up and down, back and forth, underneath some immovable force.

And every once in a while, we pause and stop

Step back

And realize what we’ve got:

A piece of ourselves at peace

I flipped the book mark over and the small, crips letters filled that back as well. I kept reading:

Even though it will never be enough.

Here I am

And holding to who I am

I humbly ask you

Who you are and what made you think

We could take it this far —

because

Without you I would not be me

Nor you without me, would not be you.

But I humbly ask

IF we have taken this too far

IF in this pause

I must bid you farewell

Remembering this, alone,

Until I am old and undone.

Because what we have is more than what I’ve had

To lose it unexpectedly would be horrorific.

Leave me mad.

The woman on the subway became real.

I did not even know her name.

I paused.

Copyright 2009-2011, by Kimberly Cox, All Rights Reserved

Revision from November 1, 2009

Monday NYC Theatre, 2005: “From Tel Aviv To Ramallah”

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, Millennial Generation, NEW!, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on June 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

From Tel Aviv To Ramallah  was a production I attended, spontaneously and alone, on a rainy Monday night in Manhattan, late 2005.  As many theatre patrons know, Mondays are the day of the week when many theaters are dark (no performance.) But sometimes, these are the best opportunities to catch the magic of live theatre. And here’s how I managed to catch this one particular night which resonates more and more with each passing year.

Here in New York City, a smorgasbord awaits the avid theater-goer. Even if you are on a budget (students or starving, Bohemian artists; or cash-poor adventurers, like me,) folks have ways of getting tickets. The catch is, most discounts demand the person be ready to go the day-of the performance.

Well, there’s a reason why I love seeing theatre, at the last minute, with no expectations. To elaborate, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict inspired a number New Plays Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway in 2005 and I found myself trying to attend as many as possible. A handful of these plays challenged perceptions, offered insight, a human story, all those things that made other productions worth the risk. To bluntly put it: if I allowed the synopses and especially, the critical reviews, to pick and choose which productions I saw then, I’d have missed the best one.

The habits for overtly political theatre may be a time honored tradition in theatre history but what is it more akin to in the 21st Century? What politics are we addressing and how?

Every time we sit down for a performance arts piece, centered around modern day conflicts and cultural-politico-socio-ideologies, we risk exposing ourselves to the moribundity of Populist Theatre. (Not just theatrical mediums but all media and its audiences are more easily are mistaking political for populist propaganda.) A bad-habit we are all forming, because it is becoming all to “normal.”

That is, to employ mechanisms like “definitive archetypes,” portraying only selective pieces of information, building upon one opinion, one perception of a war, stereotyping each of the cultures involved. Pounding cheap, theoretical conjecture into an audience already over-saturated in Op/Ed news and information.

In the case of certain productions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and also, the War On Terror, the human experience serves only to cater for the intent of Populism. To add emotional impact, ignite the zeitgeist, am I correct?

A reflection of the humanist struggle when the forces of Political or Cultural Movements subsume a person’s existence?

See, this is why I like walking into a production, understanding the risk, not knowing much about it, and hoping for a jewel.

As part of the Out Loud: New Play Reading Series at Ars Nova in 2005, the show From Tel Aviv To Ramallah performed for only that one night. And for those 75 minutes or so…  Man, I wish I could bring Yuri Lane and his solo production here, today, for people to see. I think its message is more important than ever.

At a small but inviting performance venue on 54th, between 10th and 11th Avenue, I took my seat among the small audience. Two young men, maybe 16 years old, were sitting in front of me, excited to see their favorite beatbox performer and drinking Red Bull. They came in from Connecticut. They were not expecting a powerful piece of theatre and neither was I.

Yuri Lane avoided all the aforementioned pitfalls for the Political and Populist Theatre productions. He did it simply. With minimal design, he told us a story. Using his skills with beatbox, language, rhythm, gesture; using three light cues to distinguish SR, SL and Center; finally inverted pictures, multimedia projected on the backdrop, he set the scene for a fable about one young man from Tel Aviv and one young man from Ramallah.

Instead of showing us who was wrong and who was right, he told us of Amir and of Khalid. The idea that dreams and ideals of youth exist in separate microcosms outside the larger reality of (the Israeli-Palestinian) conflict set the story in motion. We learn about two different, but also similar people, whose goals are not unlike yours or mine. One wants to be a DJ. One wants to own an Internet Cafe. They share the threat of attacks. And their journey shows how a gradual diffusion of the greater reality into each microcosm, negates the youthful idealism for a future independent of violence and injustice. Both have their dreams compromised. Both must transition from adolescent to adulthood. Both must face each other in the end and the choices they make, leading them to the final moment of the play. A vision of peace comes down to two young men, who make one choice. Peace, perhaps, may not be realized by Treaties or United Nations intervening, or a great leader’s solution, but perhaps, it begins with a choice. An understanding.

And the audience is left without any clear answer about who is right, who is wrong and why one side is bad versus the other. Why would we presume an understanding? How to solve the permutations of a conflict, as deep and complicated as the Israeli-Palestinian hostilities?

Rachel Havrelock wrote and directed this play.

Is our civilization so solid that you do not fear to shake the pillars on which it rests? Can you not see that all falls in upon you if one column be shattered? Could you not have learned if not to love one another, at least to tolerate the great virtues and the great vices of each other? Was it not your duty to attempt –you have never attempted it in sincerity– to settle amicably the questions which divided you, the problem of peoples annexed against their will, the equitable division of productive labor and the riches of the world? Must the stronger forever darken the others with the shadow of his pride, and the others forever unite to dissipate it? Is there no end to this bloody and puerile sport, in which the partners change about from century to century– no end, until the whole of humanity is exhausted thereby?

ROMAIN ROLLAND, “Above The Battle,”

Journal de Geneve_, September 15, 1914.

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