On the Media

My father and I have been talking recently about movies and
television.  He made the excellent point that (paraphrased) "it's okay
to think deep thoughts about the media--it's a moden totem."

Things rings true with an ongoing conversation I've had with my wife,
where I posit that "stars" (popular people) hold a similar role in our
modern psyche that ancestors
held in the psyches of our predecessors. Instead of tribal elders
telling us the stories of the heroics of our ancestors, we watch the
media telling us stories about our (fictional) heros.

Following that thread a little ways, I argue that it's one of the
reasons we want to know personal details of famous people: we consider
them, in a convoluted way, members of our "tribe".  Just as tribesmen
would ask the elders to give details about ancestors that have passed,
we seek information on these heros.  The problem is that, despite being
conceptual tribesmen, they are real people.  They're very much not
in our tribe!  And sometimes we forget that, and we end up with front
page news about drunken misadventures and other side-effects of being real people.

This isn't what I wanted to write about.  I wanted to say that media
(film and television) are important to us, whether we want them to be
or not.

But I don't think I have this all sorted out in my mind.  More meditation on the matter is required.  ...I'll just have to go watch more Farscape...

(It's research, honey!)

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