On Our Dying Soap Operas Deserve Public Funding

I don't watch soap operas, but I think it's sad as a trend that BIG NETWORKS are abandoning STORY, whining about having to compete now that EVERYONE can make a Youtube video, and ratcheting their costs downward with the pull of advertising dollars rather than making their quality all the more superb and keeping their networks deserving of their apportionment of the public's bandwidth. The FCC gives them a bargain, for the benefit of the people; so why aren't the networks out recruiting and producing the best?

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Assumptions in this article that I disagree with:

Self-help books are cheesy.
Anyone who tries to frame out family problems, thinking they can edify others is to be derided.
People who seek answers for their hurt through any and all channels are just losers.
If drugs don't fix their "chemical" problems, they should turn to puerile humor and moping.
Families are not the cause of anyone's problems; 'family' is such an important ideal that the examination of any one family is unimportant.
If one once characterized one's family as happy, one cannot say otherwise.
Abused children are irreparably damaged.
Mothers are above reproach or examination.
Narcissistic disturbance is not a family pathology.
Coinages like "screaming fantod" are near the top of the list of best things about DFW.
All depressed people are the same, and channel DFW.
So, pretty much, I am glad to know the facts of the archive, but the analysis doesn't sit right with me.

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

@Raymondo The idea that one cannot even privately characterize one's parent's style, as one truly sees it, makes this article a bit noxious to me. I came to Alice Miller by way of Judith Herman's Trauma and Recovery. To Ms. B. I say, despite your self-reporting here, there is still a chance that your child took your mothering "the wrong way," and you'll look, to them, like a "bad parent." At least your children will know not to bother to discuss it with you, or let you see their private libraries. DFW's work is not that of one merely seeking, but one running from disintegration; he's constantly trying out helpful scenarios, and looking to see if he's fooled anyone. But consesnsus doesn't matter, and comparisons don't matter, either. I nearly wept earlier this week, reading about his attempt to establish a third way in a binary logic system. But I too dream that dream every night. In private, of course he was seeking. A non-believer has to try every source, and test every footfall, is plagued by uncertainty, is looking for single toeholds of axioms of truth. Sure we can know everything there is about the classification and beauty of rock, but what way in to the social world for someone so hung up on getting everything right he was trying to resolve models clearly independent of each other. It is very hard to reverse-engineer constructions of self. Alice Miller's short bio on Nietzsche was inspirational to me; the work I did following that was a mutiny against syntax itself -- and finally to a new prioritization.

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm 0