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Thread: Classic Culture... Modern Culture...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    Jul 2008

    Default Classic Culture... Modern Culture...

    So... I started out tonight continuing on my (third?) re-reading of Jane Eyre and thinking that modern culture just doesn't encourage the same kind of thought-provoking, soul inspiring work... and then I happened across a portion of Dancing with the Stars (which I never watch except by accident) and discovered the awe-inspiring sight of half-naked men on my Prime Time television set giving pelvis thrusts that would put a blush on even Elvis' cheeks. And so, I stand corrected.

    Letís give a sample of the late, great, Charlotte Bronte... one of my favorite parts in the book... and let the audience here decide, shall we?

    To set the scene, we are being jumped forward in years immediately after the heart-breaking scene in which our heroine Jane fell asleep on the shoulder of her dying, childhood friend, to find that she had passed away in the night. This jolt is enough to bring the reader to tears (and it still does when I re-read it) and so the change of scenery in the book is as welcome as Jane's train of thought as she stands, eight years later at the age of 18, contemplating her future.

    "I walked about the chamber most of the time. I imagined myself only to be regretting my loss, and thinking how to repair it; but when my reflections were concluded, and I looked up and found that the afternoon was gone, and evening far advanced, another discovery dawned on me, namely, that in the interval I had undergone a transforming process;...

    I went to my window, opened it, and looked out. There were the two wings of the building; there was the garden; there were the skirts of Lowood; there was the hilly horizon. My eye passed all other objects to rest on those most remote, the blue peaks: it was those I longed to surmount; all within their boundary of rock and heath seemed prison-ground, exile limits. I traced the white road winding round the base of one mountain, and vanishing in a gorge between two; how I longed to follow it further! I recalled the time when I had traveled that very road in a coach; I remembered descending that hill at twilight: an age seemed to have elapsed since the day which brought me first to Lowood, and I had never quitted it since. ...And now I felt that it was not enough: I tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon. I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing. I abandoned it and framed a humbler supplication; for change, stimulus: that petition, too, seemed swept off into vague space: 'Then," I cried, half desperate, "grant me at least a new servitude!"

    You can sense Jane's desperation, her need for change and for something else in her life. Something to believe in and a place where she can test her own strengths.

    Now go from this mentality to glancing up at the television to seeing scantily clad, dancing men making eyes at the camera.

    Its a toss-up, I know.

    P.S. What type was the friend Helen Burns you think... INFJ?
    Embrace the possibilities.

  2. #2
    Once Was Array Synarch's Avatar
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    Oct 2008


    Two thoughts:

    1. Reading is the type of thing best enjoyed in solitude. We tend to read alone. In fact, most high art is intended to evoke a personal response.
    2. Television programs like Dancing With the Stars are intended to be enjoyed in a more social context, like gladiatorial games. Part of the enjoyment is the strange communion with other weirdos who give a shit if celebrities can learn ballroom dancing.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Kora's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    Don't compare people who reads Jane Eyre's books with people who watches soap operas.
    5w4 - Idiosyncratic/Leisurely/Dramatic
    It's the devil's way now.

  4. #4
    The Destroyer Array Colors's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Dancing with the Stars is a soap opera? I must have flipped past too quickly to get to the part with the doctor switching the evil twin at birth or something.

    Though now that you've brought up the comparison, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is quite soapy. In the most obvious aspects of course: Mr Rochester's secret marriage and hiding his crazy foreign wife in the attic, being taken up by a family who just happens to be her cousins, fire, etc. But also in how it uses such events- taking cultural taboos, presenting them in extreme examples thrown at the protagonist(s), and using its shock factor to tell a story of heightened emotional affect. Complete with sudden feelings of horror! (Which translate into the camera zooming-in on the protagonist and the strings-of-suspicion wailing in the cheesiest of modern-day soaps.)

  5. #5
    Plumage and Moult Array proteanmix's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    I dunno, reading can send me into a whirlwind of existential angst.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  6. #6
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    Two thoughts:

    1. Reading is the type of thing best enjoyed in solitude. We tend to read alone. In fact, most high art is intended to evoke a personal response.
    2. Television programs like Dancing With the Stars are intended to be enjoyed in a more social context, like gladiatorial games.
    This is insightful.

    The only thing I could add it that is literacy itself that invokes the personal response, after all, as you say, we read alone.

    And, as you say, television and all electronic media create a social context.

    And I would add that the electronic media are now the context for text. For, as you see right now, I am writing to you in the electronic media.

    And how interesting that I have promised to read aloud via Skype, my favourite book, to a member called, "INFJ". So I am recovering the communal activity of reading aloud on MBTIc itself.

    Of course at the very beginning of literacy we carried over our communal habits of reading aloud to each other, and then reading aloud to ourselves. That is why we still have carrels, or cubicles, in our libraries - so we won't disturb others as we read aloud. And of course we now read silently to ourselves. So the carrels are a relic left over from an earlier age.

    My parents read aloud to me as a child. And at my boarding school, texts, usually religious texts, were read aloud as as we ate our communal meals. And now, of course, we eat our communal meals in front of the television.

    I do though feel nervous about starting to read a book aloud on Skype via the electronic media. However I do think I have found a nice member to read aloud to who teaches Arabic, the language of poetry.

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    ??? ???????

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