Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oprah & Education

So,....I've decided to begin my posts with "So," to provide myself with some sense of continuance and uniformity.

With that anouncement out of the way, let's talk about Oprah. Yesterday I'm watching Oprah and low and behold the show is about education in crisis and is co-developed with Time magazine and its article Dropout Nation. The show proceeds to showcase the drastic differences between city schools that are apparently comming apart at the seams and falling apart around and sometimes on (as in the case of Harper High in Chicago) students and teachers.

Moreover, Anderson Copper and Lisa Ling (because apparently Oprah now is slowly seeking to become a mass media conglomerate and slowly take over CNN and whoever Lisa Ling works for) showcase other schools that are falling apart (almost all city school districts like Washington D.C.) and even some middle class area schools that are facing sickening drop-out rates and faciilities that could be at best described as lackluster. Watching the show I am again impressed with Oprah and her seeming ability to cover virtually any topic and do it in such a way that appears, at least to me, credible, dramatic and shocking. I'm sure Unequivocal Prowess will inform me that Oprah is evil, but whatever I love myself some Oprah.

Anyway, watching this show (which for all of you Oprah fans will be continued with part 2 today) I realize two things: (1) Increasingly I feel like the problems facing our country and minorities within it, specifically, are so complicated and systematically integrated into every other part of our society that solving almost any of them seems impossible and an effort in futility; (2) I, unbeknownst to me, have officially entered the technology age and have become a multi-media user.

Addressing the second issue first, I while watching the show, realize that as Oprah reveals statistics and names schools I find myself taking out my laptop and googling (by the way google and it's subsequent forms (i.e. googled, googling, etc.) are in fact words according to the most recent edition of Webster's Dictionary) them in an attempt to validate the information I am hearing and to learn more. I also realize that while watching Oprah and googling the information, I message Prowess with my cell phone to tell her to watch the show (even though I am sure she scoffed indignantly at the text message and did not watch) and I start looking for the most recent copy of Time (which I didn't find).

This leads me to question (1) What the hell happend to me? I mean I used to not even like my cellphone and took months to respond to e-mails and now I am using all of this technology like it's an extension of me. (2) Does this mean I am more informed now since I use all of these media at once to gather information, or am I just falling prey like so many others to a shorter attention span that even Oprah's new set with flashing screens, changing camera angles, parade of celebrity reporters and dramatic story clips can't even hold? (3) Am I getting so caught up in a rat race of chasing canned information that all says the same things and is probably produced by one or two media outlets that I am missing the vital information that exists elsewhere and am being left with a feeling of hopelessness in solving the problems; and thus, remain unmotivated to actively seek change and threaten the self-perpetuating social systems that oppress and harm so many?

Ok, I've typed all I can for right now, and my need to see immedate results prohibits me from just saving this as a draft, so perhaps later I'll address my thoughts on the first issue (hopelessness of solving problems facing our country).

4 comments:

Unequivocal_Prowess said...

Okay, so first of all, I love to start my posts with "okay" so I find it odd you said you need the "so" to start things.

Second, let's deal with Oprah. I was desperately hoping to catch that Oprah, just because I want to give her a chance and give everything a second chance...After all, if I can do that then maybe you would take "A Million Little Pieces" seriously. There were a few problems: first, massive fires broke out like 5 miles from the house yesterday (out by the mall) and they covered it instead of Oprah yesterday, otherwise I would have given her a shot. And, just so you know, I don't think Oprah is a bad news source. I think she's a bitch. Not un-relaible, just a fucking elitist bitch.

Third, I think the irony in becoming addicted to tech gives me happy chills. I think you are quickly going to get why this blog thing is so intriguing. I'll have to tell you some more tricks to the trade via e-mail, but this comment is getting long enough. Needless to say, I think your attachment to tech is understandable and a good sign that you know how to adapt to change. Something we didn't talk about the other night when addressing indigenous cultures is that there's a reason why the muskets won out over the awesome swords of the sammurais and it largely has to do with the ability to accept or cope with change. The use of tech is just an adept way that you stay in tuned with the enviornment, not something to be scoffed at.

P.S. Kasey read, but was too afraid to post...he loved the Ling commments, btw...

Unequivocal_Prowess said...

P.S. turn on your word verification, otherwise you'll get comments asking you to buy porn or used tires. It creates false hope because you think someone has come by and instead you have some asshole trying to sell you used dildos on your blog, it sucks...

the count said...

I did love the Ling comments, and I'm so happy, Unequivocal Prowess chose to "out" me this way and reveal my true identity. The one concern I have with your need for instant gratification is that it could lead to a slippery slope. What happens when you are famished and start eating at the McDonalds, say. . . once a week. Is the fact that it took them a grand total of 1 minute and 15 seconds to deliver a hot and delicious meal to your car going to lead to you eating there more often? Will you inadvertantly become a Morgan Sperlock and start eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the fine establishment? Then what? You gain 200lbs and you become who? Jared from Subway? I guess what I'm trying to say is that you were right in the first place, instant gratification is a bad thing, after all. Now, if you'll excuse me I need to google the word google, to check your references.

Eloquent_Modesty said...

Odd that one with a name Unequivocal Prowess has a probelm with Oprah being an elitist bitch...I'm teasing, but Oprah will be doing part 2 of her special today so you should see if you can watch it. Count, I'm sorry you were outed but totally psyched that you like what I wrote. I read your part one story and laughed my ass off and I'm going to read part two and then respond.

And yes, I will become Jared but at least there is another multinational conglamerate ready to sell me quick fast sandwiches that will undo the weight that McDonalds helped me gain.