Archive for the 'priorities' Category

Olympic coverage

August 1, 2012

I don’t like the skewing of Olympic coverage towards individuals and dramatic stories.  I like the aesthetics of the high-caliber performance of a sport, and I like when the commentary explains to me the details of what contributes to that — even just calling attention to techniques that separate a good performance from an excellent one.

Further complicating the actual coverage is how our media seem to have decided before the events even began which individuals to pay their most attention to.  It’s not like the evening news where bias is overtly frowned upon, but it seems, for my taste, too much like boosterism even in the context of sports nonetheless.

The other frustration I wanted to express is something I may have picked up years ago from my college roommate who introduced me to the finer points of gymnastics (she was a gymnast, her brother was a gymnast, their mother a coach, and I became women’s team manager).  I like the balletic aspect of gymnastics, the flow that some gymnasts have on balance beam, the gracefulness of their limb extension, for examples.  The coverage does mention some of this, but our cultural orientation seems not only to focus more on muscular difficult tumbling but not to even wish for a gymnast who can do both, the difficult tumbling within a graceful presentation.

And one of my smaller frustrations: the live streaming online is only available to customers who pay for their TV reception.  I’ve lived without WGBH (the local PBS station in Boston) for months while they fix their antenna in Needham, I can live without more extensive Olympics coverage, but it bothers me to feel left behind by the mainstream media because I don’t make paying for TV a priority in my household budget.


A window into the other world

January 17, 2012

There’s another factor in how the girl in the story in my previous post comes to resolve her situation over time.  She comes to understand The Persuasive Man better, to see facts in his life and put more parts of the story together, at least from her point of view.

For example, in some of her lifetimes she learns The Persuasive Man has another family.  In some subset of those, she even learns that while he has received guidance (it comes out in the books he’s learned to write) about how to balance his responsibilities to her and to this other family, he doesn’t follow it (he makes his own substitutions in his life about who is going to do what, for example, having a child from the other family play her own role).  She learns something of his system of values and priorities, and how they justify his choices.  Her understanding doesn’t directly change her needs or how they are being met (or not) by him, but it allows her to see him more clearly (or, at least, so she thinks).

She doesn’t have much of a way of communicating with The Persuasive Man, but even if she did, she is not confident there is anything she could say to him that would make any difference in terms of how he understands things and what he does.  And she doesn’t really want to add to her own difficulties by eliciting a negative response — she thinks she sees enough to guess what is up for negotiation and what is not — and she has the sense that telling him about her own situation, if she could, would make her feel worse, especially since she couldn’t know who else would overhear.

She contemplates the gap between what one person needs and what the other gives, regardless of intention, and the importance of willingness and faith.  She has learned that one human being has no control over whether another person has willingness or faith, and that without them, it’s too easy for each person to assume the other should be doing something different from what they are.  If both have willingness, they will hear the same guidance and act on it, otherwise, the situation tends to result in a stalemate or deadly embrace.

And so, she shovels the snow and starts her prayers.