Ode to the Athenian Philosophers

Dear TEDtalks.  Oh how I wish I could say you are both enlightening and inspiring to me, but I cannot.  There is nothing ground breaking or revolutionary about your initiative (i.e. the term “accelerated innovation”), as all I could think about when watching your videos were the competitions hosted by Socrates and Plato during the reign of the Roman Empire.  The only difference is the forum for exhibition is a digital one.  I will say I was impressed with Christopher Makau: a man who organized a TED event in the Kibera Slums of Kenya.  I also identified with the words of Gale Tzemach Lemmon in her speech about women entrepreneurs being the example – not the exception.  Still, I struggled to sit through enough videos to find a topic I could find my own heart in.  Maybe it’s because I’m more inclined to watch American Film Institute interviews, or “Behind the Scenes” vignettes included as part of DVD supplemental materials.  And maybe it’s a matter of taste, not preferring to sit through pontifications of budding orators presenting established thoughts and ideas as if they were brand new.  It’s harsh.  I know.  But what is a blog roll without a little honest opining?

I prefer humble, private discussions with leaders in my favored industry – directors like Sydney Pollack.

ImageHere’s a man who is totally unassuming, yet a genius when it comes to interpreting the life of humanity through film.  Director Shekhar Kapur spoke in a TED event on how we are the stories we tell ourselves, and I appreciated that.  But the format for delivery is not for my taste.  Give me a two-camera shoot with the subject and interviewer sitting in a private den or study, talking about the simple geniuses of every day life – not as if they are new discoveries, but in a place of respect and reverence.  I don’t need all the trappings of elaborate set design and hoards of enamored people.  Let the films, the work of these greats speak for themselves.

“By their fruits ye shall know them.”

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