Thursday, January 04, 2007

The National Film Board (of Canada) rocks.

Classic Canadian animation, by Norman Mclaren; "Neighbours" (National Fim Board of Canada, 1952).


Currently watching/listening to Manufacturing Consent; an NFB documentary about MIT linguist / dissident, Noam Chomsky. I'll relay some blurbs from that in a moment.

My friend, Tosh, and I went to see two or three lectures that Mr. Chomsky had given in the Twin Cities about nine'ish years ago. At that time, there was a very public debate about the attempted recognition of "Ebonics" (Link to Wikipedia article 'African American Vernacular English' subject to change.) as a separate language or dialect and its possible use in the classroom "in order to reach" children who were not responding to the American public school system.

Anyways... I got the opportunity to stand up and ask Mr. Chomsky what he thought of the kerfuffle and whether or not Ebonics was a separate language. In essence, he said "No". There was, he contended, just as much inability to communicate between white English-speakers of parts of Boston, New York and Philly -if not more so- then between them and "Ebonics speakers".

I did get to shake his hand after one of the lectures and enjoyed them, thoroughly.

Some quotes from the Chomsky;

"Propaganda is to democracy like violence is to a dictatorship..."

"The military system is, to a substantial extent... a mechanism by which the general population is compelled to provide a subsidy to high technology industry..."

"We should be seeking out forms of authority and domination and challenging their legitimacy. Sometimes they are legitimate and we need them for survival...any form of coercion and control requires justification and most of them are unjustifiable... The one not being seriously addressed, the core of the system of domination, is private control over our resources. That means an attack on the fundamental structure of state capitalism. I think that is in order, not something far off in the future."

"I'm rather against the whole notion of developing public personalities who are treated as stars of one kind or another, where aspects of their personal life are supposed to have some significance."

Part 1 of "Manufacturing Consent.

Here's a page at youtube, with "Noam Chomsky' and "Manufacturing Consent" in the search.
It is your human responsibility to hear what this guy has to say.


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