Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

Dukes, pretenders to the throne, and citoyens: 3 discussions on the future of journalism that need to come together

5 June 2009

When I started this blog a little while ago, I thought I’d mainly focus on the (as I put it) “intersection of journalism, fundraising, and technology” – figuring that I’d eventually get lost in the weeds/arcana/geekdom of fundraising since that’s what I can bring to the larger table  chewing over the future of (biz models to support) journalism (aka FoJ). So I reached out to Dave Cohn at Spot.us here, here and here, because I think he’s doing something really interesting. And I’ll get back to you, Dave (I owe you answers to those 2 questions you posed for me).

But the past couple of weeks, when it comes to thinking about work-related stuff, I’ve headed in a different direction – and think I’ll probably keep doing that for a bit longer before I head back to the weeds. Reason being that there’s been some really interesting thinking/doing/arguing about the larger structures through which journalism – however we end up defining that term in the near future – will be organized.

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Sontag, reconsidered

25 May 2009

Two ways metaphor can be of use during times of ill-health.

Own the metaphor/metaphor as social force.

Sontag wrote about how the dominant cultural ideology imposes meaning onto disease, transforming it – and the patient – into a cultural object. But it’s also more than possible for the patient to be the creative subject, actively deploying metaphor as a weapon or tool in his/her own self-definition of health and its absence. One step beyond that: when politics intersects with individual trouble, c.f. here C Wright Mills and how individual  troubles turn into public issues, metaphor can be a social force, too.

Manage the ultimate life paradox through creative metaphor.

Sontag and Cousins were so right in approaching ill-health and disease with as wide ranging and clearheaded insight as possible, even if that means looking foolish or departing from convention (or conventional authority, bound up in the drama of the white coat). But even the most benign of health troubles carries with it another layer of meaning, a confrontation with which I think is ultimately unavoidable: that being the fact of our own mortality. And that seems to me to inhabit a land that can best be given shape and contour through metaphor, rather than its absence.

Sontag, Cousins

24 May 2009

The past few days I’ve been thinking about 2 books, Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor, and Norman Cousin’s Anatomy of an Illness (As Perceived by the Patient). I remember reading Sontag’s book when it was published back in the 70s; of all her work, this one has stayed with me over the years. I was more puzzled by why my memory jumped to Cousin’s book; if I read it when it came out in the early 80s it didn’t make as deep an impression as Sontag’s – but here it was, neurons firing in their mysterious way, surfacing the title. I’ve wandered around the Intertubes to remind myself what each of these books were about, and the more I’ve read, the more it begins to make sense. Read the rest of this entry »

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