Steven Spielberg has become the quintessential film director of our time in bringing history to life. Several of his movies, based on actual events, take place in the past. But the consistent themes of humanitarianism and emotional sentiment that his very best films have managed to evoke in audiences worldwide remains just as apropos to our present and future.
The cinematic artisan who gave us indelibly moving reenactments of the Holocaust (“Schindler’s List,” which I rank as the best film ever made), the D-Day invasion (“Saving Private Ryan”), the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games (“Munich”), and a post-American Civil War political crisis (“Lincoln”), most recently has undertaken one of lesser-known flash points of the Cold War.
It wasn’t just Daily Fantasy Sports which lost a rare chance to shine in a national spotlight and be taken seriously as a legitimate political issue during last night’s Republican Presidential Debate, which was held in Boulder, CO.
We all lost.
That’s right. Every proponent of legalized and regulated sports betting and online poker/gambling in America missed out on the golden opportunity to hear each and every major candidate on that stage being required to make an official statement when it comes to the freedom of individuals to make their own choices and then justify their position in front of millions of viewers and voters, about half of which are estimated to have gambled within just the past year.
Fracking the Media: Does shrinking and therefore dividing news sources sabotage our common understanding of reality and impede compromise? Might this spell the end of democracy?
Writer’s Note: Today’s essay is a continuation somewhat of yesterday’s topic, “Are Twitter and Facebook Flaming Out?” which can be read HERE.
A thought-provoking essay appeared today online, “Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It),” authored by Umair Haque. I urge everyone to read it. If accurate (and I believe it is), the future doesn’t portend very well for traditional social media outlets, particularly the two most popular platforms in the United States — Twitter and Facebook.
In his essay, Haque describes Twitter as what was once the embodiment of a Utopian promise, that an instantly-accessible open global town square would become the centrifuge for creative thoughts and new ideas which could be freely expressed, without censorship nor commercial viability. Posts could be compressed into a single, easily-digestible cliffnote of just 140 characters, be blasted out, and then receive instant feedback. Presumably, one’s own devoted army of followers serve both as a sounding board and a filter to the vast greater universe beyond. Post something truly profound, and it just might get re-tweeted into the thousands.
Sometimes the most powerful voice comes from where you’d least expect it.
Certainly not from a 14-year-old Pakistani girl, named Malala Yousazai.
Now age 17, the little girl known to creeds and colors all over the world simply as “Malala” has grown up some, her maturity taking place very much in front of the camera as tens and perhaps even hundreds of millions of people — young and old, male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim — have watched with intrigue and admiration. She’s become a global champion of human rights and a public advocate for female education, particularly in countries and societies where such virtues not only aren’t guaranteed but even risk personal endangerment.