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Stories and How They Grab Us, as Shown by a Master

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STORIES, I’VE HEARD TELL, are the lifeblood of societies and cultures. Whether they’re factual reporting … convincingly true-to-life fiction … or gripping, incredible fantasies … we all do seem to need ‘em. They can pump through our system with rousing drive, or calm and reassure us like a soothing heartbeat.

Actor John Lithgow, in his much-traveled one-man show that came to rest and opened tonight on Broadway, poses a fundamental question to his audience when the show begins. Why do we tell and listen to stories?     Continue reading “Stories and How They Grab Us, as Shown by a Master” »

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2017 Comes To An End … Media Mistakes, Corrections and Apologies March On

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IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN. It’s The Media Beat‘s annual celebration of entertaining media errors (and efforts to put things right) that have caught my eye since our last unashamedly un-collegial exercise in journalistic schadenfreude … lo, these full twelve months ago.

I’m going to continue my tradition – in keeping with this festive time of year – of dealing largely with light-hearted examples of the genre. That’s despite the mood of media criticism having changed, changed utterly this year. Continue reading “2017 Comes To An End … Media Mistakes, Corrections and Apologies March On” »

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Discovering A Society. Or rather … Imagining it?

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TRAVEL JUST FOUR MILES from Heraklion International Airport on the Greek island of Crete, and you have gone back four thousand years to the Minoan Civilization.

You appear to have arrived in the heart of a ritualistic society devoted to fearful reverence for the bull. I say ‘appear’, since just about everything you know and much of what you are told on-site concerns a monstrous mythological creature, the bull-headed Minotaur.     Continue reading “Discovering A Society. Or rather … Imagining it?” »

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