Bill Moyers: America Can’t Deal With Reality — We Must Be Exposed to the Truth, Even If It Hurts

Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the “Do Not Disturb” sign.

February 14, 2011 |

History Makers is an organization of broadcasters and producers from around the world concerned with the challenges and opportunities faced by factual broadcasting. Bill Moyers was the keynote speaker at the 2011 convention on January 27, 2011, in New York City.

Thanks to all of you for your welcome – and for the chance to be here among so many kindred spirits. Your dedication to factual broadcasting, to our craft and calling; your passion for telling stories that matter; for connecting the present to the past, has created a community whose work is essential in this disquieting time when “what is happening today, this hour, this very minute, seems to be our sole criterion for judgment and action.” It is a sad world that exists only in the present, unaware of the long procession that brought us here. As Milan Kundera’s insight reminds us, the struggle against power “is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

I talked about this gathering when I was in California this past weekend and spent time with a good friend and supporter of my own work on television, Paul Orfalea. He’s the maverick entrepreneur who founded Kinko’s in a former hamburger stand with one small rented Xerox copier and turned it into a business service empire with more than two billion dollars a year in revenue. After selling Kinko’s, Paul became one of the most popular, if unorthodox, teachers of undergraduates at the University of California/ Santa Barbara. When I told him what I would be doing today he applauded and understood immediately the importance of what you do. He described to me how he teaches history “backwards” to college students who have learned little about the past in high school, don’t know that the past is even alive, much less that it lives in them and question its value today. He hands his students a contemporary story from some daily news source, tells them to begin with the “now” of it and to then walk the trail back down the chronology to trace the personalities, circumstances and choices that made it today’s news. Their assignment, in effect, is to begin at the entrance to the cave and rewind Ariadne’s thread in the opposite direction, back to the deep origins of the story. In an era marked by the lack of continuity and community between the generations, this strikes me as an inspired way to stretch young imaginations across the time zones of human experience.

To read the rest of this article go to:

http://www.alternet.org/world/149925/bill_moyers%3A_america_can%27t_deal_with_reality_–_we_must_be_exposed_to_the_truth,_even_if_it_hurts
Be Sociable, Share!