"That truth should be silent I had almost forgot"--Enobarbus in ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, back in Rome after having been too long in Egypt.---------
Melville's PIERRE, Book 4, chapter 5: "Something ever comes of all persistent inquiry; we are not so continually curious for nothing."
Monday, August 3, 2015
"Ben Affleck Scandal"?? No, no. A "Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Scandal"? Oh, yes.
PBS still keeping 'Finding Your Roots' in limbo after Ben Affleck scandal
The headline here is wrong. There is no
"Affleck Scandal." There is a "Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,
Scandal." Affleck was not begging for an honorary degree from Harvard.
Gates was begging for a seat on the Academy. Gates is the one who sold out PBS,
the viewing audience, and any remnant of integrity that had been in himself.
Fire him, bring forward the real researchers, and you might be able to salvage
Think about it, PBS.
If you ever continue "Finding
Your Roots" you can't do it with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Now that we know
that he will kowtow to a participant about (of all things) slavery we simply
cannot trust him, especially after we know the debased avidity with which he
pursued membership in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. We
can't believe such a suck-up. If you continue the program, the master or
mistress of ceremonies should introduce and quietly celebrate the work of the
actual researchers who reach out and find the wonderfully surprising documents
we all want to see. Too often the best researchers have been neglected in order
to show Gates as "discoverer" rather than presenter. Celebrate the real workers! And stop sending
people to distant libraries when they can discover what they need on their
laptop! Let the show reflect the ease of access for ordinary folks and only
then stress the need, at times, to go to courthouses and libraries around the
country or the world. Be realistic, in other words, and do not make the show
about the Master or Mistress of Ceremonies. If you want all this Gates Scandal to end in a
teaching moment, let it become a program that takes a celebrity or an ordinary
person through the steps any of us can take in finding our roots. Let the show
be a teaching program. But if you bring Gates in, the show is dead.