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June 1996, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tony Williams <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 5 Jun 1996 14:59:56 CST
note of 06/05/96 08:20
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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 Jerry Johnson's mailing supposedly supporting Charles Ramirez Berg's
further definition of what Murray Pomerance has suggested in his mailings
is certainly guilty of the same "overgeneralizations" that he accuses certain
professors of.
 Mailings on this subject have not contained "underlying venom" against
students in general. They have criticized the laziness of certain individuals
who deem it unfit to engage in the type of explorations that both Berg and
now Johnson (re. his film society screenings) engage in. The relevant
arguments concern informed discussions, not dismissal of a particular film
after 30 minutes of viewing by relying on a particular "sound bite"
approach denying deeper exploration and engagement with the
  Johnson's mailing ignores these relevant points. Instead of engaging
intelligently with the discussion, he has chosen to use Berg's well-
argued points for bombastic demagogery against his
chosen targets. Johnson emphasizes a group of students who"WANT TO LEARN"
- fair enough. But learning involves hard work, research, exploration of
previous work on the subject, and a defined grasp of where an argument is
original as opposed to mere opinion and ignorance.
  That is what distinguishes educational work in both colleges and film
societies. Anything else is half-baked demagogic rabble rousing.I'm also
pleased to note that MR. Johnson regards himself as an authority on all
students "regardless of race, sex, background." Do I detect a particular
"lack" of recent scholarship in this area dealing with complex issues of
spectatorship? Or does this not count at all?
 Tony Williams
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