A whip around a couple of sites commenting on the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and the issue of ‘MSM v blogging’ leads me to post this observation. I think Radio National is a fine thing, but I much prefer it when a program finds someone who’s written something interesting, the presenter and producers read up on it a bit and the journos think of it as their job to try to bring you some new and interesting approach to some subject.
Then there is the . . . panel discussion. I like late night live but turned off after the first speaker last night who seemed to be wondering why she was there and what she was supposed to say. The topic? “After the Binge – the Apocalypse?” How original. Then they trotted out various people to go do their schtick. All the questions are so predictable. The answers . . . likewise. I guess I have enjoyed some panel discussions on radio but I can’t really think of any! I like the idea of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and might go to a session or two if I were there. But this week apparently the whole week is to be spent replaying such joys. Tonight “Indigenous Futures“. Now there’s a fresh topic. I’m recording it now to timeshift it to later tonight (since this practice was decriminalised just recently by our freedom and amnesty loving Attorney General). But I suspect I won’t get far before flipping the tape to the wonderful Book Show.
There’s an MSM reactiveness to it all. A topic is chosen not for it’s inherent interest because it’s ‘running’ in the media. I really dislike this about the daily press but the ‘quality’ end of that press and of broadcasting isn’t much different.
And why does a ‘festival of ideas’ so inevitably have a theme? This year’s is “which way to the future”. What’s with the theme? There are many things going on in the world. Would it be so bad to have an unthemed festival of ideas in which one invited all those who had said the freshest, most interesting and/or most profound things in the last few years? Should organising a festival of ideas really be like organising a ball? If so then I think we should have more playful themes. Next year the theme should be pirates or Gone with the Wind. All presenters should be required to wear costume and adopt appropriate accents. We chould invite a panel of Nobel Prize winners and dress them up in black hessian, put black patches over one eye and make them say ‘Aye aye me hearties’.
Anyway, I wonder what others think.