I am currently slogging my way through "Cronkite" by Douglas Brinkley. It is a thick book, 820 pages including the footnotes and index. It is an interesting foray into history from a journalistic point of view as well as a telling tale of the influence of differing kinds of media over the last 80 or so years.
I'm only a quarter of a way through the book, but far enough to follow Cronkite to the first two televised presidential conventions in 1958 and 1960. He was on the cusp of televised reporting which forever changed these political conventions from their free wheeling roots to the carefully planned and scripted "infomercials" that we just watched. CBS held workshops to help the candidates with such things as make-up and clothing to how to play to the camera. Television really changed everything about how we go about selecting a president. Our current generation is watching the impact of the Internet on presidential campaigns.
So over the last couple of days as I've listened (NPR) and watched (TV) about the death of a United States Ambassador to Libya resulting from the sharing of an offensive video via the Internet. I wonder that a world so connected is still so ignorant of each others basic tenets and beliefs. I ponder about revenge and fanatical behavior and actions.
On September 22 the Louvre will open its Islamic Wing. It will another chance for the public to better understand this ancient and long standing culture.
The public will learn about the importance of calligraphy and the written word to the Islamic world just as I did at the BYU Museum of Art's exhibit, "Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture." They will be charmed by the beautiful patterns and symmetry.
They will become aware that in the Islamic world beauty is truth as I did upon attending a lecture, "Islam: Truth and Beauty" given by this man, Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University Seyyed Hossein Nasr, last week at the MOA.
Photo courtesy of BYU MOA
Now I know in better detail why the burning of the Koran is so offensive. Now I better understand the current unrest in the Middle East. Now I better understand the diversity of the Islamic world verses the fanatical factions which receive so much attention, but also cause so much grief.
"Beauty and Belief" will end on September 29, 2012. It will then travel to other venues.