The Things That I Think That They Mean

The Things That I Think That They Mean

When I tell people I’m reading a book
I always get respect
“An intellectual using some brains”
Is what they think, I expect

But when I tell people I watched my TV
The reaction is just not the same
That’s something I clearly don’t understand:
Why the visual gets so much blame

After all, they both give me someone’s ideas
Which I process inside my head
If I don’t make it contextualized
They both are equally dead

For me, it’s quite simple: thoughts fascinate
Whether seen on a page or a screen
It isn’t the way that they say what they say
It’s the things that I think that they mean

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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13 Responses to “The Things That I Think That They Mean”

  1. EJMH Says:

    I’ve felt this way for a long time. Thank you for putting it into words.

  2. Harold Delk Says:

    Bravo! Well done.

  3. Harminder Pal Says:

    Same here, been feeling likewise, for a long long time, it might pertain to media form, be it Tv, Internet or whatever. In the end, what matters is this -> “It’s the things that I think that they mean”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harminder!

      It’s all input, as Number 5 (Short Circuit) would say, and if something is mindless, it’s just because you haven’t brought your mind. ;)

  4. Andrys Says:

    Well said, Bufo! Totally agree. And then I often go look on the Net to see what others thought and usually get a good chuckle out of the creative types discussing what I saw (or thought I saw)..

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Andrys!

      Absolutely! People discuss visual media with the same passion and insight that they discuss books…wait, when was the last time I overheard people discussing a book? ;)

  5. BERT Says:

    “it’s quite simple: thoughts fascinate
    Whether seen on a page or a screen”

    This is why we have several Kindles in our house. The Kindle allows one to quickely and easily amass information and understand.

    I agree with EJMH. “Thank you for putting it into words.”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, BERT!

      The reflective screen Kindles did that for me for books…instant, broad-ranging access. The Fire has done that for me for shorter written content (with the Flipboard app in particular) and for visual media. I actually listened to audio on both, by the way.

  6. Loren Coleman Says:

    For twenty years, at a university of 18,000, I taught a credit course to 100-200 undergrads per semester on documentary film, reality television, and media journalism. It was taught from the point-of-view of the audience and deconstructing the visuals from the viewers’ POV.

    It was always amazing to compare the reactions I would get between telling people about my teaching using so much TV versus just telling someone I’d written merely *a* book on the media (even, though, of course, I’ve had several books published). The bias is strong, from academics and intellectuals, against television, despite the fact that in our contemporary world that is the way most people get their facts and are encultured.

    Your poem captures it well.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Loren!

      It’s great to have such a successful author (and one whose books have mattered to me) take the time to come here and point out the value of the visual media, from the point of view of a teacher.

      I always considered myself fortunate to have had a “film analysis” class in high school. To suggest that, say, The Graduate, is not as good a subject for analysis as, say, Of Mice and Men, shows a…limited perspective, to me.

      For those who don’t know Loren, here’s the Amazon page:

      Amazon’s Loren Coleman page

  7. thingsajillion Says:

    Loved it! Well said!

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