Sunday, April 12, 2009

Commandments and Communication

Yes, The Ten Commandments was on television last night. So here is a slightly modified trailer for modern times - I guess set in a high school (tip Janine Solberg): 10 Things I Hate About Commandments


There is also quite a funny article in today's Week in Review about the impact of cell-phone communications on literature. After all, many of the great stories have been built upon communication mishaps - and texting, I guess takes much of it away. It uses examples from Shakespeare to The Sarah Connor Chronicles. For the purposes of this blog, here is a bit about the Old Testament (Casablanca comes as a bonus):

“We want a world where there’s distance between people; that’s where great storytelling comes from,” said Kamran Pasha, a writer and producer on “Kings,” the NBC drama based on the story of David. He says even the unfolding of the Bible would have been a casualty of connectedness. In the Old Testament, for instance, Joseph’s brothers toss him into a pit. He is picked up by slave traders and taken to Egypt, a pivotal development in the Exodus narrative that is central to Judaism. Imagine if, instead, he dialed for help from the pit. “It’s humorous to think that if Joseph has an iPhone, there’s no Judaism,” Mr. Pasha says.

Must we now hit “delete” on tension that simmers for hundreds of pages as characters wonder, for instance, what’s happened to a lover? Certainly Rick Blaine would have been spared the aching uncertainty of why Ilsa stood him up at the train station in “Casablanca.” (Why didn’t she show up? We were supposed to run away together! Hmm, let me check my messages ... O.K., well, that makes sense. Now let’s see if I can find her on Google Earth. ...)
Read the full article here. And just in case, if you want to take my iPhone away, you will have to take it "from my cold, dead hands".