Saturday, July 07, 2007

Adelaide Festival of Ideas: 'Digital Ink: the Future of Journalism': Prelude

I'm sorry to report that my brilliant career as a roving, erm, reporter of the Festival took a bit of a beating this afternoon when not only was I late arriving at the 'Digital Ink' session, but realised only after I was seated, in Adelaide University's very, very beautiful Bonython Hall, where at one point a shaft of afternoon light came arrowing in like a golden beam from the eye of God through a high window (and I don't even believe in the eye of God as a rule) -- and as if that were not enough, I was sitting in what was quite possibly the same seat in which my late Ma sat in at my graduation ceremony in 1976; this revisiting of old haunts is certainly unleashing an avalanche of tumbling rocks of memory, some of them very muddy, and heavy, not to say crushing -- anyway, I realised much too late that I had misread the program and that the 'Digital Ink' session was in fact concurrent with Jay Griffiths' 'Wild Mind: A manifesto for the essential wildness of the human spirit', which up until that moment I had confidently assumed I would be going to after 'Digital Ink' was finished.

(On reflection, I should have gone up to the audience mic in Question Time and asked what the panel thought of the proposition that the truly great beauty of blogging is that you can say whatever you like, and people can either read it or not read it, as they see fit: no corrupting cash nexus, which had been one of the things under discussion, and no harm done to anyone.)

I really did want to hear Jay Griffiths, despite a niggling scepticism about the phrase 'the essential wildness of the human spirit', which thirty years ago, or even twenty, though probably not ten, would have made all the hair on the back of my neck stand up, thereby demonstrating the essential wildness etc. But these days it has to me a ring of 'Women Who Run With the Wolves', and though I have indeed been known in the past to run with a wolf or two, I am these days much more of a Woman Who Potters With the Tortoiseshells and therefore inclined to look on such titles with a jaded eye.

So perhaps my misreading of the program was a Freudian slip. The design of the Festival program schedule is actually a bit hard to work out this year.

To be continued ...

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4 comments:

Stu said...

I just managed to get a spot on the sunny side of Bonython Hall during Marion Nestle's talk, particularly annoying since it was one of the few talks with slides to look at.
Towards the end the sun did go away so I could look at the screen without squinting or shielding my eyes, but it turns out that this was just a sign of the downpour which would greet us on our exit.
Off to the Elder Hall next, so no problem with the sun.
By the way, Nestle's talk was great, I'm tempted to visit the sales area later to check out her latest book.

Bernice said...

Given that I'm more The Woman who has Misplaced Something these days, the serendiptious attendance at events due to obtuse programs is something I can strongly identify with. But damn the gothic & its piercing illuminations..

Pavlov's Cat said...

Stu, yes, I noticed that before I sat down and deliberately got a seat on the left-hand side of the hall out of the sun. One didn't really need to look at the screen, as it turned out, but it was a nice add-on. I thought she was terrific, and will write a post on that session once I catch up with myself.

Bernice, yes, that architectural quirk is a beauty. It was almost like Stonehenge: an arrangement of sun and stone specifically desgined to make one cogitate on mystery. Bonython Hall actually faces north-south, so it's only in midwinter that you get those celestial rays through the north-facing windows. Of course, anything more east-west oriented would ensure that punters got blinded by the light at both ends.

Ampersand Duck said...

Women who Potter with Tortoiseshells

Finally, a self-help concept I can embrace!