Friday, April 3, 2009

Salon

When was the last time you had a genuine conversation--an experience not of mere self-assertion but of speaking and listening as though you had something both to offer and to receive? Our habits of language define us, but the pace of our lives is such that the simple gestures of listening carefully and speaking prudently are amazingly rare. The Friday Night Salon aims at being an alternative to the urban rush that denies the civilizing graces of community. We begin with good food and drink, then take our places in a circle for discussion about a variety of relevant, substantial topics. It's a welcome way to end the workweek.

Discussion topics for April 3:
1. Will Localism replace Globalism? (Leftover from last month, but still a worthy topic)
2. Of what value to culture is the expert?
3. The Friday Salon: should it be risky or safe?

(All replies welcome!) :)

6 comments:

Ms Cupcake said...

Wow! I can't say I've taken the time to have a real conversation with someone likely. I'm always trying to catch up.

Good morning!

Checking in from sits. It's FRIDAY!!!! Yay!!!

Have a great weekend.

Zen Cupcake

Amy said...

Have a great day. I like your Salon that you do.

I hope all is well.

I am Harriet said...

Hi.
Stopping by via SITS to say hello!
Interesting post.

Have a great weekend!

Christine said...

1. I think the cat is out of the bag on this one, and I'm not sure I want it fully back in. We can't contract back into complete localism (economically or culturally), and doing so would lead to a sad loss of our recognition that others aren't really that different. If "localism" is a code for "nationalism", that's scary. That being said, I do think that we will and should start to turn a bit more to our neighborhood for some things. Hard economic times aren't fun, but it's lovely when you see it fostering community, leading people to help others near them. My hope is that all of this talk of the economy will make us smarter about our decisions as consumers, and maybe we'll start to make the local choice because it helps our neighbors. Too bad that's nearly impossible in metroplex America.
2. We're going to spend some time tonight defining the terms in this question, but here's my initial two cents. Experts are a two-edged sword in a culture. They can dictate taste, laws, policy, etc. If they're good, that's good; if they're not, that's not. Ultimately the onus is on us to be the reality check on 'experts'. FactCheck.org is a great tool for this kind of everyman-expert, and Wikipedia shows that if you get enough of us together, we really do know what we're talking about.
3. Let's get a few kegs next time and see what happens.

Ginger said...

Russell: There are pieces hanging on museum walls all over the world, verified by experts to be genuine works of art by Picasso, Modigliani, and Mattisse that were actually painted by a faker named De Hory. He painted in the style of these artists; he didn't copy existing works. He then sold them as if they were genuine works. Many experts swore up and down that these were definitely genuine. Once some of his works were discovered to be fake, no one knew for sure which of the Picassos, Modiglianis, and Mattisses that were on the walls were real and which weren't. And to protect their reputations, the experts refused to admit they'd been fooled. It was better for business for them to insist that they'd been right all along.

So what good are the experts?

Ginger: Interesting point. AND how do they get to be experts? Education? Money (as in I have more than you, so I'm right)? Location (what type of govt is in control)? But also, why is it when we think of culture we think of art? What about folks who are experts at eating 70 hotdogs in two minutes? Do they add value to culture?

Russell: Expertise in the hot dog arts should not be overlooked. Unless the hot dogs aren't kosher. Then it doesn't matter.

Bonnie said...

Hey Ginger!
Sorry I haven't been around lately, but life is crazy between the 2 boys and their schedules. I have missed coming around and checking things out. I will do better in the future. I'd love to come up and visit with Jen, but I have a feeling Spencer is going to have a busy summer with band (getting ready for high school marching) and his plays. Shane is already talking about baseball this summer. I don't see a relaxing summer in my future. I will hopefully be interviewing for AP positions, or getting ready for a move to 5th grade. I'm tired just typing it out!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Salon

When was the last time you had a genuine conversation--an experience not of mere self-assertion but of speaking and listening as though you had something both to offer and to receive? Our habits of language define us, but the pace of our lives is such that the simple gestures of listening carefully and speaking prudently are amazingly rare. The Friday Night Salon aims at being an alternative to the urban rush that denies the civilizing graces of community. We begin with good food and drink, then take our places in a circle for discussion about a variety of relevant, substantial topics. It's a welcome way to end the workweek.

Discussion topics for April 3:
1. Will Localism replace Globalism? (Leftover from last month, but still a worthy topic)
2. Of what value to culture is the expert?
3. The Friday Salon: should it be risky or safe?

(All replies welcome!) :)

6 comments:

Ms Cupcake said...

Wow! I can't say I've taken the time to have a real conversation with someone likely. I'm always trying to catch up.

Good morning!

Checking in from sits. It's FRIDAY!!!! Yay!!!

Have a great weekend.

Zen Cupcake

Amy said...

Have a great day. I like your Salon that you do.

I hope all is well.

I am Harriet said...

Hi.
Stopping by via SITS to say hello!
Interesting post.

Have a great weekend!

Christine said...

1. I think the cat is out of the bag on this one, and I'm not sure I want it fully back in. We can't contract back into complete localism (economically or culturally), and doing so would lead to a sad loss of our recognition that others aren't really that different. If "localism" is a code for "nationalism", that's scary. That being said, I do think that we will and should start to turn a bit more to our neighborhood for some things. Hard economic times aren't fun, but it's lovely when you see it fostering community, leading people to help others near them. My hope is that all of this talk of the economy will make us smarter about our decisions as consumers, and maybe we'll start to make the local choice because it helps our neighbors. Too bad that's nearly impossible in metroplex America.
2. We're going to spend some time tonight defining the terms in this question, but here's my initial two cents. Experts are a two-edged sword in a culture. They can dictate taste, laws, policy, etc. If they're good, that's good; if they're not, that's not. Ultimately the onus is on us to be the reality check on 'experts'. FactCheck.org is a great tool for this kind of everyman-expert, and Wikipedia shows that if you get enough of us together, we really do know what we're talking about.
3. Let's get a few kegs next time and see what happens.

Ginger said...

Russell: There are pieces hanging on museum walls all over the world, verified by experts to be genuine works of art by Picasso, Modigliani, and Mattisse that were actually painted by a faker named De Hory. He painted in the style of these artists; he didn't copy existing works. He then sold them as if they were genuine works. Many experts swore up and down that these were definitely genuine. Once some of his works were discovered to be fake, no one knew for sure which of the Picassos, Modiglianis, and Mattisses that were on the walls were real and which weren't. And to protect their reputations, the experts refused to admit they'd been fooled. It was better for business for them to insist that they'd been right all along.

So what good are the experts?

Ginger: Interesting point. AND how do they get to be experts? Education? Money (as in I have more than you, so I'm right)? Location (what type of govt is in control)? But also, why is it when we think of culture we think of art? What about folks who are experts at eating 70 hotdogs in two minutes? Do they add value to culture?

Russell: Expertise in the hot dog arts should not be overlooked. Unless the hot dogs aren't kosher. Then it doesn't matter.

Bonnie said...

Hey Ginger!
Sorry I haven't been around lately, but life is crazy between the 2 boys and their schedules. I have missed coming around and checking things out. I will do better in the future. I'd love to come up and visit with Jen, but I have a feeling Spencer is going to have a busy summer with band (getting ready for high school marching) and his plays. Shane is already talking about baseball this summer. I don't see a relaxing summer in my future. I will hopefully be interviewing for AP positions, or getting ready for a move to 5th grade. I'm tired just typing it out!