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That's Entertainment!

"A clown with his pants falling down
Or the dance that's a dream of romance
Or the scene where the villain is mean.
That's entertainment!" - Dietz and Schwartz, from the musical The Band Wagon 1931
"Watching the news and not eating your tea
A freezing cold flat and damp on the walls
I say that’s entertainment, that’s entertainment" - The Jam 1980
"Here we are now / entertain us" - Kurt Cobain', "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 1991

"I would like to thank the Academy..."   The statuettes have been distributed, and as usual, we're left no wiser on the subject of what entertainment IS.  This is an important subject for business:  besides being one of our biggest industries, the communication revolution continues to redefine the rules (for example, distributor Netflix producing their own series and issuing it all at once).  This is an important subject for creative types:  is what I'm doing meaningful, or is it "just" entertainment?  And it is an important subject for the rest of us:  we spend hours of every day watching or listening to it, we use it to represent ourselves to others and even to ourselves.  Entertainment in the 21st century has become our way of life.

At least it's our principle way of being a member of society, rather than of the economy or of a family.  It's no stretch to think of philosophy itself, particularly the casual way we do it, as entertainment.  So that's one way to engage the theme.  Entertainment is slanted toward the consumer, rather than the producer that we looked at in Creativity .  We may choose to judge entertainment, as we did in Art, but now we don't care if it's "high art"–we just wanna have fun.  Hopefully our discussion of Attraction will pay dividends as we seek to understand our relationship to "what we like."

I am liking the segmented format, which both focuses us and keeps us moving.  Its key element is a defined focal point for each segment.  I will be sure to ask for them at the top of the meeting:

  • a quote
  • a question
  • a category (Top Ten list)
  • a story

If you can't think of one ahead of time, don't worry:  we will develop some on the spot!  All we need for this backup plan is your favorite TV show, movie, song, whatever.

Attendance has been great recently, yet I still want to encourage those whose primary interest may not seem to intersect this theme.  It can be more fun to participate when you don't have an opinion yet.  And, as Shakespeare said, "The play's the thing!"

Looking forward to it,


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  • Jay C.

    The word comes from entere, between and tenere, to hold. Representing the bond between entertainer and audience ?

    March 11, 2013

    • Jeff G

      Well, "entertain us" = "hold us between" so the audience is suspended between two (stable) states, in a state of indecision, or contradiction, perhaps. We don't want it to end (that is, if we're actually entertained).

      March 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I hope I can make it. Coming from Guerneville

    March 11, 2013

    • Jeff G

      Looking forward to catching up, whenever you do!

      March 11, 2013

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