Ken Burns: From The Civil War to Civility

Monday, May 30, 2011

To commemorate the Civil War's 150th anniversary, PBS recently reaired Ken Burns' documentary "The Civil War." Burns, a documentary filmmaker for the past 30 years, talks about the continuing effects of the war and his new project, "Civility and Democracy."


Ken Burns

Comments [3]

Mystic Michael from Manhattan

Although I missed the original broadcast of the Ken Burns interview, I did catch the repeat broadcast of it yesterday, on Memorial Day.

I've heard/seen some interviews with Burns before, but on this particular occasion I was especially impressed with his cultural & political erudition. Clearly he is a very thoughtful person and an astute observer of the human condition, with a keen insight into the multiplicity of issues & forces that have made our society what it is today. But his rare gift is the ability to articulate and to clarify these factors, in all the nuance and detail they truly deserve.

Any time you have an opportunity to book Ken Burns for a return visit to the show, please do so. He's great.

May. 31 2011 02:29 AM
gary from queens

I was raised in the same left wing culture that Ken Burns described he grew up in. But having moved away from those left wing sensibilites, I was able to pick up the subtle slight he uttered against Rep. Michelle Bachman, who mistakenly got the location of the first battle of the revolutionary war incorrect.

If he meant it in a jocular way, then he is mimicking Rush Limbaugh's style. Not the raging hatred expressed by Ed Shultz or Keith Olbermann. That aside, right before Burns was on, I listened to the BBC exhibit the same hypocricy and cowardice:

At around 9:40 AM this morning i started listening to WNYC Radio, broadcasting the BBC's News Hour.

The first 5 minute news segment was a report from Greece, in which immigrants faced the plight of Greek right wing anti immigrant feelings. Some immigrants identified as pakistani and afghans described how they were attacked and harmed. One incident that might have explained part of the reason for the anti immigration attitudes was the killing of a Greek man by an "immigrant."

Other than that, the report didn't provide a clue as to why Greek "right wingers" would dislike immigrants. Or was it immigrantion generally? I don't know. More importantly, the report didn't utter the word "islam" or "muslim" even ONCE. But then why should the dhimmis at the BBC bother that. After all, they did utter the words "right wingers" several times. So that must have been their way of explaining the strife. Greek right wingers zenophobic hating lunatics–––just like American right wingers!

The news story following that one was 3 minutes long. But it explained a lot. It was about the anti Chinese protest rallies by Mongolians. The oppression of the mongolian culture was at issue. BBC seemed capable of explaining that struggle. But why can't they explain the Muslim cultural take-over of Europe?!

Oops, I guess I let the cat out of the bag! I'm a "right wing hater." The BBC must be afraid to be labeled a hate group too, by merely mentioning the idea of the islamic doctrine supremacy and cultural hedgemony. BECAUSE THAT IS THE REASON FOR NON-MUSLIM NATIVES RESISTING THE "IMMIGRATION" ONSLAUGHT.

May. 30 2011 11:44 AM
Mike from NYC

The unintended consequences of the prohibition of alcohol, the near civil war level of organized crime violence, are being played out not here but in Mexico. Where a country that was trying to overcome a history of poverty and corruption is being destablized to the point that it could become a failed state. The established interests--both the criminals whose profit margins depend on the continued criminalization and the political/law enforcement/imprisonment industry that has grown up around drug law enforcement--in the US has an almost existential interest in the status quo. So nothing will be done here.

May. 30 2011 10:38 AM

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