Overheard somewhere recently: “Books are TV for smart people.” Now, before some of you start patting yourselves on the back, while others of you get your backs up and come looking for me, please remember I wrote that I overheard this somewhere recently. I’m neither espousing nor taking issue with it. It’s glib. It makes a great sound bite. But, is it true? Is it fair? Which books? And what TV? Certainly, there are books that TV could never and should never touch, but, then again–and especially in recent years– there are also some terrific TV shows out there that are light-years away from the formulaic and proverbial “idiot box” offerings.
A former college French major, I’ve read some big and, classically considered important, works (Hugo, Montaigne, Racine, Stendhal, Flaubert, Balzac to name a few). I’ve read them in the original language and, sometimes and simultaneously, I’ve read them in translation as well. The stories –events, characters, themes–carry through in both languages. To be sure, one finds little slips here and there; a funny word, a missed turn of phrase, a soupçon of slightly altered attitude. As a language student, I appreciate the differences and enjoy noting them. But, for many people, such nuances are unremarkable. The significant thing–the overall message–comes through loud and clear.
By extension, can we not say the same about any and all storytelling, language and media? The story comes first! The medium matters, but it’s secondary. And ever fluid. We’re thrilled to continue to put out print publications, and very much appreciate all the positive feedback for our efforts. Realizing that some stories play better in social media format, we’ve ramped up our online presence as well. However delivered, we truly believe in putting the story first–communication is a beautiful thing!
For the purposes of this–our Spring Awakenings print issue–I’d like to suggest a comfy space and place that need include neither desk nor lap. No cords or batteries required either. Breathe deeply. You can almost smell the ink. Enjoy the feel of the lovely paper stock, the sound of flipping pages. There’s something special about a hard copy magazine, no doubt about it. Not saying it’s better. Just saying it’s something considerable. We’re proud to bring you a fresh look at the everyday world around us through stories shared page by printed page…
For example, please consider our article on Habitat for Humanity. Before you turn to page six, what are your expectations? A feel-good story about volunteering? Sure, we’ve got that covered. But we also suggest that things could be better, and more could and should be done by all of us right here at home. Let’s do as Voltaire famously penned in Candide–il faut cultiver notre jardin–and take care of our own.
I do mean that, and sans the usually-ascribed sarcasm. Perhaps it’s the optimistic “hope springs eternal” season upon us. But why not choose to cultivate our immediate garden; our literal and figurative backyards? Why not make things the best they can be right here at home?
Certainly, that’s what some young men in Armonk and Chappaqua did when they came together for the love of sport and sportsmanship. When you read “Armonk Warriors Welcome Chappaqua Players for a Dream Season,” it’s impossible not to feel optimistically inspired! Bravo to the players, parents and coaches who made a significant difference and saw some dreams come true in the process.
Speaking of parents who make a difference, I want to give a shout out to local mom and practicing psychologist Benna Strober who shares both her professional expertise and a personal story with us in “When it’s Time to Let Go.” Helicopter parenting is neither new nor, especially in communities like ours, newsworthy, but this self-described and real-life application of control may help others make the decision to roll out their own landing gear.
When it comes to applause, let’s also give it up for the many talented local folk who act, sing, dance, direct, costume, create sets, design lights and sound–in other words, cheers for our community theatre groups! We discuss how they came to be, the creative energies that continue inform the companies and the best way to see or become involved with productions in “The Show Must Go On.”
And the art of narrative must go on too. Start a conversation with your friends, open a discussion with your family. Tell us what you think! We love your emails, notes and online posts, so please keep the lines of communication open and flowing.
Happy Spring, everyone –