Sunday, July 03, 2005

Catching Up

Today is the birthday of Tom Stoppard. A quote from his play "Arcadia" provides the title of this blog. Happy Birthday Tom! Another line of his that I have on a t-shirt is "It's wanting to know that makes us different."

But Catching Up is the title here. So let's go back to the 15th of May for the Monmouth College graduation. A former student of mine, one of the founders of MTV and now a Vice President of Viacom for European Operations, Dwight Tierney, delivered the commencement address. Yours truly and another old professor of Dwight's from the 1970's, Tom Fernandez, were there to celebrate with him. Tierney's address was tagged for re-broadcast on C-Span a week ago. I didn't see it, but wonder if his last line was censored. It went down well with the grads, but some of the older folks felt it crossed the language line when he uttered his concluding recommendation of "Don't take shit from anyone."

Another good line from the speech came as he was telling about his involvement in the founding of MTV. As he described it, the little group of original creators had a philosophy that could be summed up as, "If it's not broke, break it and see what happens." What happened in this case was a shattering of the mold of what was then thought of as successful TV programming.

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