Showing posts from August 24, 2021

The Courage to Look

Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington In 1970’s Mississippi, when the average home had no more than one television and none of us had ever seen a TV show in color, there was only one channel—two on a cloudy day, but only if you were lucky enough to have a rooftop antenna and committed enough to keep fiddling with the control knob ‘til you managed to set the angle just right. TV viewing was very much a one-dimensional activity in those days. We didn’t have cable or satellite service or even a remote control, so we’d just walk up to the big cabinet with a screen and a few knobs on it in the living room, press the power button and then sit on the floor to wait for it to warm up. Slowly the scenes playing on that one channel came to life, and it didn’t occur to us to question what would be on. We were delighted to watch, whatever it was. Often that was a John Wayne movie, a frontier story, some classic American tale of westward expansion. John Wayne’s territorial lifestyle was such