Response to Digital Storytelling; Changing Lives Creating Community

While I would like to say that I gained much and enjoyed the information given in the text Digital Storytelling, Capturing Lives Changing Community, I did not. It is a bent toward humanism, social engineering, and pushes out the notion of God. The very fact that Joe Lambert writes with a lower case “g” for God was another spark to my ears, after he had already said the following:

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To read and side and think that I am being enlightened with what has been written by Joe Lambert in this text, in reality would be to denounce my story as a Christian.

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I once took what I read at face value and accepted readily everything, but I have learned to be a sifter of what is put out there, to look deeper. I find it disturbing the the very persons Mr. Lambert lifts up as perhaps shining lights for his own thinking and progression in promoting digital storying telling at the center for the “social project” actually quite disturbing.
He delights in being trained in theatrical literature, and phycological realism of August Strindberg. A bit on Strindberg…in 1890s he was involved with scientific experiments and studies of the occult. He had psychotic attacks that he referred to as his “Inferno crisis”. He later denounced God and professed to be an atheist. Another person he says he was privileged to study was Anton Chekhov, atheist. Then he speaks of Eugene O’Neill. He had a troubled upbringing with an alcoholic father and mother who suffered mental illness. He himself suffered from depression and alcoholism. It is noted that he befriended many radicals, in particular, John Reed, the founder of Communist Labor Party of America, and had an affair with Reed’s wife.  He re-images what he wished his youth had been in the play, Ah, Wilderness!. Troubling. The next one he mentions as having the privilege to study is Tennessee Williams, who also had an unhappy family background. He was also an alcohol and drug abuser. His real name was Thomas Lanier Williams III. The play A Streetcar Named Desire made him known in the playwright world and brought him wealth he was still paranoid about the next success. There is a lot more disturbing details of his life if anyone cares to look deeper. Great heights and deep depressions characterized his life.
He began by saying the brain that I hear with is different than the brain I listen with. Here is the quote, “But the brain you are using to listen to me talk about stories and storytelling is very different than the brain you have when you hear me tell a story. Then he tells the story about his dad. At the end he poses the question, “But what does that look like? How does the process of story turn into personal mythology.” In effect he alters the memory and takes out the dialogue to form a narrative, which then he says can serve as inspiration to social action, or as a cautionary tail. He says the story is a remapping of meaning and serves him to be in effect the person he needs to be now.

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humanism— this is NOT me EITHER; ….”and as of 2015 “Humanism” typically refers to a non-theistic life stance centred on human agency and looking to science rather than revelation from a supernatural source to understand the world.”
I don’t see the new me, as he states he becomes from the stories. I agree that you can make sense of past experiences, but I don’t look to people with trauma plaguing their lives for inspiration at all. In part of this chapter he speaks of unplugging…yet all those he admired plugged into their day, wanted to be famous, and thrived on recognition. These are not healthy attributes. I can agree that our stories do help us address our connection to the changing world, but I don’t agree about the “ubiquitous access to infinite information, as the vehicle to encourage our social agency” (pg. 14). Until this class, I was plugged into Facebook, and I blogged periodically for me. I’ve never felt the need to be plugged in, to achiever worshipers, or to redo who I am. In fact, I don’t even wear make-up. What you see is what you get.
This book is not my cup of tea. I look deeper into what is being said than ever before. Perhaps that comes with age. Perhaps that comes from seeing the line of people ready and willing and finally drinking the red Kool-Aid.  My faith has given me strength in times of trouble, and I will not denounce my faith in God. This is my testament and most important story.
~Diane
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2 thoughts on “Response to Digital Storytelling; Changing Lives Creating Community

  1. Diane,

    You don’t hold anything back, do you? I want to thank you for the passion of your post. The reader can feel the strength of your faith. And while have have different beliefs than you in some ways, I did not read the same chapter and am not in a position to make any counter arguments. I did want to applaud your bravery in exposing you true beliefs to the world, and not watering down the content on you blog.

    Like

  2. Hi Diane,

    I just wanted to comment and say thank you for your honest take on this chapter. I was struggling with the actual concepts about story (not “the story” or “storytelling” because he writes it only as “story” – another concept I struggled with) so I didn’t notice much of what you mentioned in your post. I’m not surprised that I didn’t notice (because I’m not a religious person), but I still very much appreciate reading your point of view and understanding how the chapter made you feel. Everything you pointed out is incredibly interesting and I wonder what Lambert would have to say in response. I imagine you two would have very, very interesting conversations. 🙂

    I like that you feel that you look deeper into what is said than ever before. I feel the same way, but I am still learning to hone my skills for deeper understanding. You have an incredible ending to this post, it’s to the point and very powerful!

    Like

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