Viva Mario Savio (and @CodyBrown)

This morning, as I stared at my feet on the subway, feeling the irritation and dismay build at the dehumanizing sardine-can conditions in the car, which were thrown into stark relief by a long weekend spent, in part, on horseback, moving at my pace of choice through lovely and quiet autumnal trails on the Niagara Escarpment, I had an unexpected light-bulb moment.  I was, as usual, rifling my mental archives for a point of departure for today’s post, hoping to “turn up” a suggestive line or paragraph or page, perhaps one authored by one of this blog’s intellectual exemplars (you will find most of their names – their number is small – under the heading “Local Forecast” on the right-hand sidebar of the main page).  Perhaps it was the press of the crowd on its collective way-to-work that prompted a different impulse:  why not inquire of others regarding their sources of intellectual, theoretical and ethical inspiration?  And (since an insta-poll of my fellow commuters was neither viable nor, quite honestly, all that promising) why not avail myself of Twitter in order to carry it out?  There were a handful of folks on my timeline, I thought, who might be willing to share in this regard, should they chance upon my fleeting inquiry.

So, a short time ago, I sent out 8 or 10 tweets, a combination of DMs and @replies, that read more or less like this:

Hey.  For an informal poll of some folks I follow on Twitter: who are your intellectual (philosophical/theoretical) exemplars/heroes?

I got my first response in under two minutes (an interval brief enough to flag in the context of my critique of the ideology of the “real-time” Web), when one of the people I was most interested in hearing from fired back.  @CodyBrown is someone I have followed for some time, and know only through Twitter.  I know (or at least I believe) him to be a denizen of Brooklyn, a co-founder of @kommons and @nyulocal – two worthy projects, it would appear – and the author of a “Blog on Journalism, Collective Knowledge, and What Makes Things Cinematic.”  And I follow him on the basis of this fragmentary biographical information, and (much more) because of the nature, the character of his tweets, which are well-turned, stringent, funny, and which nearly always include worthwhile links.

Virtually as soon as I had finished sending my queries into the ether, I got @CodyBrown’s response:  “Mario Savio.”  When I replied to thank him and to give him an opportunity to gloss his response in this context, I promptly received a link that led me to a video clip of Mario Savio addressing a crowd on the steps of Sproul Hall at Berkeley, on December 2, 1964.

@CodyBrown exemplifies what I prize about Twitter.  If he is not (yet) among my intellectual exemplars, he is close to the top of my very short list of social media and journalism go-to guys.  I am grateful to him for “turning up” the footage of Mario Savio speaking at a historical juncture.

Based on what is admittedly minimal evidence, I believe that Cody and Mario have a trait or two in common.  So, while I thank the former once again for his timely replies, I offer as well a word of advice.  Call me superstitious, but if you’re thinking of moving any furniture, you might want to consult the Yellow Pages.

Now, let’s see if anyone else has responded.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Death, History and historiography, Journalism, Media, Reading and writing, Tech, Weblogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s