May 26th, 2006

Excavation of the Day

I found a WordPerfect file called "Ideas" consisting of a single entry:
[Kim and Noelle watching Silence of the Lambs]

Paper on the use of criminal and/or insane 'experts' in early 90s films--Silence of the Lambs (Lechter), Backdraft (Donald Sutherland's character), etc. Also, somewhat 'off' experts like Van Helsing, Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost. And The X-Files. A psychoanalytic reading? Here's the winner idea: tie in to our (business) 'Culture of Consulting' and the prominence of expert knowledge in the media (Nightline).
Maybe I'll return to this topic some day. But, just as, when I look at an old photograph, I zero in on details that probably didn't register initially -- the look of clothing, hairstyles, cars -- when I read this today I was a lot more interested in what's inside the brackets at the beginning of the entry than in the ideas that contextual information was meant to situate. I'm glad I got into the habit of prefacing even my academic work with notes about the context in which it was written. The frame often proves as important as what it frames, not to mention changing the way in which that content is perceived.