Blanca de Lizaur, PhD, MA, BA, Content specialist.

Tag: Magazine

THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE MISSING SPECTATOR has little to do with the Digital Revolution

THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE MISSING SPECTATOR has little to do with the Digital Revolution

For everybody, Para:, Magazine
An important producer mentioned his concern that film –as in the complete experience of going to the cinema– was dying. There has been a progressive, constant and noteworthy decline in the number of spectators going to the movies over the last 30 years (not necessarily in the amount of money generated by these spectators, as box office prices have raised enormously during the same period).   In part, he blamed the economic crisis; but more importantly –and along with many others in the business, he blamed “videos” for the audience decline.  Who would want to go out to the movie theater when you can enjoy the film right at home, for free or for little? Of course this sounds both logical and reasonable; however it lacks appropriate contextualization. Why?  If “videos” were the only culpri
If it is not the readers’ fault, WHOM SHOULD WE BLAME…?

If it is not the readers’ fault, WHOM SHOULD WE BLAME…?

For media people, Para:, Magazine
. IN DEFENSE OF POPULAR COMMERCIAL MAGAZINES, NOVELS AND COMICS . I- DO YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY READ? –Don´t young people read?–  I asked myself in a subway station, before a poster encouraging them to read. I must say that at that moment, dozens of young adults walked right by without stopping to read –not Shakespeare or Cervantes, for goodness sake– but a simple notice board. –And the rest of the population? Do they read?–  I could answer the question myself, recalling the results of a survey published not long ago in one of the then nationally distributed newspapers in Mexico (El Heraldo de México; September 30th, 1991). Indeed they do; in spite of the depressing predictions which shed a bitter and fatalistic vision of the future of our society, the majority of those who responded
O, YEE PROUD PRINTED LETTER…!, or How we have come to forget the worth and value of orality and “normality” in the last 100 years.

O, YEE PROUD PRINTED LETTER…!, or How we have come to forget the worth and value of orality and “normality” in the last 100 years.

For everybody, Para:, Magazine
. An incredible but true story... - I -             I once was told that many years ago, the Mexican Ministry of Education undertook an important mission: That of measuring the I.Q. (Intellectual Quotient) of our indigenous peoples, in order to adequate our school system’s curricula and conditions to their real needs.  A large number of teachers, psychologists and pedagogues armed themselves with batteries of written tests, and set themselves to the task. The results, however, couldn’t have been more disheartening: Most communities sampled –according to the experts, scored so low, that we should consider our “Mexican Indians” to be intellectually disabled...! The project and its results were quickly silenced and buried. No-one dared to publish its “discoveries”, yet no-one could tell
WHAT HIGHLY EDUCATED PEOPLE READ…, when nobody watches

WHAT HIGHLY EDUCATED PEOPLE READ…, when nobody watches

For media people, Para:, Magazine
Pygmalion and Galatea… A professor gave his graduate students a poem written by a prestigious contemporary writer. A few minutes later he asked them what their favourite lines were, but nobody dared to answer: The poem, in spite of the author's reputation, was simply terrible. And although we have been trained to consider "beautiful" that which possesses great technical skill (even when the message, what is being said, is clearly horrible), the poem in question was not even technically noteworthy. That said, there is a kind of tacit agreement amongst members of the literary world that they should show their high regard and appreciation for works that the rest of them have praised, regardless of their true quality; and thus why many of us have occasionally been forced to praise “highbrow
NO RETURN ADDRESS? Then how can we tell your message is trustworthy…

NO RETURN ADDRESS? Then how can we tell your message is trustworthy…

For everybody, Para:, Magazine
            Anonymous messages…  –most of us distrust them.             When we talk about letters, we are suspicious of those that reach us without a signature and a return-address.  When we talk about general information, we tend to distrust rumours, because we don’t know who started them and what they are expecting to obtain through them.  And anonymity constitutes, as well, the main difference between a pamphlet and a legally distributed magazine –magazines are required by law to include information about who publishes them, and where these persons can be located, so that both you and the authorities can reach them if necessary.             This proves particularly important when you talk about electronic media, because of their massive and indiscriminate reach.  In regards to tradit
How to make a movie say WHAT YOU WANT TO

How to make a movie say WHAT YOU WANT TO

For audiences, Magazine
. An author's message... Many years ago, one of my university professors refused to explain what “the message” of a literary work is, because he himself didn´t understand  what it was.  I soon realized that he did know, but was cleverly avoiding confrontation with his students in regards to values, ideas and beliefs, given that the “message” of a story  usually exposes its author’s ideology. The ideology ­­–and this is important– colors every piece of information we transmit, and particularly every literary work, every work of art, every mass media product.  Ideology, in fact, intensifies (positively or negatively) the feelings these works awaken in us. Consequently, the “politically correct” version (that is: the “ideology-neutral” version)  of a tale such as Snow White  is perceived