Bulletin Board, excerpt

You Say Woodburry, I Say Woodberry

From (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, June 12, 2003

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Writes Poet X of PDX: "In the mid-'70s, the class on Communications in Media was counted as a high-school English credit. The teacher presented a radical way of looking at something common. It has stayed in the back of my mind ever since.

"When it comes to commercial television, he taught, the programs are not the product purchased by you, the consumer. You, the viewer, are the product whose time is purchased by the advertisers.

"In the late '70s, the Film class I took was also an English credit. It's where I learned to appreciate the director's contributions to the craft.
"Having become the product of TV that I tried to avoid becoming, and having no movie money during extended unemployment, I've actually taken to noticing good directing in a specific commercial. It's for an allergy-relief product and features a guy saying he's allergic to cats and he married a cat person. My mention of the commercial alone is probably enough to trigger the memory of the scene that I think best shows a great director at work: the guy playing yarn games with the cat. The ad's final image of the woman straightening the cat T-shirt the man is wearing is more of the same.

"I sense a budding Oscar-winner."

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