Thursday, September 29, 2011
A Forgotten Lesson
Ken Burns may be the most recognizable, historical documentarian of our time. He has dived into such topics as the Civil War, World War II, Baseball, History of Jazz, the Story of Lewis and Clark and the National Parks. His newest documentary will air on October 2-4, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. on PBS. What Ken Burns does best is tell a good story. But more than that, he takes complex issues and dry history and makes them accessible and understandable to the average viewer. He knows how to personalize a story that touches the human heart.
The issues that Ken Burns explores in his documentary, Prohibition, are just as relevant today. What is the proper role of government? What are individual rights and responsibilities? Nothing has really changed over the years. We are still debating these issues.
The question is have we learned from our past mistakes? As we all know, we are in the political season again. And many of the same issues are now front and center. Is it possible to legislate morality? Do I have the right to force my views of how I live my life on the general public? I’m sure that Ken Burns’ latest work, Prohibition, is going to be utterly fascinating. Perhaps this will spark a discussion and dialogue about the future and the direction that America must take in the political, cultural, and social arenas in order to guarantee our individual rights and freedoms.