Buck Ramsey (cowboy poet) testifying in favor of funding National Endowment for the Humanities
“I think our nation, and our species has common memory that keep us, through tradition, connected; reminded of the precious things our minds and hearts and souls have sifted and sanctified from our long and common experience. But, as regards to songs, stories, and poems, which are much of the tradition of my tribe, I learned early a curious fact: The older the cowboy, the more likely he was to be plugged into that common memory of the tribe. That is he knew more songs, stories and poems than the younger ones and seemed to be in some way purer in his tribal etiquette. When it came to my generation, we knew only snatches of what the old ones knew. Clearly radio, movies, television began drowning out the resonance of the tradition, acted as something of an Alzheimer’s disease on the common memory.”
Personally, I’m a fan of radio, television and movies. They’re all based on telling a good story in one way or another. But stories that tell us who we are serve a deeper purpose. It seems to me that we remember a good “tribal story” as Ramsey calls them, differently than we remember a good movie. Anyone agree or disagree?