STAND with Kelly and Niki Tshibaka

How Does Writing Influence Ideas?

May 08, 2024 Kelly Tshibaka and Niki Tshibaka
How Does Writing Influence Ideas?
STAND with Kelly and Niki Tshibaka
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STAND with Kelly and Niki Tshibaka
How Does Writing Influence Ideas?
May 08, 2024
Kelly Tshibaka and Niki Tshibaka

The cherished pages of a beloved book can transport us to distant worlds, but can the glitz of film truly capture the essence of our imaginations? As I share my own letdown with "Dune's" cinematic portrayal, we peel back the layers of how literature unfurls an infinite landscape in our minds, a personal realm where each reader becomes the architect of their own narrative. We're not just discussing the mechanics of imagination; it's a revelation of how written words empower us to paint our own mental masterpieces and how the silver screen adaptations, while visually spectacular, might inadvertently confine our creative freedoms.

Our exchange then takes a turn into the thorny brambles of book bans and censorship, where we grapple with the dual imperative to shield the young from harm while championing the sanctity of free expression. Drawing on the analogy of film ratings, we consider a solution that involves community-led boards—a measured approach to discern content suitability for young readers without sliding down the slippery slope of authoritarianism. Together, we reaffirm our dedication to maintaining a society where ideas can soar unfettered, and the protection of our youth is achieved through collective vigilance and thoughtful conversation, rather than blunt censorship.

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STAND's website: • StandShow.org
Follow Kelly Tshibaka on
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The cherished pages of a beloved book can transport us to distant worlds, but can the glitz of film truly capture the essence of our imaginations? As I share my own letdown with "Dune's" cinematic portrayal, we peel back the layers of how literature unfurls an infinite landscape in our minds, a personal realm where each reader becomes the architect of their own narrative. We're not just discussing the mechanics of imagination; it's a revelation of how written words empower us to paint our own mental masterpieces and how the silver screen adaptations, while visually spectacular, might inadvertently confine our creative freedoms.

Our exchange then takes a turn into the thorny brambles of book bans and censorship, where we grapple with the dual imperative to shield the young from harm while championing the sanctity of free expression. Drawing on the analogy of film ratings, we consider a solution that involves community-led boards—a measured approach to discern content suitability for young readers without sliding down the slippery slope of authoritarianism. Together, we reaffirm our dedication to maintaining a society where ideas can soar unfettered, and the protection of our youth is achieved through collective vigilance and thoughtful conversation, rather than blunt censorship.

Subscribe to never miss an episode of STAND:
YouTube
Apple Podcasts
Spotify

STAND's website: • StandShow.org
Follow Kelly Tshibaka on
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyForAlaska
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KellyForAlaska
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellyforalaska/

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to Stand. You're on Stand with Kelly and Nikki Chewbacca. I'm your co-host today, josiah Chewbacca, here with my wonderful mother, kelly Chewbacca, and we're going to talk about Dune. Dune is one of my favorite book series of all times and I was super excited, as you know, when the Dune 2 movie came out. I saw it twice, as you know, in theaters, and I was disappointed, to say the least. Unfortunately, because I'm a fan of the series. I'm a fan of the novels, right, and so when I see certain characters portrayed in certain ways that weren't up to my perceptions or my imagination of those characters, it's personal for me.

Speaker 2:

You know I was going to say it actually was a good movie. Tell me why you're so disappointed.

Speaker 1:

I will. I will be totally candid. They're good movies. If you're watching them as their own stories, they're good movies. My issue with it is it wasn't my story, it wasn't. It wasn't the Dune that I read, it wasn't the Dune that I had built in my mind and I think that really portrays the importance of writing. So I was sitting there and for our audience who doesn't know, I have ADHD. So I'm sitting there with my ADHD brain and just ripping into this when I should be working on literally anything else. But I'm just sitting there with my thoughts, right, and I'm contemplating the impact of writing and the adaptations of books into movies, right. And I was really also looking at the Hunger Games because I read the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and I loved it. It was a phenomenal book, one of the greatest books I've ever read, and the movie didn't. The movie was a great movie, but it didn't live up to the star power.

Speaker 1:

It was not the book. Why is that? Why do we get so disappointed when adaptations don't fit?

Speaker 2:

our reality.

Speaker 1:

So I was thinking through this and it really occurred to me that when you, when you write, when someone writes a book, they're writing an idea, they're portraying an idea, an image, a character, a picture, imagination. When you read that writing, you're not actually reading, you are writing in your mind, an interpretation of that person's mental image, right? So I can read Dune and you can read Dune and it could say Paul Atreides is a young, skinny, 15 year old male with curly black hair and you and I could envision two completely different looking individuals.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, two totally different characters in our mind.

Speaker 1:

Exactly Because we wrote out different ideas based on the prompt given to us. So when you read a book, you're actually writing ideas in your mind and writing things into your imagination. When you watch a movie, you are reading someone else's adaptation. You're reading what someone else wrote in their mind.

Speaker 2:

You're now visualizing someone else's imagination or what they wrote and imprinted in their imagination.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, you are reading someone else's thought writing so to speak, and you are thereby losing your ability to write your own imagination, to write your own thoughts, to build your own dune. So, for all the people who haven't read the Dune novels, every single one of you enjoyed the Dune movies.

Speaker 2:

Right, I liked it. I didn't read the book. I was like cool movie.

Speaker 1:

You have never read it. You enjoyed it as you should. They're great movies, they're great stories on their own, but for those of us who have written, our own thoughts about Dune. It is a completely different experience and I think that really encapsulates the importance of writing.

Speaker 2:

That's a really good point. What I hear you saying is nobody can capture your thoughts, your mind, your imagination and your unique contributions. So for those who don't know, Dune is set on other planets, those who don't know, Dune is set on other planets. And so what I hear you saying is everybody who's read the Dune novels has created other galaxies in their mind. And then when you watch these movies, your transport is like being in Star Trek.

Speaker 2:

You're like wait a minute, this isn't what the planet looks like. These aren't what the characters look like, because you have created your own worlds in your mind. And that's really what writing is is you're creating your own worlds in your mind. You're creating your own ability to contribute to conversations, to contribute to really to humanity ideas and concepts and stories and life and memories and experiences that really can shape people's minds and ideas and how we interact and how we learn and what happens as a collective society. But if you don't contribute, then we lose your particular individual contribution and nobody can make your individual, unique contribution. That's what you're saying, right.

Speaker 1:

Right, that's exactly what I'm saying, and I would just kind of outline for our audience my thinking and thought process here, because some people might say, well, you're just reading someone else's book, you're not actually writing anything. So let's look at writing as the grandfather. Writing is you coming up with the original source and you're the origin, you're the founder and the starter of that source. That's an extremely powerful place to be, because the ideas that are flowing from you are completely natural. Those have a lot of power to influence.

Speaker 1:

When you are reading, you're writing someone else's ideas in your mind, but that doesn't leave you susceptible to them. When you write someone else's ideas in your mind, you can write in your own things, and that's why we have conversations and debates. That's why we analyze arguments is because we now take these source inputs and we kind of like how AI would generate a text prompt. We receive just a little bit and then we build so much more on top of that, and so building up that muscle, that ability to analyze ideas, analyze things that other people create, and then build upon that and expand upon that, bring your own thoughts, ideas and values into that and then also share that with others is so crucial, especially in a country like America, where free speech and public forum are fundamental and crucial to our country's success and prosperity.

Speaker 2:

All right. Yeah, I really like that. I think writing is really important. Success and prosperity yeah, I really like that. I think writing is really important.

Speaker 2:

I want to go back to this idea that you asked during our interview about banning books. So there are these ideas that are being banned right now because they're socially unpopular. It's this witch hunt culture that has been perpetuated as like a cancel culture. If we decide that we have social fear about an idea, we're going to shut it down. So Dr Seuss books have been canceled.

Speaker 2:

Huck Finn, tom Sawyer, other what we would consider mainstream books that once were taught in elementary school. There's other ones that are on the list, but then there's other books that are actually really concerning to society, like, I would say, books that really advocate for and groom children for pedophilia, that are being banned. Is there a line? Where should that line be? I think one place that I would say is a really good line to advocate where we stop from.

Speaker 2:

You know, as we've seen in some really authoritarian cultures, piles of books in a burn pile, so that we can all align with the authoritarian government in charge that doesn't like ideas that challenge it, which is terrifying, because this is our first amendment. But where do we draw that line with things that like really push pedophilia? Is there's a place where those ideas can be like in certain X-rated or adult bookstores where you can go in if you want, certain X-rated or adult bookstores where you can go in if you want, but we don't put those books in, say, the public library where we have in the kids section, the under 18 section of the public library, or in our school libraries where we have kids, because we don't want children exposed to ideas that would be considered dangerous for their health. There's a compelling interest in protecting children and their innocence. What would you say to that as someone who's been involved in those discussions from a student leader perspective?

Speaker 1:

I would first of all thank you for bringing up the burning of the books occurring in Nazi Germany.

Speaker 2:

I was being really careful about not accusing a single government, because multiple governments can engage in that Multiple governments have done that, but the most prolific example that I can think of in history is Nazi Germany, and what I would really add on to that and warn us to be careful of is such widespread censorship of it.

Speaker 1:

Something that I find interesting is I've looked through a lot of lists of books that people propose should be banned, and I don't think I've ever seen Mein Kampf on the list of books that we should be banned.

Speaker 2:

That's fascinating.

Speaker 1:

Right Like. Have you ever heard anyone talk about banning Mein Kampf?

Speaker 2:

So Dr Seuss but not Hitler? That's fascinating.

Speaker 1:

Isn't that so interesting? So clearly, the issue is not with the ideas that are being portrayed, and we touched on that in our interview today. This whole episode has kind of been about of being portrayed, and we we touched on that in our interview today. This whole episode has kind of been about, you know, we should not restrict anyone's ability or rights to create content and share it with others. If you want to seek out that content, if you want to expose your child to that content, you can do that. Let that happen.

Speaker 1:

I would go to I forgot which Supreme Court justice said it, but he defined obscenity as I know it when I see it. So when we talk about what should or should not be allowed in a third grade classroom, I know what should or should not be allowed in books in a third grade classroom when I see it. So I think we don't need, as a society, to totally throw these books out the window, burn them, ban them. We also don't need to allow just anything to be accessible to anyone. There's certain content that absolutely should be restricted to only people who are willingly, intentionally seeking that knowledge you know, it's a really good point.

Speaker 2:

We do this with movies exactly.

Speaker 1:

Movies have certain ratings. You can't come see this if you're under 18, right, right.

Speaker 2:

Nor nor do you have the authority to just access it like on pay-per-view at home. You have to put in codes and stuff in order to access certain rated movies. It's a good point.

Speaker 1:

And I think our society is doing a really great job with that. I think so so many cities, states, counties have started these book advisory boards where, just like we talked about in our interview today, the community actually comes together, reads the books and then decides okay, what should we?

Speaker 2:

or should we not have it?

Speaker 1:

So I think a solution would be something along those lines. You know, we'll know obscenity when we see it. Let's not be overly political. Let's not be overly political. Let's all come to the table with all the books that we are concerned about being in kindergarten first, second, third grade classrooms, all the books we are considering banning, and let's read through them and then decide as a community okay, what contains pedophilia and should not be allowed dangerous advanced political thought that should be reserved for people who can like any, any radicalizing material should be reserved for someone older, who has constructed the ability to analyze abstract thought.

Speaker 1:

Let's sit down, decide as a community. Okay, here's what we like. Here's what needs to be restricted, but not removed it's a great idea.

Speaker 2:

Thanks, josiah. Standing for free speech, freedom, truth, government by the people. This is Stand with Kelly and Nikki Chewbacca Today. My co-host is Josiah Chewbacca. You can find us on standshoworg, where you can hit subscribe on any of our podcast platforms on YouTube and Rumble become one of our standouts. We'll see you next week on standshoworg.

The Power of Writing and Imagination
Discussing Censorship and Book Bans