JimCT

Ken Burns' "Vietnam"

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10 parts, 18 hours, starts 9/17 - I caught the preview a few weeks back and it looks very good.

https://nyti.ms/2xCmpJQ

In approaching the subject, Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick set some ground rules. No historians or other expert talking heads. No onscreen interviews with polarizing boldfaced names like John Kerry, John McCain, Henry Kissinger and Jane Fonda, or anyone with “an interest in having history break the way they want it to break,” as Mr. Burns put it. (The filmmakers met with Mr. McCain and Mr. Kerry for advice early on, and said both were supportive. Some other prominent figures expressed interest in being interviewed, Mr. Burns said, and were politely rebuffed.)

“The seeds of disunion we experience today, the polarization, the lack of civil discourse all had their seeds in Vietnam,” Mr. Burns said. “I can’t imagine a better way to help pull out some of the fuel rods that create this radioactive atmosphere than to talk about Vietnam in a calm way.”

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1 hour ago, JimCT said:

10 parts, 18 hours, starts 9/17 - I caught the preview a few weeks back and it looks very good.

https://nyti.ms/2xCmpJQ

In approaching the subject, Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick set some ground rules. No historians or other expert talking heads. No onscreen interviews with polarizing boldfaced names like John Kerry, John McCain, Henry Kissinger and Jane Fonda, or anyone with “an interest in having history break the way they want it to break,” as Mr. Burns put it. (The filmmakers met with Mr. McCain and Mr. Kerry for advice early on, and said both were supportive. Some other prominent figures expressed interest in being interviewed, Mr. Burns said, and were politely rebuffed.)

“The seeds of disunion we experience today, the polarization, the lack of civil discourse all had their seeds in Vietnam,” Mr. Burns said. “I can’t imagine a better way to help pull out some of the fuel rods that create this radioactive atmosphere than to talk about Vietnam in a calm way.”

Thanks for this, Jim. I'm very interested in seeing this.

 

When the story mentions that there will be "No onscreen interviews with polarizing boldfaced names like John Kerry, John McCain, Henry Kissinger and Jane Fonda, or anyone with “an interest in having history break the way they want it to break,” as Mr. Burns put it, I hope that does not mean they will ignore the actions of people like Mr. McCain and Ms. Fonda. While they may be polarizing, they are also real, and if you assume truth in his later statement about the seeds of disunion being sown during the Vietnam ear, it would be disingenuous not to highlight them.

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1 minute ago, cobalt said:

Thanks for this, Jim. I'm very interested in seeing this.

 

When the story mentions that there will be "No onscreen interviews with polarizing boldfaced names like John Kerry, John McCain, Henry Kissinger and Jane Fonda, or anyone with “an interest in having history break the way they want it to break,” as Mr. Burns put it, I hope that does not mean they will ignore the actions of people like Mr. McCain and Ms. Fonda. While they may be polarizing, they are also real, and if you assume truth in his later statement about the seeds of disunion being sown during the Vietnam ear, it would be disingenuous not to highlight them.

I take it literally - people like that will not be "interviewed" to present their side. But I fully expect the producers to raise and discuss the discord in the country in that era.

In 1989 I wanted to get some new gear underwater for familiarization before a long trip to Hawaii. I ended up on a dive boat out of Point Lookout on the South Shore of LI. (Ultimately, this was the only boat I would dive from in the Northeast - safety first!) The boat was run by a fellow who flew Huey's for the 101st Airborne in Vietnam - he flew a POW/MIA flag below his stars and stripes, had Screaming Eagles memorabilia all over etc. When I first went into the marine head to relieve myself he also had Jane Fonda urinal targets ;) 

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Can't read that one - paywall.

I started watching and I remembered "the talk" with my parents about what I was going to do if I got drafted. Luckily for me, the draft ended just a few months before I was eligible.

As I reflect on my life, I realize that in a weird way it might have been better for me in the long run if the war and draft had continued (for another couple of years), because I guarantee I wouldn't have dropped out of college like I did. It took me another almost 30 years to get my degree and my life certainly would have been different.

The rational part of me says that doesn't matter because of all the additional lives that were not resultantly wasted and lost since the war ended.

Just a weird train of thought I had. Ironic since I volunteered a few years later.

 

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I saw this, mostly about the period 1856-1960 this ep. Good stuff, I didnt know a lot about the earlier history except the Dien Ben Phu debacle.

 

I should say as well as the timeline narrative there are interspersed witness testimonies from different periods, but not confusing.

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I love Ken Burns and am watching but not every night and not entire episodes. I can't sleep unless I turn off my tv and phone and just relax usually. The subject matter is just too much.  I hope to get the dvds during a future fund drive so I can watch this winter during cold Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  

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11 hours ago, MadamMarie said:

I love Ken Burns and am watching but not every night and not entire episodes. I can't sleep unless I turn off my tv and phone and just relax usually. The subject matter is just too much.  I hope to get the dvds during a future fund drive so I can watch this winter during cold Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  

I dvr the episodes so I can watch in pieces and batches. At ~90 minutes per it's just easier that way. Also, at least at the moment on Xfinity here, the episodes are also available thru PBS "on demand" (although I much prefer dvr to on-demand, just feels like more control/easier, but that applies much more to anything with commercials as many on-demand disable fast forward ;))

I'm in the middle of episode 2 now, and I think they've done an admirable job, although at times I find the cutting back and forth between historical periods disjointed. I'm sure the non-linear presentation has a purpose, but it's a little lost on me. 

So far I've found the historical exposition, the chronicling of the origins going all the way back to Woodrow Wilson and later Harry Truman, fascinating. When I look back at history now I tend to notice the small building blocks that came together to create the present, and consider what might have been different had any one of those blocks been very different.

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I have cable and my PBS station is not on demand but I'm also a supporter of public television. Agree, I had no idea how far back the origins went. 

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2 minutes ago, LostSoul said:

Are there more than one episode available now???

Episode 4 aired last night, another 2 hours - thank god for dvrs!

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Just checked my local PBS website and I can watch them right on my devices.  Episode 4 not yet on but 1-3 is.  Lunch hours looking better to watch over the next few days. 

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9 hours ago, JimCT said:

Episode 4 aired last night, another 2 hours - thank god for dvrs!

OK cool, I thought it would be weekly. I,m grabbing two to four as we speak!

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I think we'll view JFK differently after this. That press conference clip was eye-opening. 

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Podcast recap of episode 6. Contains a spoiler, if that can be applied to something nearly 50 years old. Or a warning as to what will be in that episode.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2017/09/25/the-american-war-theres-video-footage-of-one-of-the-most-famous-photos-of-the-vietnam-war-and-it-changes-everything/

Here's the itunes page for all the podcasts

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-american-war/id1281543429?mt=2

The podcasts for each episode run 20-22 minutes. I just finished Ep. 1, and I found it interesting. And I don't generally like podcasts.

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Finished watching episode 1 a short while ago. Intense and captivating.

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9 hours ago, SteveJhb said:

Finished watching episode 1 a short while ago. Intense and captivating.

im half way through the series

i had to have a wee break because it was so heavy to absorb

like a black cloud 

shocking

and  so depressing when you think of all those young boys who died

 

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9 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

im half way through the series

i had to have a wee break because it was so heavy to absorb

like a black cloud 

shocking

and  so depressing when you think of all those young boys who died

 

Boys, girls, men, women... Mind boggling.

Quote from last night stuck in my head... My mom said I would come back because I was special. But there I was every day putting pieces of special people into body bags...

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On 8/21/2018 at 6:09 PM, SteveJhb said:

Boys, girls, men, women... Mind boggling.

Quote from last night stuck in my head... My mom said I would come back because I was special. But there I was every day putting pieces of special people into body bags...

i remember that bit too

 

its only avsilable on demand on line on the government owned tvnz but i saw it avtually advertised on tv last night durring prime time 

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I'm halfway through the series now.

Its hard to put into words.

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22 minutes ago, SteveJhb said:

I'm halfway through the series now.

Its hard to put into words.

I agree with you. It was hard going at times, but I learnt so much.

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Slightly different note, but... the soundtrack... Some of the usual suspects and a few 'I know it but don't know who it is' songs.

Was hoping the soundtrack album available on iTunes included some of the original music Trent Reznor and Yo Yo Ma produced for the show, which it does not, sadly, but it's still a great buy, even if you have 99% of the songs already. And the fact that it includes a Beatles track impressed me... I don't recall a time before when an official Beatles recording was licensed for a compilation.

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This series was very controversial in vets circles. A lot of war vets hate it because it tells some truth and a lot of peace vets hate it because it doesnt tell enough. I'd say what I think but I don't want to...... You know.

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