A local theatre is showing a second run of the recent Oscar nominees. Since I am horrible at seeing movies when they are actually in theatres, I used this as an opportunity to see The King's Speech. I knew the basic details of the plot before heading in, but I didn't realize that radio would feature so heavily into the plot of the movie.
Without going into spoiler trritory, the film covers a time span between the end of the first World War and the beginning of the second. King George V successfully used radio (known as "the wireless") as a way to broadcast to the entire British empire, which was enormous at the time (over a quarter of the world's people according to the movie). Not only did Colin Firth's character have to worry about stuttering in front of a large amounts of people in person - he also had to worry about how he sounded in front of the colonies that his family reigned over.
For some of the King's subjects, this would be the only medium that they would actually hear the king's words from his mouth. Colin had a powerful line in the movie where he stated "I am the seat of all authority because they think that when I speak, I speak for them." Thus, the wireless would be an important test of the king's ability to speak for his subjects.
I couldn't help but notice the parallels between this era in history and our current time. The very blog that I'm writing now is not just something that I jot down in my private notebook, or even send to a few friends - it's available to anyone with a web connection. A bunch of questions ran through my mind when I first started blogging back in 2003. Do I censor myself? Do I share the weird thoughts that may get a smile from a close friend but a shrug from a complete stranger? Just how do I represent myself on the internet?
I choose to represent myself the same way that I would sit down and talk to someone that I just met. I have various interests in technology that range of common (cell phones, etc.) to weird (obscure video games, etc.) All of those topics are game for this blog. I represent myself as a brand, and I plan to build my brand by providing well written content.
The issues in the King's Speech are vastly different from mine. I can imagine living in an era where some people never see or hear from their leadership directly. There is plenty of time to shape the message, to filter it, or even to have someone else deliver it. All of the fallacies that a leader has can be easily smoothed out with they are not forced to be put on the spot.
TAnd of course, he King wasn't exactly blogging. I have edit, autosave, and spellcheck. Even if I did a video blog (I refuse to call it "vlog"), I'd be able to shoot as many takes as I like. Even live shows on television usually have a slight tape delay to bleep out any curse words or cut the feed if something terrible happens. The wireless meant that you HAD to be an eloquent speaker to be able to inspire your subjects in early 20th century England
After seeing the movie, I understand why it got best picture. I loved The Social Network but The King's Speech is a much better movie.