End of ADS-L Digest - 2 Sep 1997 to 3 Sep 1997 ********************************************** Subject: ADS-L Digest - 3 Sep 1997 to 4 Sep 1997 There are 7 messages totalling 188 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. FAMILY NAME (film review); Media-cracy (2) 2. Bulldog Edition (2) 3. graduate schools for dialectology & language study (2) 4. Queries: _Am. Tongues_ & Slang ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 10:21:03 -0400 From: "Barry A. Popik" Subject: FAMILY NAME (film review); Media-cracy FAMILY NAME (film review) A new documentary called FAMILY NAME opened at the Film Forum in New York for a limited run. A review is perhaps more appropriate for the American Name Society, but American Dialect Society members will find the film interesting as well. It got four stars in Wednesday's New York Post, and Godfrey Cheshire of New York Press called it "The best American film of the year to date." Better than SPAWN?? Macky Alston is the filmmaker, and the film is about how he traces his roots. Unlike ROOTS, this is a low-budget documentary, but it also covers slavery. Macky remembered that the black students in his grade school shared his last name of Alston. The film starts with a white Alston family reunion and a black Alston family reunion, both taking place in North Carolina. Alstons were slave owners, and the slaves would also use the same Alston name. The slave owners had children with the slaves, so Macky filmed this whole Alston family stew. If you miss it, it'll probably be on PBS soon. Macky tried to provoke some of the Alstons with his questions about slavery and race. "There's a bearcat down the river," answered one Alston. Macky asked what this meant. It means that there's trouble ahead. Hendrickson's MOUNTAIN RANGE has something similar in "there's a squirrel in the tree somewhere" (something's hidden) and "there's somethin' dead up the branch" (something's strange; a branch is a stream of water). "There's a bearcat down the line, down the river," the person repeated later in the film. Anyone familiar with this? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- MEDIA-CRACY Media-cracy is a combination of "media" and "democracy" made to sound like "mediocrity." I've seen it before in the Daily News, and it's in today's Daily News, 3 September 1997, pg. 41, col. 4: JANE LEEVES: Faults tabloid media-cracy for Diana's death. Media-cracy is not in the HDAS H-O. Has it caught on recently?