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TEDx comes to Dumbville, or, Colorado Springs reads Horton Hears a How

COLO. SPRINGS- TED-TalksTM likes to say it offers “a spa for your brain” and when I saw that an X-variant was coming to Colorado Springs (“TEDx”s are unaffiliated affiliates. Yeah, uh-oh.) I wondered if a spa might only be as good as its mineral water. Or its mud, or masseurs, whatever. Yes, I foresaw the inevitability of Dumbass Springs confirming its nature, but the lure of a train wreck was strong. I confess my expectations were lower still because incessent shared posts on Facebook have inoculated me with an aversion to the TED motivational formula, no matter the click-bait hyperbole they are AHA-moments For Dummies.

Typically a TED theme holds water for about as long as it takes to incubate a viral meme, but I wondered if in unedited presentation form, do they permit the scrutiny of live input from the audience? They are popular after all. A complementary pass offered the chance to see, and our local franchise had sold out. Could I gag the reflex of skepticism about TED’s curated plethora of inspirational vehicles? To my mind they never fail to carry water (Let’s cross the metaphors) for the neoliberal false-Left, its outside-of-the-box thinkers never truly asserting a POV remote from Capital’s doomed ship whose last exertions mimick being radically progressive enough to impersonate credibility, cross fingers spark hope. TED’s appearance of being crowd-sourced has already been eroded by its gatekeeping against populist lay disciplines. Its novelty was its social media distribution model, otherwise TED is merely another consent-manufacturing think tank of unchanged spots for the pedestrian academic. Will a local TEDx event outsource its attractions or will it local-source from luminary wattage? I ask because our backwater tradition is to elevate dimbulbs. When we mob Ticketmaster it’s for star talent of our ilk. Upcoming exhibit A: Dennis Miller. Ok TED, a full report to follow.

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