The post was meant to engage, and perhaps commiserate with, those Nashville Public Television fans that were sad that William had died the night before in episode 4 of season 2 of the series. Many people “liked” it, but many of those who posted in the comments section did not. It started off with “Hush! I haven’t watched last night’s episode!” from one commenter.
For the uninitiated, American Masters' new presentation "Marvin Gaye: What's Going On" tries its best to pack everything into an hour. It's no easy task. Cultural critic Michael Eric Dyson sets the stage early. "If you are a person who's outraged by war, Marvin's music is for you," he says. "If you want to make love, Marvin's music is for you. If you want to talk about the conditions of spirituality when it's infused in the secular world, Marvin's music is for you."
The American Experience presentation is poetry in and of itself, beautifully shot, with a dash of eroticism (more morphing, this time with gender). Poets Martin Espada and Billy Collins give it gravitas. Joel Goodman's musical score gives it a sense of urgency. I'm left wondering, however, if we know Whitman any better, or ever can. What can you make of someone who believed, even at the mature age of 35, that his poetry could heal a nation and prevent a civil war? Words? Can words do that?