Ram Loevy ’82

Loevy has written and directed dozens of television movies and documentaries, many of which challenged the status quo

I came to the Nieman program at Harvard from Israel, with mainly one aim in mind—to study the nature of creativity. I learned nothing about creativity. Instead I got acquainted with Bertolt Brecht.

In the Winter 1982 issue of Nieman Reports, I published an article called “Epic Television.” I tried to compare Brecht’s Marxist Epic Theatre theory to the style and techniques of one of the pillars of American capitalism—American commercial TV.

I started the article by quoting a piece by Brecht (translated by J. Willett)

Kuh Beim Fressen ( While the Cow Gorges)
And while she gets the hay down, someone
is milking her. Patient, without a sound
She lets his hand go tweaking at her teats.

She … doesn’t turn around. …
But she takes advantage of the evening
mood—and shits.

I begged to differ. Brecht was wrong. Would the cow dare rise against the one who exploits her, while her mouth is full with tasty hay?

“Under such circumstances,” I wrote, “ even given the mood of the evening—is it possible to rebelliously shit into the milk?”

Come to think of it, the main thing I got from the Nieman year—apart from acquiring wonderful lifetime friends—was that conformity is too comfortable. No doubt, I often paid a price for this outrageous concept, but I have no regrets. Too much hay is bad for your health.