Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Social Outcasts.

Marie Winn, author of Plug In Drug, explains that television is so popular among youth, that parents are "afraid that watching less TV or none at all will turn their kids into social outcasts" (210).

This theory needs to be broken so that kids can use their imagination and be active together. This would replace loafing on the sofa by themselves and talking about what they watched later when they see each other at school. Lets level the playing field and have a Turn Off Week so that no child feels left out from not watching television, but that all of them have taken a break from the powerful medium.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Eight Ideal Conditions for the Flowering of Autocracy"

In his first argument for the elimination of television, The Mediation of Experience, Mander identifies three fictional works in which the the world becomes autocratic. He compiled a list of rules a dictator might make in order to achieve an autocratic society:
1. Eliminate personal knowledge
2. Eliminate points of comparison
3. Separate people from each other
4. Unify experience, especially encouraging mental experience at the expense of sensory experience.
5. Occupy the mind
6. Encourage drug use
7. Centralize knowledge and information
8. Redefine happiness and the meaning of life in terms of new and increasingly unrooted philosophy

...TV does each of these things...

From justsaynoway.com...

"Break Your TV Addiction"
(Click link to view)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

10. "Information Loss"

Mander's fourth argument, The Inherent Biases of Television, focuses on information loss. He explains, " There are many technological factors that conspire to limit what the medium can transmit. Some information fits, some doesn't. Some information can pass through, but only after being reshaped, redefined, packaged, and made duller and coarser than before. Some ways of mind can be conveyed and some cannot."

In this section he also quotes Robert Keeshan, the actor who played Captain Kangaroo: "When you are spending time in front of the television, you are not doing other things. The young child of three or four years old is in the stage of the greatest emotional development that human beings undergo. And we only develop when we experience things, real life things: a conversation with Mother, touching Father, going places, doing things, relating to others. This kind of experience is critical to a child, and when the child spends thirty-five hours per week in front of the TV set, it is impossible to have the full range of real-life experience that a young child must have."

"How Television Dims the Mind"

Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television , as the title explains, argues four main reasons television should be eliminated. Mander sees television as a medium that is not reformable.

Argument three addresses Elements of Television on the Human Being. From there he explains "How Television Dims the Mind":

"The liquid quality of television imagery derives from the simple fact that television sets its own visual pace. One image is always evolving into the next, arriving in a stream of light and proceeding inward to the brain at its own electronic speed. The viewer has no way to slow the flow, except to turn off the set altogether. If you decide to watch television, then there's no choice but to accept the stream of electronic images as it comes. The first effect of this is to create a passive mental attitude. Since there is no way to stop the images, one merely gives over to them...There is a second difficulty. Television information seems to be received more in the unconscious than the conscious regions of the mind where it would be possible to think about it. I first felt this was true based on my own television viewing. I noticed how difficult it was to keep mentally alert while watching television."

This dulling effect is detrimental to society and numbs the mind. Lets take a break from television and let our minds think for them self.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Maybe I should watch more television?

As we have established I am a TV/Broadcast Journalism major. I don't think I've mentioned I'm double majoring in PR/Advertising and minoring in sociology. The sociology serves to balance out the vanity of my majors.

I'm currently in the process of interviewing for summer internships, and I'm finding that my disinterest for all things entertainment (celebrities, television, gossip, the like...) is becoming a burden. There was a time in my life when I boycotted any and all celebrity magazines. When my friends and family gossip about celebrities I feel like little pieces of my heart are dying. I just don't care. I enjoy making television and creating advertisements, it's just the watching I don't enjoy.

But in an interview at a PR firm I was asked which publications I read. I rambled a few titles (Cosmo, People, Star, etc.) and from there the interview and I discussed the significance of staying "in the know" when it comes to PR. I get it. But I'd rather read those publications for homework than for enjoyment.

Today I got a very exciting phone call that I made it into the final rounds for an internship in commercial production. The next step is to send in a DVD with my answers to a list of questions, the last question being: Describe your television habits--which shows and how do you watch it?

I'm really going to have to fudge this one. I'll probably talk about how I understand the development television in other mediums, blah blah blah, and then I'll talk around which shows I watch.

A few posts ago I used the title "Irony". Maybe that's what I should call my life.

9. My Boy Andy.

Warhol, that is.

He loved everything about Hollywood that I don't love--the plasticness, the fakeness, etc.

In his 1975 book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol he says:

"I really want to start a chain of restaurants for other people who are like me called 'andymats-- the restaurant for the lonely person.' You get your food and then you take your tray into a booth and watch television."

...so the deconstruction of human interaction and communication began almost 40 years ago.