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Author Topic: BURN YOUR TELEVISION
skadie
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posted 13 August 2002 05:07 PM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A bit of thread drift from the feminist forum.

Trinitty said:

quote:

We're insane if we as a society try to say that we aren't influenced by [television]. The average American watches FOUR HOURS of it a day. If I spent four hours with a platypus every day I think I'd grow a bill...


Is the answer to start a serious movement to switch it off rather than try to regulate it further?


Trinitty was refering to violence against women on the "idiot box." I wanted to carry the ideas a bit further.

I haven't had a television for years, and I don't miss it. (Especially since I got a computer last winter!) I find at times I am left out of conversations (the whole survivor thing baffled me.) I don't know what movies are out there, I don't know what new products Mac Donalds has, I don't follow what the networks call "news" and am not always up to date on current events.

I also don't have to deal with the insipid advertising, the violence, the sexualization of every product/person under the sun, the conservative propaganda etc. etc. etc.

I encourage everyone to get rid of the thing.

Thoughts? Comments?


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
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posted 13 August 2002 05:36 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We have a TV at work, I have to watch Cpac for my job for most of the year, I can get most of the news online or from the radio, so I try to keep the channel on the non-commerical House of Commons procedings, however I do have coworkers who watch other programming.

We participated in Turn Off Your TV week with Adbusters this year, and it was interesting to notice how my mood lifted and how much clearer my thoughts were. Though, I also notice just how many jingles and slogans and jokes, and noise was crammed into my head from that thing. I morn the loss of those brain cells and pity Rosie O'Donnell.

Great experiment, I would recommend it to everyone.

We still have a TV as we do enjoy RPG games and I will admit to watching TVO nature shows and Enterprise on occaision. I'm trying to wean my dude off of Simpsons. But I'm definatley feeling better now than I did a couple of years ago when I would watch the News or "Learning" channel things for hours along with entertainment stuff.

Communication is important, but I think the current habits of our societies TV staring needs to be seriously looked at. "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman was really eye opening.


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Apemantus
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posted 13 August 2002 05:53 PM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Amazing how some people seem to be capable of watching a lot of television and still don't commit violence, and they can dissect what they are watching and see it for what it is.

But for the sake of the stupid people, let's all turn it off.


From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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posted 13 August 2002 06:57 PM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But for the sake of the stupid people, let's all turn it off.


Whoa there, Apeman. (Do you mind if I call you Apeman?) I didn't start this thread to try to claim television begets violence. I don't see where you came up with that. I wanted to discuss the ways television affects culture in not necessarily beneficial ways.

Live war cams, live court cases, the "learning channel," "reality" television, (that's kinda like jumbo shrimp, isn't it?) incredably clever advertising unapologetically aimed at our weakest points, hour long news shows that contain five minutes worth of valuable information, product placement, gratuitous violence, and ofcoarse, SEX, SEX, SEX. This is what the most important (until the net) communication device OF OUR HISTORY has boiled down to.

It's criminal.


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 13 August 2002 07:05 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm trying to wean my dude off of Simpsons.

See, this is where I have a problem with this whole tv turn-off stuff. You don't want to watch it yourself, great. But nagging other people to stop watching...well, it reminds me of people at a certain stage of their AA steps - where they start seeing everyone around them as an alcoholic who needs to abstain completely.

Remember their slogan: If you want to drink, that's your business. If you want to stop, call AA. I think that can apply to this too. I don't think The Simpsons in and of itself is going to ruin the planet. In fact, considering its subversive nature, satirizing the more brain-dead garbage in popular culture, one could argue it's an antidote to the idiocy you see on television regularly if you're astute enough to catch the irony. From what you've told us about your hubby, Trinitty, I think he's likely astute enough.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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posted 13 August 2002 07:33 PM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I must admit, I sneak over to a friends house to watch the Simpsons now and then. I love it!

The reason I detest television and won't have one in my home isn't some weird moral superiority trip. The fact is when I have had a television I have been hooked to it for HOURS a day. I can't tear myself away. But it's made that way.

So rather than waste my life in front of junk, I waste it doing more creative things. Hell, I even learned how to knit to keep myself occupied. (I've been working on the same scarf for three years, but that's beside the point.)


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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posted 13 August 2002 07:47 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I watch TV every day, unless I'm someplace where there isn't one. It's cheap entertainment and it doesn't take much effort. Plus I want a job in the media industry, so I don't want to be totally out of touch with popular culture.

If my TV broke down or was stolen, I'd buy another one as soon as I had a chance to go to the electronics store. I went for a few months without a TV when I first moved to Toronto, but I would never do that again.

[ August 13, 2002: Message edited by: Andy Social ]


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dale cooper
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posted 13 August 2002 09:06 PM      Profile for dale cooper     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
TV is like any other brain-cell destroying thing in our society. In moderation, it can be wonderful. But we seem to be slowing getting rid of that concept, so it becomes dangerous.

I don't have cable, so I watch little TV (funny how that always gets to be capitalized) When I used to have cable, I always said it was so I could watch the learning channels and A&E, but I always wound up on FOX somehow.

However, it is also interesting that it has given the majority of people a common thread. When we run out of other things to talk about, we can always sit around and discuss the latest Simpsons episode or (I haven't gotten this bad yet) who won on Survivor.

All hail the new third parent, TV.


From: Another place | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 13 August 2002 09:56 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not quite ready to burn it. It stays turned off a lot, but i'll watch almost anything (almost!) when i have a pile of fruit to peel or clothes to mend.
What i watch on purpose: British drama series (especially mysteries) on TVO, Judging Amy, The Education of Max Bickford (which has disappeared) DaVinci's Inquest, sometimes Boston Public and, once in a while Changing Spaces. I look in on most new programs once - which is usually enough. What i hear from the other room: reruns of Star Trek in all its incarnations and documentaries on archeology, anthropology and architecture.

We have no children in the house. When we did, we limited their tv time and monitored their choices of program. Fortunately, they were quite sensible.
I would worry more about what children are seeing now than i did 15, 20 years ago.
The violence has increased, and so has the vulgarity. I've seen the quality of television programming decline, notch by notch, to please an increasingly juvenile population with an ever shorter attention-span.
I've seen advertising (generally - there are exceptions!) become more strident, incoherent, rude and crude. Worst of all, it - like the comedy - is now aggressively anti-intellectual; actively against empathy and responsibility. The most insistent and dangerous messages are: "Knowledge is for wimps" and "Indulge yourself; ignore others".

It both reflects and influences the culture, in a closed circle - or descending spiral. Children are inured to violence and alienated from other living things. They bond with cartoon characters (each with its own line of crap that every child must own) and brand names. And they are strongly discouraged from growing up.
We are in the process of producing a population of perpetual adolescents who want things, don't want to make an effort, and can't be bothered with any answer that takes more than 30 seconds to work out.
All of this is being done quite deliberately: an uncritical 40-year-old adolescent with a good salary is the ideal consumer (and, incidentally, the least troublesome citizen).

Hell, yes - burn the thing!


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 13 August 2002 10:34 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Amazing how some people seem to be capable of watching a lot of television and still don't commit violence, and they can dissect what they are watching and see it for what it is.

Isn't it, though! Some of us (TV-lovers) even tend to be somewhat cultured and well-read.

Now I will admit a bias. I work in the film and TV industry. I love TV, and that's why I want to make broadcast programming.

The thing is, you can't condemn the entire content of all stations, channels, etc, without condemning some damn good stuff. Sure, there's dreck. People write dreck and get it published, too, but I'm not off to the library with a torch and a can of gasoline, either. I just leave the trashy paperbacks alone and go for the quality stuff.

And I honestly can't say that all trash (print or broadcast) is all bad all the time -- that's a subjective opinion. I may think it's deplorable what some broadcasters will program (and I do with great regularity, believe me), but obviously somebody out there feels it's worthwhile. Who am I to judge? Who am I to expect others to bend to my taste? Wouldn't that be just a tad arrogant?

Then again, there is also a level of arrogance in any form of evangelism.

[ August 13, 2002: Message edited by: Zoot Capri ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 13 August 2002 10:49 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I know what you mean, Zoot. It's the same with music. I hate musical snobbery - I like all the highbrow stuff and the contemporary highbrow stuff...classical music, jazz, etc. But heck, I like a little lowbrow trash too - 80's pop, etc. In fact, I like it a lot.

I admit, I don't watch much television anymore - I only have basic cable, so I really only watch Newsworld, HGTV (very occasionally) and the kiddie shows for the little one. But I really enjoy the occasional Simpson's episode. I loved Ally McBeal for a while. Sure, it's trash - so what? It speaks to something or I wouldn't enjoy watching it.

Same with music, same with books. I kept all my old teen romance novels (you know the kind, total formula) up until about 5 or 6 years ago (and I'm almost 30 now). Every once in a while, when I felt like going on a nostalgia trip, I would take one into the bathtub and read it. Total trash, but it hit the spot every once in a while.

We're not all highbrow all the time. And frankly, I find people who are highbrow all the time to be boring, pretentious, and annoying in that particular regard.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ed Weatherbee
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posted 14 August 2002 12:18 AM      Profile for Ed Weatherbee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Personally, I always find it amusing that some of the people who are the biggest television bashers are actually secretly big tv watchers". I quite often find a class bias against people watching televison. Upper class people claim to have better uses for their time like translating the Bible into Esperanto or some such activity.
Aside from a few exceptions, I find that the quality of both PBS and TVO in my own province have declined steeply in the past few years. Hours of the Antique Roadshow is educational or, in the case of Newsworld, news is laughable.
I'd keep a tv for a daily dose of the Simpsons alone. Personally, I think that the Sopranos and Six Feet Under cut anything being turned out as feature films. And its great to get stuff like BBC World and Deutsche Welle (the German English language newschannel).

From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
dale cooper
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posted 14 August 2002 12:24 AM      Profile for dale cooper     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree. People who have better things to do with their time than watch TV also have better things to do with their time than say they have better things to do with their time.
From: Another place | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ed Weatherbee
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posted 14 August 2002 12:41 AM      Profile for Ed Weatherbee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just wonder what tvbashers would put in the place of what's currently on? The market for high culture is pretty limited in any society.
I don't like much of what is on but the great thing with consumer cultural items like "Survivor" and "Weakest Link" is that they generally burn out and are dropped. Some of you posters sound like Marge Simpson when she tried to ban Itchy and Scratchy cartoons.

Lisa Simpson- 'But Mom, if you take our
cartoons away, we'll grow up without a sense of humor and be robots."
Bart Simpson : "Really? What kind of robots?

[ August 14, 2002: Message edited by: Ed Weatherbee ]


From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 14 August 2002 12:50 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What you do with time is not the problem. Entertainment is not the problem.
The problem is a ready-made world-view which emphasizes appearance over substance; which objectifies people and classifies them according to what they own and how fashionable they are; which celebrates destructiveness and waste.

And i'm not certain that any of us can totally resist the influence. Our speech has become coarser in the last decade or so, and it's possible that we've all become more callous. It's not enough just to win a game anymore: we've got to 'kick ass'. It's not enough to decline an inappropriate request: we have to 'tell 'em where to shove it'. And if that happens, all unawares, to intelligent adults, imagine what happens to the young who have been immersed in tvland since birth, who don't know any other way to see the world.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ed Weatherbee
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posted 14 August 2002 01:03 AM      Profile for Ed Weatherbee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lots of people, including most posters on this board, have particular world views which they are quite willing to promote as accurate.
Determining whether coarseness in public speech is indicative of social decline is pretty difficult to prove. An honest "F... You" is sometimes a hell of a lot more honest and direct than a bunch of obfuscation which carrries the same sentiment.
Among the circles which I circulate, which includes lots of working class people and lots of educated people too, I doubt whether I hear those expressions very often except in jest.
I'm surprised with the level of refinement among a lot of young people that I come into contact with on a daily basis. Makes me feel that those of us in the babyboom generation were among the most "uncouth" bunch ever in this country. Interesting that a lot of them are the same ones pointing fingers at the young. I'm starting to sound like Emily Post.

From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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posted 14 August 2002 01:18 AM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The problem is a ready-made world-view which emphasizes appearance over substance; which objectifies people and classifies them according to what they own and how fashionable they are; which celebrates destructiveness and waste.

Hear, hear!!

I agree, there is some quality programing on television. But even that is usualy based around advertising. If you watch HGTV a lot Michelle, then you know most of it's programs are half-hour advertisements for products you can pick up at the 24hour Home Depot down the street.

It is often used as a baby sitter for children and the advertisements take full advantage of their impressionable minds. Hell, you definitely don't have to be a child to be impressed. Billions of dollars in research and production have taught these guys exactly how to reach us and sell, sell, sell. (How To Get Ahead In Advertising - fantastic movie.)

It portrays a world where consumption is happiness. It portrays a society where everyone is beautiful, and then it sells you the products that promise to make you fit right in.

And so many choices of what to watch! It actually makes you feel like you have some control over things.


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 14 August 2002 02:05 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I find I meta-watch television. I'm not so interested in the information being beamed at me anymore, because I don't really attach a whole lot of credibility to it.

What I'm doing anymore is trying to discern through the news, for example, what it is that we are being told what to believe, and there's a kind of information contained within that.

By way of anology, it's like being a deffensive lineman in football. If you're being pushed in a certain direction, you don't have to have your head up to know where the full back is going to be running.

As for recreational t.v., like it or not a lot of our commonality comes from it. Shows like "The Simpsons" bind us together. You may not like it, but if you do without it you stand, at least partly, outside society.

Freakin' scary isn't it?

So, I keep tabs on shows I wouldn't ordinarily watch. I've seen enough of, say, "Springer" to at least see for myself what everyone talked about. Same with "Beavis and Butthead", "Oprah" "Benny Hin", "Charles Hagee", "Pat Robertson"--the painful list goes on.

I've had a bit of a turn around of sorts with the violence on t.v. argument. Since going to a gun club and experiencing the use of a shotgun and a handgun, I'm absolutely astonished to see how often guns are pointed at people on t.v. I know that sounds strange, maybe, but the act of pointing a gun at another person is done so non-chalantly on t.v. I now find it very disturbing. Pointing a gun at someone is, I guess second only to pulling the trigger, the most serious thing you could do. I just find it unerving now.

Reality t.v. shows distrub me very much because they are anything BUT reality. Sure, the video might be "real" but they take everything way out of context, or skew it.

For example, did "COPS" follow police into the board room of Adelphia to get tape of those guys being busted? No, it's only blacks and poor whites they bring into our living rooms every week. Like they are the only criminals in America.

I bet there's no video of the "COPS" producer being busted for DWI, either.

It's funny. Back in the 50's, as a sidebar to the Mcarthy hearings, the Congress in the U.S. also investigated pornography. In the end, bondage type porn was pretty much shut down. It was about this time that "Detective" type magazines started hitting the newstands. Ostensively (Did you catch that, Dr. Conway? ) published as a kind of public service, they were just thinly vield, cheezy, and I submit unhealthy pretexts to do and end run around the bondage pornography ban.

I think there's something very similar going on in "reality" T.V. shows like "America's Most Wanted". There are too many salacious re-enactments of bad stuff happening to real people. John Walsh's kind of self righteousness while serving up little vidoes designed to titilate in a very wrong way gives me the creeps.

Ban T.V. or control others because of these kinds of things? No, I'm not for that and I don't "control" my daughter's viewing. What I do do, however, is to be aware of what they are watching, and discuss it with them.

........I can suck the fun out of any show.....


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sine Ziegler
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posted 14 August 2002 04:20 AM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I could never...

I love following up on newsworld too much. I am too much of a junkie to give up CPAC.

The internet has it's role, but sometimes it is TOO interactive for me. TV is nice because you can talk back


From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
animal
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posted 14 August 2002 04:24 AM      Profile for animal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a TV. It's sitting in my closet. I haven't plugged it in for over a year, for several reasons . . .

1) I live by myself, and I think there is something utterly sad and pathetic about sitting home alone watching a box .

2) I do have better things to do with my time. I work full time, I'm in night school, I do political & community stuff, and . . . as any sane 20 year old . . . I LOVE to party! (However, I also have better things to do with my time than going around talking about the evils of TV. Besides, why would I want to divulge the secrets of my success to everyone around me? )

3) While there are some great programs on cable, I can't justify spending $50+ a month on it. That's the equivalent of TWO PINTS OF GUINESS A WEEK!! Without cable, there is very rarely anything of interest to me at the time I'd want to watch it, and I refuse to schedule my time around TV or to watch something just for the sake of watching TV.

4) I'm sick of the advertising!!! From the commercials to the "product placements" in sitcoms to the half-hour "instructional" programs skadie mentioned above, it seems like it has become the very reason for TV's existence. My undivided attention is worth more that a few minutes of laughter.

Quitting TV watching has had more of an effect on me than I ever thought it would.

Certainly there are some negative things. Yes, I have a certain disconnect from some other people, but I'm the first to acknowledge that I'm quite ignorant about pop culture (including new movies, music, Survivor, celebrity gossip, etc). Somehow I always seem to find something else to talk about with other people. Occaisonally, I might feel a bored or a little lonely (TV makes great company, that is until you realize it makes you even more alone), but then I remember what my grandma used to say . . . there is absolutely no excuse for saying you're bored, so either go find something to do or quit whining (excellent advice!) . . . and I pick up the phone or read a book or get my butt out of my apartment.

That leads us to the positive things, which are much more plentiful. I get out of the house more often. I spend more time with my friends. I have a more positive body image (sure, I'm fat compared to Ally McBeal, but compared to real people I'm normal, even slim). I have more time! Think about it . . . 4 hours a day, factoring in a healthy 8 hour sleep, is equal to one quarter of a person's waking time. Yikes! I also have more brain space, now that it's not cluttered with as much useless crap. I value the "real" things in life a lot more. I have more faith in the goodness of people. I could go on . . . and on . . . and on . . . but you get the point .

Now I'm off to bed, for a sleep free of replays of the latest war footage and lines from the latest Adam Sandler movie. This is the good life .


From: the boreal forest | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Apemantus
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posted 14 August 2002 04:49 AM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some of you may be interested in this - not completely OT, but certainly relevant.

Don't call me stupid


From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 August 2002 07:59 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I quite often find a class bias against people watching televison. Upper class people claim to have better uses for their time like translating the Bible into Esperanto or some such activity.

Hee hee. That's amusing. I know what you mean, Ed. I find that too. I usually go out of my way when I say that I don't watch much television to tell people that the reason is because I replaced my addiction with the internet.

I remember about 8-10 years ago, my mother bought a Nintendo machine (don't know the model - the one that comes with a free Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt cartridge). I went over to my father's place one time with a friend and told him we were just at my mother's house. He said, "Oh, how's your Mom?" I said, "Oh, she's fine - we were just playing video games with her." Dad chuckled at the thought of all us adults sitting around with a video game, and we were joking around about it. But his girlfriend at the time, a somewhat nice woman, but with no small opinion of herself and her classiness, was also there, and made some sort of snotty comment about how it must be nice to have time to sit around and waste your time like that - she put it in a more genteel way, but the point was quite obvious. I was really annoyed about that, but she was a relatively new girlfriend and Dad liked her a lot, so I shut up to make a good impression. It was on the tip of my tongue to say that if she didn't spend an hour every day putting her make-up on with a trowel, she might find herself less busy.

I told my mother about it later, and she was amused - she said that people who have to tell you how cultured they are usually are trying to convince themselves. I agree with her entirely.

It's true that those HGTV shows are often disguised infomercials interrupted by real Home Depot commercials. That's why I don't watch them much, just occasionally when Newsworld goes to commercial. I find that they often just make me feel bad about myself for living in a rented apartment that I can't paint or alter, when in fact, I'm quite happy with my apartment any other time. It also makes me itch to buy stuff for the apartment that I really don't need, and I've been trying really hard for the past 3 weeks to not spend any unnecessary money - it's amazing how much frivolous spending I've been doing even with the small amount of money I have. I think television does contribute a lot to that kind of consumerism, because it creates a culture of wanting more, more, more.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 August 2002 08:19 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The other thing I wanted to address is children being "babysat" by television. I wish I could say that I never do this. But I do occasionally, as do most parents. If I have a major exam to study for and need to have a relatively quiet and uninterrupted hour-long space, I flick on the television. If it has been an exhausting day or I feel my patience level lowering drastically, on goes the television for a bit of peace.

Now before you all think, "What a terrible mother!" think about this. A few friends of mine, all mothers, were talking about this the other day. When we were kids, at 4 and 5 years old our parents could send us outside to play in the yard by ourselves while they did stuff that needed to get done inside. When I was 5 and 6 years old, I walked to school by myself. How many people do you know who let their kindergarteners walk to school by themselves these days? When I was 7-8 years old, I was allowed to walk all over my half of Trenton, the city where I lived at the time (it's divided by the Trent River). Occasionally, with a friend, we were allowed to walk to the other half of Trenton over the bridge, and spend the day downtown. How many people do you know who say goodbye to their 7 year olds in the morning now, and let them roam all over town all day long?

Things are different now than they used to be. Sure, there's more television watching among children. But to say that parents are less attentive to their children because they let them watch television - well, I don't believe it. The difference between now and when I was a kid, or when my parents were kids, is that you more often left very young children (2 and 3 year olds) in the care of older siblings when they went outside to play (it used to be nothing to let your 7-8 year old supervise your 3 year-old outside in the yard or for a walk to the corner store). Now you'd be charged with child neglect. At a much younger age (4 or 5), you could tell your kid to go outside and play by themselves, either in the yard or, when they were 5 or 6, at the nearby park.

I see the difference living here in student housing with a lot of International students. Some students, not having been exposed much to North American culture, think nothing of letting their 4 year-olds play by themselves in the playground, with mom and dad in the apartment taking a look occasionally from the window. And you hear the Canadian parents tut-tutting about how neglectful those parents are. Meanwhile, us Canadian parents have kids that go outside less often and spend more time in front of the television - something that the other parents would probably think was a terrible way to raise a child.

Just something to think about. I don't know about other parents, but I personally don't have all day to spend in the park - I've got other things that have to get done. And until he can go out and play by himself (not for another couple of years), he's going to be watching a little more television than kids did when I was his age and when my parents were his age.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 14 August 2002 10:11 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Like i said, it's a closed circle. The world outside is increasingly violent, not safe for childre, so children watch more television, where they see and learn violence*, which makes the world more violent, which means the children are are less safe outside, so they watch more television....

A lot of the violence isn't overt, either. There is implied (dormant) violence in putting people down, in disrespect, in sexual innuendo and exploitation, in what's considered funny (I don't mean the Simpsons - they're fine). You don't always notice the attitudes you are exposed to.

* Tommy_Paine made an observation relevant to this. Do you know how many people, including quite small children, are accidentally shot every year? They see on tv how it's normal to point a gun at somebody. If they get hold of a gun, it's the very first thing they do.
Yes, yes, the answer is gun control. But it sure wouldn't hurt the gun-control effort to stop teaching people that it's normal and natural to have a gun and to threaten others with it.

Skadie, have you seen The Dream Team? Very good movie about advertising.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Apemantus
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posted 14 August 2002 10:22 AM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And before television, children had such proper and upright upbringings that they were polite, nonviolent, courteous, lovely human beings.

And now the world has gone to the dogs, with all that nasty stuff on television.

If only they made programmes about cooking, gardening, home DIY, the world would be a much better place.


From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 August 2002 10:42 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Say, Apemantus, that wasn't aimed at me, was it? Because when I was a kid, television was well established.

And frankly, I don't think it's all that much more dangerous to let your kids out of the house now than it was when I was a kid, or even when my parents were children. Since I was a child, apparently violent crime has gone down slightly per capita. Kids who get kidnapped are overwhelmingly kidnapped by their parents over custody issues, not by strange abductors (although occasionally there is the psycho kidnapper who grabs and murders children, just like there has ALWAYS been the occasional monster who does that).

The difference now is that television creates the perception that the world is so much more dangerous than it is. So does the internet, with its million-and-one e-mail urban legends about how Dottie Sue was with her mother at the grocery store when she was grabbed by a stranger when her mother was bending over to get a box of Kraft Dinner from the lower shelf. They locked down the store two minutes after the child disappeared, and in that small period of time, Dottie was found abandoned in the washroom, half of her small blond ringletted head shaved, and the other half dyed black, with a brown wig and different clothes scattered on the floor. Poor Dottie Sue was found rocking in the foetal position and has NEVER SPOKEN SINCE except for whimpering occasionally. And Dottie Sue was the LUCKY one! This could happen to your child too if you don't have her surgically attached to your hip in big scary places like - outside. The moral of this story? Keep your children locked up or within arm's reach until they're 12, and quit being such a damned irresponsible mother, you good for nothing working woman you!

Okay, that's an exaggeration.

But seriously, I think the increased "danger" of today is more a product of perception than reality. But because it's out there, if you do let your child out by themselves before what people think is "the proper age" (and it's getting higher all the time), then you can likely expect calls to Children's Services, other parents tsk-tsking behind your back, etc.

And you know, kids, just aren't INTERESTED in playing with the million and one indoor toys they have in their rooms. You set up a big table full of glue and art stuff, and they're bored with it after half an hour. What do you do with the rest of the 11.5 hours that they're awake to try to amuse them? Housewives in the 1950's didn't spend their whole day creating a playland for their children because they could send them outside while they got their work done inside.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
dale cooper
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posted 14 August 2002 11:03 AM      Profile for dale cooper     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When you get right down to it, this topic is just like anything else. It's easy to make generalizations based on our own limited personal views, but in reality it's much more complex. Sure some people just sit their kids down in front of the box for 8 hrs+ a day and forget they exist. In my line of work, I wind up doing some door-to-door work and I'm shocked at how often I come across someone mid-afternoon where the whole family is loafing around the living room in the middle of summer, all grossly overweight, sucking back their double gulps and watching tv. The parents are yelling and swearing at the kids and the house is a mess.

But just as often, you'll find parents who monitor what their kids watch and discuss with them afterwards. There IS some really great stuff on TV. We can't just write it off because there's also a lot of crap. It's a tool just like any other. If a long time ago everyone was hitting themselves in the heads with hammers rather than pounding nails, there may have been a forum called Burn your hammer.

I do feel that society is getting weaker as far as the restraint to do the right thing is concerned. I think there are more people letting bad things get through to their kids (and themselves) that don't have to, but then there's a lot more people now and I tend to be a bit cynical regarding the fate of society.


From: Another place | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 August 2002 11:16 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm. My apartment gets messy. I'm overweight. My son and I are sometimes inside during summer afternoons with the television on.

Time to call children's services, I'm obviously an unfit mother.

You know, parents occasionally need downtime. And occasionally by the time afternoon rolls around on a hot summer's day, exhaustion sets in and that's all you feel like doing - sitting down and resting, not cleaning the house, not running around the playground outside in the beating sun.

In fact, usually the playground outside my house is completely deserted every afternoon during the summer because it's so darned hot out, and that's the worst UV time. It starts getting packed by late afternoon and early evening, when all the kids leave their houses at 4 or 5 p.m. and don't go inside until bedtime.

It's pretty easy to generalize about a family based on one snapshot of them gained by an unannounced visit. Most parents I know have messy houses at least occasionally, most parents I know let their kids watch television, and most parents I know talk about being exhausted and having days where they just didn't have the energy to be a crisp soccer mom. And yes, some of us are even overweight.

I try to be an SUV commercial mom, but sometimes I'm a "white trash stereotype" mom too. Probably the favorite "parenting" gripe stories between mothers are the times when the whole house is a mess, their kids are running wild, Mom is exhausted and out of patience, hair wild, clothing dirty, and then the doorbell rings and it's the pastor's wife or something.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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posted 14 August 2002 11:27 AM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And until he can go out and play by himself (not for another couple of years), he's going to be watching a little more television than kids did when I was his age and when my parents were his age.

Do you have a collection of videos? They are pretty cheap if you can find them used. Or you can pick them up at the library for free. The main difference is NO ADVERTISING.


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 August 2002 11:36 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's no advertising on TVO or PBS or Treehouse either except for public service announcements for kids. But yes, I do have lots of children's videos. And I do watch the occasional Newsworld program, so to me it's worth the $15 a month that it costs me to keep my basic cable service.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
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posted 14 August 2002 11:52 AM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Remember their slogan: If you want to drink, that's your business. If you want to stop, call AA. I think that can apply to this too. I don't think The Simpsons in and of itself is going to ruin the planet. In fact, considering its subversive nature, satirizing the more brain-dead garbage in popular culture, one could argue it's an antidote to the idiocy you see on television regularly if you're astute enough to catch the irony. From what you've told us about your hubby, Trinitty, I think he's likely astute enough.


Yes, you are right. I really like them too, and I agree about the sattire, it's helpful and very funny. I guess I should have explained more. But, the thing is that he complains about it afterwards. He'll watch it three times a day even if he can mouth all of the dialogue, and then regret it. I don't want to hear the complaints about TV that night, so I'll tell him, "then don't watch it". That and he can go for an hour in conversation with me and use only Simpsonese... lucky me, I'm fluent.

You are right though about the AA thing, and any other life changing choice. I'll try not to change him, that's not my business and I'll turn into a nag. Pass the bobbypins.


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Apemantus
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posted 14 August 2002 12:08 PM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No, Michelle, it was the lowest form of wit aimed at the Nonesuch comment just above it. I just don't think TV (and media generally) is just a bogey like is often made out. Life is more complex than that, and television (and how people relate to it) is also more complex. Here in the UK, there is a shedload of entertaining rubbish, there is also a shedload of informative interesting and useful programming - the most popular of which are the cookery, DIY and gardening programs I refer to above.

Interestingly, the media were one step behind the public on one of the big tv issues this Summer. Jade, a contestant on the UK Big Brother show, was from a single mum, council estate background. She was brash, outspoken, fukkin useless at geography (hysterically funnily and embarrassingly cringingly so) and after a while the viewers were pretty irate at her, wanting her off, so the media jumped on the bandwagon and started villifying her in the national press, with headlines (I kid you not) like "Vote the Fat Pig Out!". The result was a massive swing in sympathy for her, as people felt whatever their feelings generated by watching the show, she was A human being who was A contestant on a tv show. The media swung that way in response.

She went all the way to the final, came third and got huge cheers on her way out of the house. And ended up as the highest earner from the same media that had villified her as they all wanted her story.

So, despite the media's best efforts, people responded according to how THEY felt rather than how they were TOLD to feel.

Media may have been what catapaulted her to the attention of the millions, but it was people's own humanity and concern that decided how she should be treated.


From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sine Ziegler
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posted 14 August 2002 01:33 PM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I can't justify spending $50+ a month on it. That's the equivalent of TWO PINTS OF GUINESS A WEEK!!

Sheesh! I didn't realise we were spending over $100/month on pints! Way to put it into perspective!!!


From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 14 August 2002 02:28 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Could someone please explain how one is to raise media literate children if one never allows them to watch television?

Would this be a similar method to raising literate children by keeping them away from books?


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 14 August 2002 02:32 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The other thing I wanted to address is children being "babysat" by television. I wish I could say that I never do this. But I do occasionally, as do most parents.

I'm a work at home parent, as is my hubby most of the time. If there's an important call expected, you bet your bippy the TV goes on for a little while. Losing a contract because of a small child nattering on my knee at the wrong time can affect both of us badly. A little television hasn't prevented either of my kids from hitting the majority of their developmental milestones early. I think TV is often vilified and used as a scapegoat.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zarathustra
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posted 14 August 2002 02:45 PM      Profile for Zarathustra     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
TommyPaineAtWork: Shows like "The Simpsons" bind us together. You may not like it, but if you do without it you stand, at least partly, outside society.

If that is the case, then I'm very pleased to be an outlaw, cast out of "society."

If you don't mind me broadening the topic somewhat...

The leading export industry of the United States is entertainment. In European cinemas, around 75% of all films are made in the US. And what is the percentage of films in US cinemas made anywhere outside of the US? 3%. "Free trade"-US style = cultural imperialism.

This year I have been fortunate enough to see two films that I consider to be among the best ever made: "La Commune" directed by Peter Watkins, on the Paris Commune, and "Eloge de l'Amour" (Ode to love/In praise of love) directed by Jean-Luc Godard. As far as I know, neither of these films has found distributors in the US. And when the farcical Hollywood Oscars come round next year, neither film will be mentioned.

And having had my little rant, I was among the billions of people who watched the planet's greatest televised event: the World Cup.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 August 2002 03:06 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*sniff sniff* Germany *sniff*
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 14 August 2002 03:13 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I recently got rid of cable. The clincher was when I actually figured out how much time I spent watching "quality programming" versus idliy flipping around. It was ugly. So, while I do miss the Simpsons, Buffy, etc. I've spent more time reading, playing music, balh blah blah. So I guess that's better. Plus, when my co-workers and friends start talking about some new reality program, I get to act all superior, which is totally awesome.

I'd encourage anyone who doesn't see a problem with watching lotsa TV to try going a week without. You really start to se what a strong grip the idiot box has when you make an effort to avoid it. During TV turnoff week last year, I constantly found myself coming home, plunking down on the couch and reaching for the remote without even considering that "Hey, I'm not suppossed to be watching this." It's weird.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ed Weatherbee
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posted 14 August 2002 03:20 PM      Profile for Ed Weatherbee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Generally, on Cops or any other program , people must sign waivers to appear on televison. Its particulary true if filming is done on private property. The people that you see on Cops have signed thes waivers that's why you occasionally see some periphal characters in episode with their face blurred out. I guess the Regaes family must have turned down that waiver.
Watkins' latest film was showing around American colleges last winter. Mind you at almost six hours in length, in black and white and on something as obscure to most people's consciousness as the 1871 Commune, I would think that it would be a difficult sell to most commercial theatre owners.
And this from some one who, in his younger days, sat throught "Renaldo and Clara" and "The Sorrow and the Pity"

[ August 14, 2002: Message edited by: Ed Weatherbee ]


From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 14 August 2002 03:33 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I never called anyone a bad parent. Nor did i blame all of society's craziness - sorry, Apemantus! - on television. Nor did i say (unless you count that one flippant post-script - which i can take out, if you like) that children shouldn't be allowed to watch television.
I did express concern about what they're watching and how it's affecting them and how it is subliminally affecting all of us.

Nothing that happens happens off in a corner by itself. Everything in the attitudes and development of a culture, of a society, is connected. I didn't invent the 'dumbing-down' of America (and thus, the world), nor was i the first to notice it, nor was i the first to see the method and purpose behind it.
Step back a pace: see pattern.
Don't get rid of your tv - demand better programs.

[ August 14, 2002: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 14 August 2002 04:22 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Don't get rid of your tv - demand better programs.

'Zackly! Be a real consumer, let 'em (the broadcasters) know what you're willing to pay for. Squeaky wheel and all that.

I wasn't necessarily aiming my comments at you, nonesuch... I just get very tired of people who haven't raised children telling me what I do "wrong" when they haven't got a sniff. The last thing I need in my day is a childless 20-something evangelizing on a theory about child-rearing. You, of course, know a little something about raising kids. Kneejerk reaction on my part.

quote:
I'd encourage anyone who doesn't see a problem with watching lotsa TV to try going a week without.

I do, at least once a year. I stop watching tv on my summer vacation for sure, and mostly when I travel. Which is often a fair bit. The tv doesn't have that strong a grip, I don't feel empowered by watching or not watching, my head isn't any clearer, nor are my eating and sleeping habits different. The time gets filled one way or another.

Besides which, my lifestyle being what it is, I rarely do nothing but watch tv -- I'm generally combining it with other activities. Working mothers, the ultimate multi-taskers.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
dale cooper
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posted 14 August 2002 04:24 PM      Profile for dale cooper     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle, I did not mean to make any intentional or unintentional attacks against anyone. Perhaps I should narrow the picture down some. This is not just a family who has had a rough day. This is overgrown grass, garbage all over the lawn, baby strollers outside COVERED in flies, pop containers and fast-food take-out littering the house; not just an uncleaned house, but a filthy house. A breeding ground for disease. Not just people taking a much-deserved break, but people who do not remove themselves from the couch in front of the TV for days on end. I am not just guessing at who these people are, I know these people. These are the people TV is hurting.

I am also not unsympathetic to the plight of the destitute, but I feel there are certain standards which must be upheld when caring for our children and those are to provide them with a safe, healthy environment to grow up in. Not to substitute pop for water in their daily diet, not to force them to breath 2nd hand smoke 24/7, not to deprive them of the need and joy of outdoor exercise because they never have the opportunity to discover what fun it can be. I don't have a problem with taking a few days off or being overweight or shirking our duties occasionally. I do have a problem with people who deny their children the chance to be humans because they can't tear themselves away from the TV to show them there is a whole world beyond the living room.


From: Another place | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
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posted 14 August 2002 04:32 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The last thing I need in my day is a childless 20-something evangelizing on a theory about child-rearing.


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 14 August 2002 04:48 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My TV is not on a lot, but when it is it's because I'm either needing to rest and do almost nothing or there's something I'm interested in that I'm watching. There were no TVs in my early years and as kids we were always outside. We had neighbourhoods where the kids were safer then because all the families knew each other and the kids all played together, so they were always being watched by someone. This isn't to say that bad things didn't happen, they did. It's just that a child could turn to almost any adult for help. Part of the problem now is that people don't always know their neighbours well enough to feel their children are safe. We have turned into a mobile society and it's taken a toll.

As far as TV for children, without it my daughter who is dyslexic would have had more trouble learning than she did. TV helped with that. I always watched with her the first time or two and discussed the program, then let her watch by herself while I did other things but always came when she called me to see something. I think that is a healthy way to do it.

There are lots of things I don't like on TV, the phony reality shows are one, but there's some good stuff too. I'm somewhat bothered by the amount of violence and bad human behaviour that is shown and think that some people try to act out what they see, thinking that it's how life really is. That's been around for years. Nobody was really like Ozzie and Harriet or Father Knows Best but at least they were moral examples. I know of some women who act out soap opera scenarios in their real lives and think that's a horrible thing for them.

I also don't like the covert commercials disguised as programs and avoid them totally. I try not to let myself be influenced by advertising and worry about the parents I know when the Christmas wanting lists start showing up. I think a person has to question their watching habits regularly as it's impossible not to fall for some of the stuff, but I think it is possible to live with a TV in the house.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
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posted 14 August 2002 05:03 PM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that most people are influenced only slightly by exposure to television and in ways that they are predisposed to begin with. I can't think of a show that makes me want to kill everyone or buy stuff I have no use for like tires for a boat trailer I don't have.

But I am becomeing more and more inclined to think that tv does influence a small minority of people predisposed to outragious behaviour to further extend the boundries of what they would consider reasonable things to do.

Does tv and computers make normally reasonable people kill or act violently? No. Does it give ideas to those who are about to kill or act out in a violent way? I think yes.

Maybe it is the same thing that allows one person to interpret things like bible passages into a reason to be good and for someone else to find a reason to harm or kill others.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
quelar
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posted 14 August 2002 05:15 PM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't see how killing your television makes sense. The medium of pictures can give you perspective into the world that other media can not.

However I agree that the vast majority is crap, but having walked into book stores to see nothing but John Grisham and Steven King, should we burn ALL the books too?

It's just a matter of finding the right material to watch. I don't know if I'd be able to live without "The Nature of Things" and the History channel.


From: In Dig Nation | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 14 August 2002 05:21 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You have a good point there, Slick. Many years ago I stopped a school full of misfits and learning disabled children from allowing a showing of the movie, Halloween. I point out to the staff that while I agree these kids should have had a choice in what they wanted shown at their party, a slasher movie was not appropriate. I suggested the Principal and the teacher in charge of this effort view the movie for themselves and then decide, they told me they hadn't seen it but thought it was a ghost story. I also mentioned that there were many teen violence horror flicks that should not be encouraged to this group as they already had a violence problem in this school. There are some people who just shouldn't be exposed to such things, much less have it forced on them in this way.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
dee
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posted 14 August 2002 05:45 PM      Profile for dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
. I try not to let myself be influenced by advertising and worry about the parents I know when the Christmas wanting lists start showing up.

I remember when I was a kid (probably about 8-10) thinking that television in general was better at Christmas time although the shows I watched did not change much. I now realize that it was because all the toy advertising appealed to me much more than the usual ads. It had nothing to do with the actual programming.


From: pleasant, unemotional conversation aids digestion | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
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posted 14 August 2002 06:14 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ditto. I would holler for Mom whenever I saw something I wanted. No thanks.
From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Apemantus
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posted 14 August 2002 06:48 PM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And I am also sure that some tv provokes good people to do more good.

Charity, awareness of the rest of the world etc...

And as for the dumbing down, gimme a fukkin break! What, was society more intelligent than now (not according to educational criteria!)? Have we got more stupid? No. We are just more aware of some of the more stupid members of our society.

Patronizing rubbish!


From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 214

posted 14 August 2002 06:56 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
They see on tv how it's normal to point a gun at somebody. If they get hold of a gun, it's the very first thing they do.

Thank you, nonesuch, you managed to articulate what I was feeling about this better than I could.

It's not that I'm against violence on t.v., or think the idiot box can take a "normal" kid and turn him into a homicidal maniac, but there is some influence. All these shows that have people matter of factly pointing guns at other people is like Norm Abrams on PBS using a skill saw with the gaurd tied back, or a lathe without safety glasses.

And yes, I think if the N.R.A. was really just an organization of responsible gun owners, they'd be screaming about the constant unsafe handling of firearms on t.v.

Kids and T.V.? Kids watch much more t.v. today than when I was young, but I think you guys have the wrong causation. It isn't that T.V. is better today, or the streets more dangerous. In my day, as a kid, there was probably two serial killers, one of them a pedophile, operating in the London area. If anything, the city is probably safer today than it was in my day.

No, be honest. We played outside all the live long day to get away from parental supervision.

With both parents or one parent now working, with their kids being of the "latch key" variety, kids don't have to brave the big outdoors to escape parental supervision.

They can do it in the living room.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 14 August 2002 07:04 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
without it my daughter who is dyslexic would have had more trouble learning than she did. TV helped with that.

I know two women who learned English from Sesame Street and soap operas. They were recent immigrants, housebound because one had small children and the other had a macho husband who didn't want her mingling freely with the new world. (I'm not laying blame: jealousy, racial insecurity, fear for his ascendency and concern for her safety were all factors.) Tv was an enormous help to these women.
It didn't do me any lasting harm, either.

quote:
It's not that I'm against violence on t.v., or think the idiot box can take a "normal" kid and turn him into a homicidal maniac, but there is some influence.

What's normal? Unmentored kids can be sensible and mature, adrift, confused, marginal, or pontentially homicidal - nobody knows. It's not the rock-solid normals we have to worry about; it's the confused, adrift and marginal. They're the most at risk, the most easily influenced and the ones nobody cares enough to protect.

[ August 14, 2002: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
dale cooper
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2946

posted 15 August 2002 01:28 AM      Profile for dale cooper     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The last thing I need in my day is a childless 20-something evangelizing on a theory about child-rearing.

Hey listen, I really didn't mean to offend with that line of comment. There was this specific house that totally threw me for a loop. I don't think you quite appreciate how foul it was. The parents were telling the kids to shut the fuck up.

I'm sorry. Really. I'm not a bad person. It just bugs me when people drag their kids down like that.


From: Another place | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 15 August 2002 02:24 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As I said earlier, not aimed at you specifically.]

Although I shudder to think what conclusions you might jump to if you happened on my house during grant season....


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 826

posted 15 August 2002 10:27 AM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's okay dale, I understand. I'm a twenty-something who is keenly interested in child development and family dynamics, and I'm sure I "evangelize" sometimes, to the annoyance of others.

From what you described, that is awful if that's the norm, and I appreciate that you were troubled by it, too few people are it seems.

That whole "you can't express anything of worth concerning children because you don't have one of your own" idea is asinine. Of COURSE people who are parents have a first hand perspective on the situaiton and that gives them experience that childless people don't posess, that doesn't bestow them with omnipitant unfallable knowledge of the little humans that no childless person could possibly comprehend. Plenty of people are lousy parents, and I'm sure there are many childless people who have better parenting ideas, or natural skills, just not the "experience".

I think it's healthy and beneficial for a twenty-something childless male to be concerned with issues as important as childlren and their care.


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 184

posted 15 August 2002 10:57 AM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And yes, I think if the N.R.A. was really just an organization of responsible gun owners, they'd be screaming about the constant unsafe handling of firearms on t.v.

I think the NRA takes a different angle of attack on this sort of thing. Rather than get upset at what's going on in tv land they promote teaching all children how to use and handle guns and ammunition in a safe and responsible manner.

(a little disclaimer)
I don't support the NRA as I think gun ownership should be a very exclusive thing. My point above is that if responsible handling of a weapon was taught to all children then I think there would be far fewer accidents happening with firearms.

Something I know from first hand experience is that being a gun owner and having taught both my kids about safety and handling guns, the mood changes as soon as I put the key into the gun safe.

My kids know that it is time to become serious and no fooling around with this stuff at all. Though it has never been tested (thank god) I am positive that should either of my children find a gun or have a friend who can get a hold of one they aren't supposed to have, will take responsibility for that firearm, unload it, and call me or the police in that order. I don't think they would hang around for one minute should someone produce a gun and begin to fool around with it.

I think everyone, including those who don't own or are against guns, should learn how to handle them and teach their children how to as well. In this way, I think that the lesson that under no circumstances ever are these things toys and that in taking the proper steps the chances of a tragedy become very slim.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Apemantus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1845

posted 15 August 2002 10:59 AM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think everyone, including those who don't own or are against guns, should learn how to handle them and teach their children how to as well.


From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 184

posted 15 August 2002 11:20 AM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Plenty of people are lousy parents, and I'm sure there are many childless people who have better parenting ideas, or natural skills, just not the "experience".

I think about the only absolute thing you can say about being a parent is that you can understand how there can be lousy parents.

Kids come in all sorts. Some are dream children who are born with a smile, already reading and an income that can support the whole family in a style befitting such wonderful people. While others just have to get along with the regular old kids who cry, make a mess, want attention, make mistakes, feed that last bit of sugar in the house to the ants outside so that for your morning cup of coffee, you are going to have to find it elsewhere.

What you learn about kids from being a parent are life skills. Plenty of people have come along that have gone from the care of their parents to having their own first child on a wing and a prayer. The moment that happens though, all the rules change.
You don't get to just pick up and see where the road takes you anymore, for example. Good parents find they become responsible for not only themselves but for someone else as well. And I mean fully responsible. This is something that you don't usually get without having children of your own.
It isn't so bad when things are all fun and games and lovie dovie. It is when you are told you are hated and you should go straight to hell that is the test of parenting mettle.

So while it is possible, and I am sure is often the case, that those who are not parents can and do have very good insight into raising children, it is impossible to fully understand what it is to be a parent unless you are one.

I think that the biggest problem we face today as a society is not tv or guns or violence against anyone. It's taking responsibility for ourselves and those around us.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Apemantus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1845

posted 15 August 2002 11:29 AM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And I bet loads of people on here wish they could take more responsibility for those around them!!!

Certainly would seem so from many of the posts!


From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 184

posted 15 August 2002 11:51 AM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And I bet loads of people on here wish they could take more responsibility for those around them!

I'm not entirly sure that is the case. Perhaps it would be better stated that loads of people on here with someone would take responsibility for those around them.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 15 August 2002 12:09 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That whole "you can't express anything of worth concerning children because you don't have one of your own" idea is asinine.

Which is not what I said.

However, while we're on the subject...

The first thing you learn when you become a parent is that all the dearly cherished theories you ever had about what it would be like and what kind of parent you were going to be, well, they go right out the window.

See, I was over 30 when I had mine, and had some long-cherished theories of my own. I was sooooooo out to lunch! This, btw, is concurred with by my other mommy friends. You don't know squat until you find yourself in the trenches, at which point, you make it up as you go along. Sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes you hit it right on the money. Some days you feel like Supermom, other days you feel like you've gone 3 rounds with Mike Tyson.

Parenting is not for wimps or theoreticians. Trust me on this one...


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 826

posted 15 August 2002 12:42 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just to clarify, I actually didn't have you in mind on that one Zoot.

I have a relative who had a mantra "you won't understand until you pay your own bills" concerning EVERYTHNG. Now that we are paying our own bills it's changed to "you won't understand until you've had your own babies" We're now making bets on what it will change into if that happens.

I too get annoyed at some well educated child development gurus who have theories that are so, unworkable I often wonder if they have ever even babysat a child.

I'm sure my theories will alter if we have our own, but I'd LIKE to think that I have something to contribute to the discussion at this stage.


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Arch Stanton
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2356

posted 15 August 2002 03:13 PM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just got this by e-mail today:


"For older folks only
(Under 40? You won't understand.)

You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
"Good night, David; Good night, Chet."

Dependin' on the channel you tuned
You got Rob and Laura - or Ward and June.
It felt so good, felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I Love Lucy, The Real McCoys
Dennis the Menace, the Cleaver boys
Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train
Superman, Jimmy & Lois Lane.

Father Knows Best, Patty Duke
Rin Tin Tin and Lassie too,
Donna Reed on Thursday night--
Life looked better in black and white.

I wanna go back to black and white.
Everything always turned out right.
Simple people, simple lives
Good guys always won the fights.

Now nothing is the way it seems
In living color on the TV screen.
Too many murders, too much fight,
I wanna go back to black and white

In God they trusted, in bed they slept.
A promise made was a promise kept.
They never cussed or broke their vows.
They'd never make the network now.

But if I could, I'd rather be
In a TV town in '53.
It felt so good, felt so right
Life looked better in black and white.

I'd trade all the channels on the satellite
If I could just turn back the clock tonight
To when everybody knew wrong from right
Life was better in black and white!

Pass this to someone and brighten their day by
helping them remember that life's most simple
pleasures are very often the best."


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 15 August 2002 04:16 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder why Prime is so popular...
From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1873

posted 15 August 2002 04:35 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Hmm. My apartment gets messy. I'm overweight. My son and I are sometimes inside during summer afternoons with the television on.
And we're SINGLE mothers too, don't forget. We're going to hell, along with all the atheists, serial killers and trade unionists.

From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 826

posted 15 August 2002 04:40 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You forgot gypsies and witches. Silly goose.
From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Apemantus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1845

posted 15 August 2002 05:30 PM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If only you were a paedophile too, you'd have the royal flush!
From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 214

posted 15 August 2002 07:16 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I don't support the NRA as I think gun ownership should be a very exclusive thing. My point above is that if responsible handling of a weapon was taught to all children then I think there would be far fewer accidents happening with firearms.

One of the reasons I took my girls out to the Ruffed Grouse Society's firearm introduction course was so that they understood the safe handling of firearms, and after watching, and participating myself, I think it is something that should be part of the school curriculum.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 15 August 2002 09:07 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Teaching responsible use of firearms is a good idea. My brother and i learned to shoot a rifle and shotgun at around 14.
But the really terrible accidents involve kids as young as 3 - and often handguns. Often because the parents leave guns lying around, or play with them. It comes back to silly people doing dangerous things ... which they learn from thoughtless popular entertainment.

Anyway, this was a side issue. The really bad central issue is meanness and disrespect and objectification of people. So, every time you see that, in a program or a commercial, give the producers hell.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged

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