Acts of Volition

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Dennis -

but its sweeps week!!! and whats-her-name is guest starring on ER!!

will -

getting rid of cable is one of the best decisions i ever made. i could feel my brain rebuilding after.

give your noggin a fighing chance: turn off your tv.

Anonymous -

Less than twelve hours after Steve's post, and he is watching TV.

Steven Garrity -

Man, it must be hard to be a preacher.

I need curtains (or enough money to live alone).

Vince -

What's wrong with TV?

I followed the <a href="http://adbusters.org/campaigns/tvturnoff" target="_blank">link</a> in Steve's article to an adbusters.org. Adbusters claimed that "Watching TV is a passive, brain-emptying experience". It then proceeds to inform the reader on the evils of television, trying to convince them to give up the form of communication. Yet, I find it hard to believe that a organization of this direction is actually concerned about my choice of "brain-emptying" experiences. When I read the Adbusters <a href="http://adbusters.org/information/foundation" target="_blank">mission statement</a> I get the impression that this organizations sole intent is to block advertising by turning off your TV. Of course they mention that they also "offer incisive philosophical articles as well as activist commentary" which covers their ass, but I doubt a concern for our well being is the reason "Turn off TV" week got started.

But even with all their ranting, are they right?

The tv is one of the best forms of mass communication ever. Yes, you can spend all night watching Friends, but you can also feed your mind with news, discussions on current events and history. Studies do argue that television numbs you mind resulting in a lack of motivation and depression which I partly agree with. But you must consider the content being produced. If you choose to watch "That 70's Show" every night, you'll gain little mentally. Yet if you decide to watch the news, Junkyard wars and Biography you will harvest the information these programs offer as well increasing your creativity and language skills which is what I can hardly call a "brain-emptying experience". Aside from educational programming you can also find some quality shows such as Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Simpsons and even Twin Peaks. They may have little educational value but they offer a genuine quality of entertainment.

What I'm trying to say is that TV is only what you make of it, and turning it off for a week is completely missing the point. For every argument Adbusters provides against TV, you can say the same about reading a book or browsing the internet. Watching interesting and rewarding programming is not a bad habit. So turn off your computer and turn on your tv, <a href="http://www.powerpuffgirls.com" target="_blank">Power Puff Girls</a> are on at six.

KJB -

tv turnoff week is a bourgeois luxury.

KJB -

and Vince, I totally agree

Steven Garrity -

Vince, I appreciate the reply (especially given your email address and website).

You make some good points. That the arguments Adbusters make against TV could be made against reading or browsing the internet maybe true. However, I do think that television as a medium does have some inherent flaws.

First, for the record, I <i>do</i> watch TV. I watch Northern Exposure, Newsradio, The Simpsons, Law & Order.

Your comment that TV is what you make of it is fair. But, again, I do think that TV does have some inherent flaws. TV, by its very nature, is conducive to short, simple, entertaining chunks of information. There is nothing wrong with this in of itself. The problem arises when TV becomes the main medium of public discourse. It is where elections are won and lost and where public opinion of free trade and democracy are formed. TV reduces our public discourse to entertainment.

BTW, I am just poorly rehashing Neil Postman's argument from Amusing Ourselves to Death (amazon link). I <i>strongly</i> recommend it (if you live within my general earth area, I will lend it to you).

I realize that slagging TV is too easy, like slagging Creed. But we can't let our guard down. Both are tools of the devil.

adam gallant -

okay garrety i caa put up wiht u putting down tv but i can't put up with you putting ddown creed, what's wrong with creed? creed is awesome

Confused and probably stupid -

Is there some sort of joke inside the horrible spelling by Adam? Like Creed fans (I am not one) are shitty spellers?
I don't get it.

you probably get it, but you want everyone to know that you are uncovering something clever -


or maybe you don't get it, and you are using the "name" section of your reply to reveal more than just your identity.

Stupidity is certain -

Confusion however, is deepening

Stupidity is certain -

Confusion however, is deepening