T.V’s Not Evil. I Am.
Puzzling t.v. rant accompanied by unrelated photo (or am I a culture fascist/elitist?). this is a lovely photo that my friend b.o.g. sent to me. i wanted to include it here for all to enjoy.
A little bit about t.v. watching (unrelated to the picture entirely): I don’t think that television in and of itself is evil, I know that people (women) make their own meanings and watch t.v. for a variety of good reasons (#1 for me being that it is cheap entertainment). Having said this, I don’t have a television. And I’ll you about that.
I enjoyed the occasional quality programming a la beverly hills or degrassi. Breaker
High? Ready or not? I was an obsessive fan of midday for many years (remember the ralph benmergi days? Brent, I think I love you). But eventually some things happened that resulted in me giving up these loves, for now.
It was the season where kimberly was a radio talk show host and she was abducted and almost raped, and when donna was stalked and almost raped at the beach house (“i’m okay dave“). i started having melrose place/b.h. nightmares. Too much misogyny was getting me down. After yet another freaky nightmare I went to see winona, senior feminist and confidante to the stars, and she told me to think of my brain as a sponge that will soak up whatever I give to it. She told me to be conscientious about what I put in there. This was step one. Winona encouraged me to think about what I like to do and what I want for myself.
When I thought about everything that I enjoy and want to do in my lifetime, I realized that I am in a negative time situation. There were suddenly not enough hours in the day. Something had to go. I realized that I simply did not have time to watch t.v. if I was going to get things done. Finally, from what I understand, t.v. had other effects and I have read about the effects of ingesting artificial light and theories that television bypasses consciousness (do you find it difficult to keep mentally alert while watching television?). which is not to mention the inherent biases of television: the bias against the excluded and marginalised, the bias against visual subtlety (fuzzy images) and the bias away from the sensory.
While I honestly respect people’s ability to critically enjoy television, I still find it a little bit creepy. Television seems like an obvious medium for social control. If I can presume that most canadians have t.v. sets, then we are all spoken to by a centralized information source (media). Everyday, a handful of people speak, the rest listen. How might/does this potentially confine awareness and experience? I have also read that people who are prone to motion sickness, become sick when they enter a room illuminated by blue light. Also, humans need sunlight to synthesize vitamin d. what is the effect of staring at artificial light from a t.v. or computer screen daily?
I don’t believe that in the case of t.v. watching that a+b=c, viewer plus television equals passive victim of society. Rather, because of my experience, I am curious and I think that it is important to be critical of this common and pervasive medium. I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. Would you take two negative messages instead?