Loud Thinking: Challenging life, software, and media
Thursday, July 19, 2001 @ 01:44 | 7 challenges

"There's never anything good on TV" -- Bollocks!

Apparently watching TV is a really, really bad habit. It makes you stupid, lazy and brings you all sorts of evil. A way of killing time designed for the masses, while the intellectuals spend their time on more important things (like shinning their holy glory). Or at least that is what you're often left to believe. Even Dave Winer, who I otherwise have tremendous respect for, has jumped on this nonsense with that "declaration of indepence" he posted a while back.

I don't buy it. At all. It's like bashing the Internet because some derranged people use it to display their hideous hate. Or condeming music all together for being the medium where boy band after boy band repeat the same fabricated lines we've heard a thousand times before. It doesn't make any sense.

Take this night of TV watching as an example. I spend some 2+ hours in front of the tube and enjoyed every minute of it. Like with any medium you just have to be selective. My choice cuts for the night was:

  • Simpsons: The Lisa's Rival Episode - This has got to go down in history as one of the best Simpsons episodes ever. Homer's addiction to sugar and his monologue about "The terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles..." are pure gold.

  • One of the newer Futurama episodes - I haven't been following Futurama nearly as closely as The Simpsons, but the new stuff that's coming out is actually really funny (much more so that the shows from the first season I've seen).

  • 60 minutes with Andy Rooney on power cord usability - Mr. Rooney is clearly a personal hero of mine. He always got something interesting to say, and this time it was on the subject of usability in regard to power cords and switches and how they always seem to be different. Oh, and the rest of 60 minutes was stellar TV journalism as always.

  • David Letterman featuring Edward Norton and Dido - Edward Norton is a really great actor and from what I could gather from his appearence on Letterman a really great guy as well. He tells his stories with a warmth and sense of humor that makes you feel good (no, I'm not gay nor in love with this guy ;)). Oh, and Dido made an outstanding performance of my favorite track from her No Angel CD, Hunter. It triggered a reliving of her album for me that's still going.

So please. Take your generalizing opinions about the quality of TV today somewhere else. I'm perfectly happy with the state of affairs (well, maybe not that happy, but you get the point). I'm proud to pledge my love for good TV shows and equally proud to be able to shut it off when there's only rubbish on.

Challenge the Loud Thinking
Challenge by Martin @ 07/19/2001 11:18

Unfortunately you're more addicted to television than you care to admit. Take away those tv-shows you've mentioned and see what you're left with. Silence. Room for thought.

TV is mind programming - made to make you feel the way the producer or director wants you to feel exactly when the little girl cries and the music takes a sad tune.

Of course some TV is more mind challanging than the other 99.99% But realize that even the last 0.01% leaves you with the feeling you're programmed to have.

bip bop

Challenge by David @ 07/19/2001 11:33

But I like the mind programming. It's the reason why I enjoy watching engaging movies and fiction shows. I get to ride an emotional rollercoaster that the director specificly deviced to give me thrills of high and lows.

It's what makes the moving picture business so much more intense than reading a book or listening to some music (for me). Though, reading or listening can also leave you at the mercy of the writer or composer. So I don't really see the big difference?

And please cut the 99.9% of what's on TV sucks. I spent 2+ hours just yesterday getting programmed fully conciously of the experience and enjoying it thoroughly.

Challenge by Martin @ 07/19/2001 03:08

TV and movies can be very attractive and very convincing. Subtle messeges carried to your unconcious mind, telling you how to feel about the things you see. Mind or frequency control - take your pick.

I'm no saint when it comes to this issue. I too enjoy watching a fun comedy or a great action packed peewee. But in the long run if this is the only type of input or brain exercise you get, it can be very limiting on your life experience or how you perceive reality.

"There is more to it than meets the eye"

But don't get me wrong. I'm not throwing bricks. I'm just challenging you're thoughts :)

Challenge by David @ 07/19/2001 03:28

Pretty much everything is dangerous if it's the only thing you do. I'm in no way advocating that people should waste their entire life on the couch watching mind-numbing talk, game or fiction shows. Just like I'm not advocating the people should only read trashy love novels. Or listen only to fabricated boy bands.

My objection goes to the assumption that TV as a medium is bad or evil. And that's just crap. It's no worse or better than novels or music.

Challenge by Nicolai @ 07/19/2001 04:03

Watching television is like so much else, a matter of selecting what's interesting and what's not. Surely, Simpsons, can make you laugh and for that it's great, and as long as you are aware of the meaning with the different televisionprograms it's fine, because then it's up to yourself, to find out why you're watching the different programs. Ex. as long as you watch "Days of our lifes" as entertainement, it's fine, but when your reason is, "Gotta pass time" or "Ooh, they are so happy", you've got a problem. The same goes for "60 minutes".. Believing blindly in such programs can be called mind programming, and i believe that you got to challenge that kind of programs, and seek the same information elsewhere.

Some people always tells you the truth, but if the truth they tell you, are wrong, who's to blame?

Challenge by daniel @ 07/20/2001 11:18

"It's no worse or better than novels or music" you couldnt be more wrong on your assumption. But then again - i wont go burst your reality bobble

Challenge by David @ 07/20/2001 02:20

Thanks for re-introducing me to the most annoying form of argumentation: "You're wrong." Period. Why ever go to the trouble of making supportive arguments when you can just use the "You're wrong" trumph :)?

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