those half-baked thoughts on tv provoked more responses than anything else i’ve written . it seems that more of my friends are thinking about it than i realised . i’d like to broadcast some of their responses . hope that’s okay with everyone concerned .
from stefan schutt
I remember nights in front of the TV while I was in high school; my sister and mother motionless, emotionless, inert, the blue light flickering on their faces.
I remember getting fidgety, feeling uneasy with the random grab-bag of information straming its way into our brains, undigested, unending.
I remember eventually escaping to another room, finding things to do (in Whyalla, a small steel town in the South Australian desert, there’s not much to do in the “outside” world)
You could borrow Karl-baby’s “opiate of the masses” phrase to describe this phenomenon – but at least some versions of religion encourage reflection, spritual initiative, personal evaluation. TV – at least in its mainstream form – encourages you to be passive, or to react, knee-jerk, from the impotent comfort of your living room.
For the information you get is ready-made, packaged, polished, perfect – what more could you, the amateur, in your infinite lack of knowledge, possibly contribute to that?
from margaret crosthwaite
It’s scary stuff – I get a deep sense of horror in moments of ‘conciseness’ when watching TV with other people, addictive gazes on our faces…
– it seems to lower people into a ‘base’ state and what is absorbed in this state of ‘surrender’ informs our attitudes, decisions interactions with others throughout our whole lives … and once seen can not be unseen.
I was quite interested in this subject when I was at college and decided to take a fresh look at the design of television remote controls (there are a whole load of issues related to power/control/gender/life stages that are reflected in how/who uses the remote control).
I did a range of different concept designs – but the simplest was to have more than one remote control to diffuse the power. It suddenly seemed absurd that only one person should have the access to control and others watching seemed handicapped to do anything to influence what was watched or turn it on/off. ( I used the metaphor of a ‘fruitbowl’ containing a number of simple remote controls which was offering control to everyone equally)
from sebastian neerman
i think the strongest attraction comes from our fascination with stories. Myths, parables, sayings, heroes, songs, historical anectodes, jokes…. the papers, TV… they’e all creators. and they all rely on shared familiarity. the basic stock of stories to any culture will always be limited. Subjected to the familiarising, we then bring the infinite to it and it forms us in our own ways. add some salt, stir and wait for 5 mins…
During a chessgame with an imp, the introspective, intellectual Steppenwolf realisedthat he was nothing but a collection personalities/characters like the pieces on the board. Taken individually in their crude extreme form, they seemed to reflect nothing of his own nature. In sum, he saw the contour of his own face. In a seedy Berlin cabaret bar, moved by the jazz and booze (!), he overcame the morose faustian streak that had been aflicting him. he learnt to start laughing with the rest of the world.
from rosie rayner
I have not watched TV for two years. I find when I watch it that the subliminal images are very powerful and that I am deeply effected by their demands. I remember and Iceland advert making me thing that I really should be married to some arian bloke baking for him and the kids. It surprised me that and advert could be that powerful.
from ash nehru
Ghod you do write a lot of bollocks sometimes.
with which i bid you adieu . the tide has ebbed the full distance of its current equinoctial springs . an amber crescent of moon rises low in a star-filled sky . the wind freshens .