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jbouder
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since 09-18-99
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Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


0 posted 07-20-2001 08:22 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

quote:
The electronic media are "probably the strongest nonfamilial forces on child socialization that have ever existed." -- Thomas Cochran, Business in American Life: A History, 296.


quote:
Our core audience is the television babies who grew up on TV and rock and roll ... The strongest appeal you can make ... is emotional.  If you can get their emotions going, forget their logic, you've got'em....  We make them feel a certain way as opposed to walking away with any particular knowledge ... It's the style, not the substance....  At MTV, we don't shoot for the fourteen-year-olds, we own then. -- MTV Chairman Bob Pittman, quoted in Quentin Schultze, Dancing in the Dark, 192.


What are your thoughts on the subject?  Anyone who has young children knows that young children are strongly influenced by, and often model, behavior that they see on television.  But is this necessarily harmful?  Does television actually have the capacity to reduce us to a culture of images?

What do you think?
Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


1 posted 07-21-2001 05:31 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I agree with you here except that you said it in another thread ("Howl"). TV is fine if the parent is there and makes a conscious effort to explain what it is and its limitations therein. Make the unconscious conscious if you will.

Or

Make sure you bring back the logic.

Brad
hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


2 posted 07-23-2001 03:39 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Television, in my opinion, is used mainly as a marketing tool for who and what we should be. What we eat, drink, and swallow in capsule or tablet form is given to us in the way that ad executives think is most palatable.... just watch exactly what kind of ads are shown during certain types of shows. Shows intended for a black audience have commercials with black actors. Same with soap operas and "lose weight fast!" commercials, because it is assumed that all housewives want to look like so-and-so on the favorite soap, because that woman should want to be so-and-so.

It's not just the ads, it's the programs, too. I do think that TV helps feed us lines of BS images of thin, pretty, attractive, etc. and we're supposed to buy it. It's a stereotype machine, or rather, the programs and ads shown on it are. There are some quality things that are found on TV, but the problem is that there are impressionable people (not just kids and teens) who watch MTV and morning talk shows and simply have never been taught the ability to discern what they should and shouldn't take to heart....

I guess this is more of a rant than a formed argument.... oh well... I'm a victim of a television upbringing, what can I say? LOL.

You are more than the sum of what you consume
Desire is not an occupation
-Nicole Blackman/KMFDM

jbouder
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3 posted 07-23-2001 01:42 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

I recall bringing this up in "Howl" but I wasn't done talking about it yet.  

I agree ... it would be nice to bring back the logic but I don't see it happening.

Hush:

Actually, your "rant" is pretty insightful.  Marketing is about shaping behavior (that is, how to get your target audience to emit the response you desire).  What your perceive as being manipulative is in fact backed up by much good science (if you've ever read about Pavlov and Skinner's work on operant behavior, you may already know this to be true).  Marketers are banking on more people having favorable reactions than reactions like yours.

Jim
Brad
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4 posted 07-23-2001 06:01 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well then keep talking. I'm listening.  

Brad
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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5 posted 07-24-2001 12:49 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

We're born naked and without the ability to care for ourselves.  We must depend on others to provide the necessities for us to live.  We own nothing.  We only get what we can negotiate.  This is true our entire lives.  All of us have to continually close (sales) every single day.

So, yes, they are marketing and manipulating and what better way to market than through controversy?  

Rock and Roll needs a bad boy image to survive.  But when the bad boy grows up and the rock and roll becomes mainstream culture -- how does one keep it controversial?

Perhapsy by making comments like Mr. Pittman one can garnish the wrath of religious right types and stir the pot a little.
jbouder
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6 posted 07-24-2001 05:07 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Reb (do you have a name yet?):

I agree that the MTV chair's comment was over the top and, more than likely, the manner in which it was stated was done purposefully to "stir the pot".  But I still think there is a certain truth to be found in what he said.

How many shows encourage critical thought and remain interesting?  My youngest son really enjoys "Blue's Clues" and, while it is far from being the best tool to encourage problem solving skills, it does a better job than most and still succeeds in entertaining him.  There are a couple other programs like it but the vast majority focus on feelings.

I think this becomes more common with adult programming.  What is more reinforcing to an adult male than an scantily clad woman who can kick butt ("Tomb Raider", "Xena", etc.)?  These programs cater to feelings of excitement (from the action) and sex appeal.

But that is entertainment.  What is the result when programs of substance sacrifice objectivity (there is that word again) and thoughtfulness with the same tools used by entertainers to boost ratings?  What happens when accuracy takes a back seat to form?

Just some thoughts (my turn for a rant).  Must go for now.

Jim
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7 posted 07-25-2001 10:32 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Sure -- call me Hawke if you prefer

My question though on this whole topic is;

Why is it MTV's responsibility to teach anything?  Why isn't it's responsibility merely to achieve it's market objectives and secure earnings for it's shareholders?

Don't the History Channel, Discovery, Discovery Science, The Learning Channel, and PBS have the teaching market covered?

Not to mention of course the broadcast networks which are required by federal law to include a minimum (forget what the time actually is) weekly children's programming content that is educational...

Who has control of the remote?
Stephanos
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8 posted 07-25-2001 11:28 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

In my opinion habitual television gazing can be harmful in many ways.  Most of these I have noted from a personal point of view... seeing what it does to me and to those I know (when I or they allow).

Television fosters laziness of body and mind.  Not much thinking or true reflection is required when all the thinking comes through the air pre-programmed for you.  And most producers don't really want you to think as much as "absorb".  It allows little room for thoughts as it is a constant outpouring of signals.  It's kind of like being in a one way conversation, where someone speaks and speaks and you just passively hear... sometimes it's just easier just to hear and not listen.  And everyone knows it is easier to be sedintary while the "tube" is on.  We can watch all kinds of sports and physical exertion and never have to do it.  It can become a habit which devours hours and hours of otherwise valuable productive time.

It's always a second-hand representation of reality, as seeing the world through another's eyes.  And I understand of necessity many things are, but the deception can be to just live in the "TV" version of reality.  It numbs the mind and dulls the emotions.  The biggest tragedies become "just another story", and things of more than superficial value are scarcely portrayed.

And since it is a one way transmission, our relations to it are easy.  That's why perhaps it is easier to sit down and turn it on rather than actually talk and interact with our families (for more than 5 minutes).  Real relationships get sticky and demand things of us.  But TV only demands our half-hearted stares.  Parents even use it to babysit their children (I've been guilty).  Do I think the rampant breakdown of families is related in some ways to the culture worship of the tele?  Yes.

Though there are some variations of programming, for the most part the TV defines a set of values for us.  What we should desire and buy is shouted at us incessantly through commercials.  Our opinions of issues are spoon fed us through the news media and talk shows.  On and on and on... I know I am rambling.

For Christians and all another issue is there.  The TV can really constitute an idolatry of sorts.  It can represent a love of and passive acceptance of a worldly view of things.  We can spend much too much time absorbing what others say and never give ourselves time to hear what the Spirit of God says.  If we miss that we miss life.

And TV is boring most of the time anyway.  

No, I'm not a legalist who thinks TV = the devil, but neither am I someone who sees none of it's dangers.  In the end we do have control over our remotes.

And the internet is fast becoming what the Television has been in many regards.

Stephen.
Ron
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9 posted 07-26-2001 04:17 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

"When people talk about the mystery novel," author Theododore Sturgeon said in 1953, "they mention The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep. When they talk about the western, they say there's The Way West and Shane. But when they talk about science fiction, they call it 'that Buck Rogers stuff,' and they say 'ninety percent of science fiction is crud.' Well, they're right. Ninety percent of science fiction is crud. But then ninety percent of everything is crud, and it's the ten percent that isn't crud that is importantů"

Electronic media - including television, radio, and the Internet - may have skewed the percentages a bit, but the principle remains the same.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


10 posted 07-26-2001 06:55 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Hmmmmmm, as I recall, the word he used wasn't 'crud'.

But I'm not going to check.

Brad
Ron
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11 posted 07-26-2001 07:39 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Why not, Brad? I did. :-)

http://glinda.lrsm.upenn.edu/~weeks/misc/slaw.html

(And because I copied & pasted, I even spelled Theodore's name wrong.)

Of course, this one might be closer to your recollections...

http://members.tripod.com/~gwillick/sturgeon.html
 
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