Thursday, February 17, 2005

TV? Why?

I've been spending the last week at my grandparents, and I've learned a lot about the institution of television. Basically, that it's worthless.
It's funny. A very comprehensive argument has already been made about the negative values portrayed on TV to be presented to the world. Lack of self-esteem, lack of morals, lack of anything substantial...in fact, I wrote a paper once about the absolute stupidity of "reality shows" that exist to allow people to escape into an alternate reality that we'd all like to pretend that it's real...
But what about the news? How else can one find out what's going on if not by the mass media? Not having grown up watching television, the question never really bothered me, but I'm sure it's bothered others, and, perhaps in my naivete (or maybe because I'm able to give an unbiased opinion), the answer seems pretty clear. You want the news? Get a paper. (Although even that has issues.) Once you're on the Internet anyway (checking my blog ;) ), check a local news station's website...
But the television news, and perhaps all mass media, has a serious problem. They focus only on the bad going on in the world. They take things that you wouldn't even think about and make them into huge problems that you're now required to add to your list of worries.
Dunno. To me, it seems pretty silly. You can know what's going on in the world, and learn about all the wonderful things that're going on as well! I know this's been my soapbox, but what is with people and their obsession with focusing on the negative? I can't stand watching the news-I'd rather go and do something good for the world instead of just searching for more things to complain about. Maybe it's just me. I sure hope not.
Although I have to admit that there is a bit of merit to programs like those on the History Channel ;) There's a way to find good in everything, see? :)

13 comments:

EN said...

You are 100% right.

Jockey said...

i went to my tv owning relatives' place once and i liked c-span, but i was happy to go back to no tv.

Stx said...

Hmmm, interesting...

Did the violence bother you at all? Just wondering.

I thought it funny that the local Advertiser has an ad on the front page that says, "Live. Local. Rate-breaking." or something like that. I wonder what percentage of households will actually get it...

I love living a contradiction. It makes me so happy :( I wanna laugh! :''{

G Green said...

TV requires no effort on the part of the viewer - you just sit there and all the shtuss influences you. With a paper and even the internet, you actually need to expend some effort - even if its just clicking and scrolling; plus you need to read or look at it, while TV 'speaks' to you. Anything on TV will absorbs you into it for this reason - wheather good or bad. A lot of the news is to make the headlines, just to attract viewers - a lot like some bloggers go for controversial issues to get the comments, which is why the shock value is most often used.

TRW said...

Very true, ggreen.
Stx-Of course the violence bothers me! None of us like to think about certain pictures as we're drifting off to sleep..

Stx said...

Ggreen--good point...I like the blogger/TV comparison ;)

aishel said...

I shmoozed with your brother before the chuppa last night :)

TRW said...

He took off yeshiva to go to the wedding? Ahhh...that's why he was home when I called yesterday...unless they have an off-Shabbos, which is also likely..

Chaim said...

All the news is just as bad as watching TV, they just want you to buy the stuff advertised on thier channel, newspaper etc.

Last week the TV NEWS's had a teaser at the 11:15 pm mark going to commercial .. "A mother throws her baby out the windown on a busy road, did the baby survive? find out after these commercials"

??? Im not making that up either ...

Read a paper? Its also horrible, look the NY Post for instance .. the sports section has one quarter page article on sports and the rest of each page is alll ads ... The Times isnt much better, just at the NY Times, the ads are all FULL or TWO Page ads ... in color sometimes.

Nachum said...

Mmm. The important question is: Would you accept a job acting on TV?

Stx said...

Hm, what a question... ;)

TRW said...

It's an interesting question in a bunch of ways. Would I act for secular television? Would I act for TV in general, considering how I feel about it? Hmmm...
As for acting in general for a secular audience, it would depend on a few things.
1. Basic halacha-I don't touch men in any way shape or form. I dress tznius. I keep Shabbos. Basic things that will not be comprimised.
2. As for TV in general...I definately feel like it could use some help. If there was a show that could send across a wonderful message, or teach something important (like I said, the History Channal is fine ;) ), and it didn't comprimise any Halachos that I follow as a frum Jew, then I would consider it.
Leati writes in her blog (http://lenomdujeu.blogspot.com/2005/01/nothing-like-home.html) about a movie that was put out called Ushpizin, which was a frum-led film to educate the chilonim about the frum community. If that was a show, geared toward kidush Hashem, then yes, I would try for a part in it. I think.

T. "B." M. said...

BS"D
g green is totally right--it's just a bunch of shtus that will conciously and sub-conciously affect your values and the way you think. I heard a statistic and I wouldn't be surprised if it were true:
The average attention span of a child is exactly 7 minutes, the same amount of time between commercial breaks.

"Stx- ...None of us like to think about certain pictures as we're drifting off to sleep.."
Yeah, I try to do the exact opposite: listen to a words of Torah as I drift off into sleep (I put a shiur from www.613.org or www.aishaudio.com or a tape right before I get in bed.) It's the best, I tell you, the best!