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Is Tv Benign?

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  • Is Tv Benign?

    Just read this article on the Guardian website about the effects of tv on the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. It's a long article, but very interesting and thought provoking.,...,975769,00.html

    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

  • #2
    Good article and quite sad too. It's another case of society being force-fed banal American clap trap television. Endless, mindless "talk" shows and soap operas. It's not even as though they've been presented with decent programming. Having watched TV in the States I am often left in a state of wonderment that so many people actually watch the stuff they churn out. News (when you can find it) is constantly interrupted with ad breaks and news of foreign affairs is minimal to say the least. I was out there at the same time as the retaliation attacks on Baghdad were beginning shortly after 9/11. From the US news you would have blieved that it was just the US involved. There was absolutely no mention at all of the British or the Australians or anyone else. The American networks want people to believe that they stand above and alone in the fight against terrorism (which just isn't true - it's propaganda). Another fine example is in Disney World. They run a show there called "The Great American History" or something, and it charts all the wonderful things Americans have achieved like putting the first man on the moon, being responsible for saving Europe from the evil of Hitler and creating a wonderful free, democratic society. If you loom at what it DOESN'T show though, you get a little worried. There's no mention of the killing of thousands of native americans, there's no mention of black slavery and there's certainly no mention of Vietnam anywhere! They mention WW2 and their fantastic efforts but no mention of a war that cost thousands of lives. Why? Because they didn't win it. The scary part is that they have the power to slowly re-write history, not far removed from what George Orwell wrote about in 1984. The result is you get a generation growing up truly believing they are indestructible purely because the most important historical facts are quietly ignored. You get people like Michael Moore getting booed by brain-washed Americans purely for speaking the truth in that so-called free state.

    American shows start with an ad break then cut to the first few scenes of the show. Then it cuts for more ads and more ads and, unbelievably, it cuts to ads, back to the end credits and more ads again! One half hour episode of Cheers can run to 45 minutes out ther. American TV is truly an abysmal experience and it seems that the people of Bhutan have been subjected to the full horror of pap television that even a large proportion of people in this country wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

    It's a sorry thing to see such a thing happen to what sounded like the perfect society. I was waiting for the next paragraph to include mention that a McDonalds had popped up.


    • #3
      Phew, rant over! I need to borrow a pink cloud

      PS: They only used to feed Marijuana too pigs??? I know we have RSPCS monitored food here but that's not a patch on that. They might not actually be doing it, but I reckon those pigs really did believe they could fly.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Badger@Jun 18 2003, 1:51 PM

        I sound like "Monkey" now, back from the 70s and 80s - they never did find Buddha you know¬*
        Wasn't that a fantastic programme?

        Why don't they repeat it?


        • #5
          I listen to two or three web based American radio programmes - or shows as they call them- and even they complain about the rubbish that is pumped out on tv. Especially a chap called Jeff Rense who refuses to own a tv. I think it was on his prog that I heard that when watching tv the brain goes into alpha rhythmn, which is the same as when dreaming or in a 'trance' state.

          I suppose tv is something novel to the Bhutans and they've become hooked before they know it. I wonder how widespread video-gaming is? I think they are every bit as dangerous to the young as tv.

          In western society tv was introduced gradually, just a few hours a day in the begining. So it begs the question, did society change as more programming was introduced or did tv change to reflect changing society? In Bhutan they've just been hit all at once with 46 channels of something alien to their culture so it's bound to have some effect on them.

          I think tv could be a force for so much good but it's been hijacked by consumerism and greed, like many other things. I can't remember who described it as 'chewing gum for the eyes', but I think I agree.

          "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


          • #6
            Blimey - don't talk to me about Americanism and the re writing of history - I had this er.. argument, a few weeks ago with someone. Personally I cannot stand it when they change history to suit themselves - and they do. Oh boy do they. In films particularly, they change facts completely. It's how they're brought up, it's what they're led to believe. There is no balance at all, it's all 'we did it all and everyone else was a bit player'. It sends me crazy.

            I'm sure an American colleague thinks the UK is a toy village that can be played with and packed up when they're sick of it. The condescending attitude infuriates me. They do think they own the world, they do think their way of life is superior and if you look not too closely it's rotten to the core.

            It is very much like 1984 - and quite frankly it scares me, as it does happen.

            Alternatively I have an American friend who would agree with all of the above, it's people like that I respect - who are told (indoctrinated) in one way - but find their own truth. He could tell you exactly what their boys got up to in Vietnam - it doesn't make good reading, but he thinks the truth needs finding and telling.

            He tells me of how when he was growing up there was a bathroom for white kids and a bathroom for black kids, he said some people did speak up against all that **** and took the flack, his mother was what we would call 'sent to Coventry' for speaking to black mothers. He was beaten up for using the same outside water pump (drinking water tap) as the black kids and told he would get a disease. He says it toughened him and made him want to know why there was segregation.

            His dad was in the marines and so was he, and that was partly why his family thought it normal to mix with black people. His dad said; "I share beer and cake with these guys on duty I'm not suddenly going to turn my back on them when we get home". It didn't go down too well though at that time. He's sent me copies of newspaper cuttings as his family was in the news because of all this - the language used in this paper is almost a parody of those times (mid sixties) I can't repeat the words as they're repulsive and words we don't hear now - quite rightly.

            He says everyone in his old community is coming out of the woodwork and saying they never behaved that way, it was always someone else, a neighbour, or it happened in the neighbourhood but they were never involved. He says his memory aint that bad... The people he grew up with that beat him up? One is now a politician and his past is wiped clean.

            Don't get me on American war films - my blood pressure can't take it.

            Their TV has to be seen to be believed and it scares the pants off me that ours is (slowly) going that way too.

            I don't buy that they write better sit coms - three teams of writers for one twenty minute slot (after ad breaks) to come up with what is really a string of one liners. If you sat any of their so called comedy writers down for a million years they would not surpass or come anywhere near 'The Office' - and how many write that? TWO - so stick that up their collective comedy pipe.

            They sell a sickly shalllow dream, and as for their claggy sentimentality. I can't bear it, I really, really, can't bear it.

            Six feet Under is probably one of the best TV events to come out of USA in years.

            ....and South Park says everything about USA. Matt and Trey rule.


            • #7
              Spinks, we are united! Actually, did you see the programme "What the World thinks of America" last night? Put it this way, with the polling results I don't think a plague of US TV dross would be particularly well received in Jordan (and I don't mean she of the big boobs and even bigger hair).


              • #8

                No missed that programme - think I was having a glass or three of chilled.

                Oh I feel really strongly on this! Er perhaps you can tell!!!!!


                • #9
                  I have to agree with everything that has been said. George Bush, the other day said something about not liking people who re-wrote history!!!!!! And he said it with a straight face!!!!! This from the leader of a country that gave us Braveheart and the Patriot not to mention a myriad of other historically inaccurate Hollywood films!

                  If you've ever been in a yahoo politics chatroom and heard the drivel that many Americans come out with you wonder if they ever went to school at all! Having said that I've met a few very intelligent Americans who have done their own research. But basically they're very isolationist. (except when they are empire building) I think I read somewhere that only 7 to 8 per cent of Americans have passports.

                  I saw most of that programme you mentioned, Jeannie.

                  I'd better stop here because if I don't I won't know when to stop


                  PS, I'll bet Americans think even God is an American - well He must be, He created the universe
                  "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi