|Re: COHOUSING & TV||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Denise Cote (denisediac.com)|
|Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 12:54:56 -0500|
I've been enjoying this thread and just lurking, because I figured that sooner or later on a discussion this lively everything would get said. But I'm surprised no one has really responded to this comment by Dorothy Zemach, so I guess it's up to me: >If we really object to the quality of TV shows, the place to protest >is to the advertisers. A short note (you could do this during >"computer time") saying, "I noticed you were a sponsor of xxxx movie >that played (date); I will not buy a product that supports (things >you object to)." If enough letters like that come in, things will >change. Sure, it takes some time to do that, but aren't cohousers >people who don't mind spending time to bring about positive social >change? > I'd rather be free to make my own choices about whether to watch TV, and what to watch, than have government censors decide for me. Of course, I'd rather be able to make my choices from a range of high-quality options--programs that are thought-provoking, educational, enriching, or that at least make me laugh. Advertisers pay for the programming and therefore have more direct influence over what is offered, so Dorothy is correct in saying the thing to do is inform the advertisers of your opinion. The only problem is that I won't be writing to object to an advertiser supporting a particular program, because, if the show is garbage, I will choose not to watch it and therefore I don't know who the advertisers are. TV can be hypnotizing, so it takes discipline and will power to change the channel or turn the damn thing off sometimes. I strive to be aware of how it is affecting me. Do I feel depressed or agitated? Do I have disturbing thoughts or dreams after a particular show? I stop watching it. I also hit the mute button during commercials, and I eagerly await the invention of a device that will automatically blank the screen and cut the sound during ads ;-> . There may be a correlation between violence on TV and violence in society, I don't know. What I find far more disturbing than make-believe violence is the trend towards "crime as entertainment." News programs sensationalize, highlight, and even exagerrate the events they report. I think the result of this (although I doubt it is intentional on the part of the media) is a form of terrorism, fostering widespread fear and cynicism. For example, while statistics showed violent crime rates *dropping* across the US, media coverage of crime has increased, and surveys report that a majority of Americans believe the rate of violent crime is *increasing.* Politicians exploit this mistaken belief to get elected. Then, fulfilling their promises to "Get tough on crime" they build more prisons and pass laws that infringe on civil liberties. Perhaps in the relative safety of a community in which we know our neighbors, we have a greater immunity to this fear-mongering. I hope that, watching election results or a favorite show with friends, my fellow cohousers will help me remain aware and alert to the seduction of TV values and consumerism. I think a letter representing 10, 20, or 30 households who share an opinion about something carries more weight with politicians and advertisers than a rant from a single, isolated individual. And, talk about choosing from a range of quality options, would you rather attend your neighbor's yoga class, go strawberry picking with the kids, or watch I Love Lucy reruns (and earn the disdain of the anti-TV faction that I'm sure exists in every cohousing community)? I believe that in the context of an intentional community, many of the negative impacts of TV can be reduced, and some of the positive effects are enhanced. So, hooray for community! After all that, I have a question. Carolyn Haley said: >It's ironic that people so into "community" are first in line to destroy >the vehicle that has done more to make the world a global community than >anything else in history. Is TV making the world a global community at the expense of diversity? --Denise Cote' Geneva Community, Boulder/Lyons, Colorado denise [at] diac.com Denise Cote' Boulder, Colorado denise [at] diac.com
- RE: COHOUSING & TV, (continued)
- RE: COHOUSING & TV Don Olivier, April 16 1997
- Re: COHOUSING & TV Dan Everett, April 17 1997
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