I hate television.
Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:37 AM
The point is not what people like or dislike but the way pop culture in America has wormed its way into everything, leaving no nuclear free zone.
I'm editing to add: I don't think anyone is trying to put down someone who likes The Simpsons or (I think this is off the air; it used to be my example of the Death of Civilization) "Married with Children"). And of course, it's possible to watch and enjoy television and still watch and enjoy art.
My complaint -- and I think it's Ed's, and some others as well -- is having to live in a society where that IS the culture. It's not the counterculture anymore, or even pop culture. It's American culture. Every civilization gets the culture it deserves....... And I do fear that, like children brought up on Wonder Bread who will scorn either the finest French bread or peasant black bread because it's too tough and dry, as each succeeding generation becomes more blanketed by popular culture, and as the arts try to attract those people as audience members, fine art is going to become so diluted and coarse as to be meaningless. My plea is for some little corner of the society to be Not Pop Art.
Posted 03 June 2003 - 11:35 AM
2. There is some excellent stuff on TV. You have to look hard for it but - Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an epic work of art (IMO and the 6th season has only just begun to be broadcast on Israeli cable TV), BBC's early '90s 2-season series 'This Life' was wonderful.
I don't think Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, WEst Wing are on this level but they are well-crafted entertainment - I agree with Dale, why would watching them be any less 'worthy' than going to see a mainstraeam Hollywood movie...
3. A true confession - I didn't 'get' the reference to the Comic Book Guy:o
Posted 03 June 2003 - 11:41 AM
What isn't nowadays? Botticelli's on mousepads, Pachebel's Canon is sampled in rap songs.
But each generation has it's own pop culture. In the 60's there was Archie Bunker and now there's Homer Simpson (there's actually websites dedicated to their similarities-which is a little much)
The turnaround of the pop culture is what's mind boggling. In the magazines that have "in, out and so gone" type articles.
Society seems to have a need to have to keep getting constant and new stimuli.
For me, I wish ballet would stop looking for the next Balanchine and focus on what we he is listed in the "so gone" column. But it's society's want/need for new & improved. Technology, cars, even classrooms. I don't know that kids are not getting A's because they feel peer pressure, but there's a pressure of being street smart and book smart. Some kids don't feel they have a choice between the two. Some prefer to be "stoopid smart"
Posted 03 June 2003 - 11:46 AM
Posted 03 June 2003 - 12:32 PM
But I grew up in the '60s, and pop culture was not nearly as pervasive as it is now. One could easily ignore it. (I write as a Beatles fan; you had to dig through newspapers to find anything about pop music. Hah! The stars' love affairs were not on the evening news, but in movie magazines. Etc.)
I heard an interview with a Singapore pop singer about five years ago that sticks with me. He was vehemently anti-American. He was a classically trained musician (violin) who switched to pop music for two reasons. One, because he didn't want to play for small audiences -- he wanted to reach everybody. And two, because if people in Singapore, and other Asian countries, didn't try to create their own pop culture, they would be forced to always buy American culture, which, he felt was vile, and against Asian traditions. (He also thought the government should fund native pop culture and musicals rather than the traditional arts because "the old people will take care of them anyway.")
Posted 03 June 2003 - 12:46 PM
I've been so out of it I've completely missed "Dog Eat Dog." I hope that's not literal, but ya never know. the numbers before the listings are the channels on my cable system, then they're in time order. If there are three listings it's 8, 9 and 10. If they're more, they're half-hour shows. Hope that makes sense. I guess TV 14 and TVPG are ratings -- (14 and up only, Parental Guidance). Channels 6, 8 and 13 are our PBS (public broadcasting) channels. Odd, they're not doing 2 hours of "Antique Roadshow," our usual fare, tonight.
4. Dog Eat Dog CC TVPG Miss Universe Pageant CC TV14
5 · FOX American Juniors Premiere CC Keen Eddie Premiere CC TV14 Fox 5 News at Ten
6 · PBS Globe Trekker CC Nova CC TVG P.O.V. CC
7 · ABC St. Jude Children's Research... According to Jim Repeat CC TVPG Less Than Perfect Repeat CC TVPG NYPD Blue Repeat CC TV14
8 · PBS The Chieftains: Down the Old... CC Michael Ball Live at the Roy... CC >>
9 · CBS AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Hero... CC TV14
10 · FOX American Juniors Premiere CC Keen Eddie Premiere CC TV14 News at 10 CC Sports Unlimited CC
11 · WB Gilmore Girls Repeat CC TVPG Smallville Repeat CC TV14 Will & Grace CC TVPG Just Shoot Me CC TVPG
12 · UPN America's Next Top Model Repeat CC TV14 America's Next Top Model CC Everybody Loves Raymond CC Dharma & Greg CC TVPG
13 · PBS Masterpiece Theatre CC BBC World News Dateline: Africa
15 · USA Bulletproof (1996) CC ® *+ JAG CC TVPG
16 · TBS << MLB Baseball CC (7:30) Seinfeld CC TVG
17 · CNBC Kudlow & Cramer CC Capital Report The News With Brian Williams CC >>
18 · CSPAN2 Public Affairs
21 · A&E Biography CC TVPG Cold Case Files CC TVPG
22 · DSC The New Detectives: Case Stu... CC TVPG Laci Peterson: Search for Ju... The FBI Files CC TVPG
25 · CNN Larry King Live CC NewsNight With Aaron Brown CC
26 · TNT Law & Order CC TV14 Law & Order CC TV14 Charmed CC
Posted 03 June 2003 - 02:48 PM
What's funny is that pop culture partially turned me on to the arts. Watching the movie "Selena" prompted me to take dance lessons, and the tv show "Hercules" and "Xena" sparked my fascination for Greek myths and Greek culture. However, the turning point was attending my first live theater performance, "Ragtime," on a 6th grade school trip. Thank God for that, because I certainly would not be the same person I am today (jeez, that sounds cheesy) since I had not grown up in an environment rich in art.
Posted 03 June 2003 - 03:16 PM
I agree that you can't call someone well-educated (in the Western, dead white male sense) without that person being familiar with the Greek myths
As Western white male who will be dead soon enough, I am not unhappy with that definition of well educated or cultured. It is narrow and excludes most of the world’s population, but it will have to work for me.
If it weren't for it, I might not have read half of "Oprah's" books, knew what people were talking about when they referred to "Soup Nazi", or learned that you really can't see the Great Wall of China from space.
I admit to watching must see TV
I don’t know if I have read any of Oprah’s books, although I have seen some of them stickered as such in bookstores. I didn’t know what people were talking about when the referred to “Soup Nazi” and still don’t. I am no worse off for it, although I am disgusted with the use of the term “Nazi” in an offhand way.
Regarding must see TV: For me, it remains wars and rumors of war. Plus a few very special events, like Ladies Figure Skating at the Olympic Winter Games, just about any track and field competition at the Summer Games and the Women’s World Cup in soccer. Each of them every four years.
Why is it more exalted to sit in a movie theater for 90 minutes-2 hours and stare at a screen, but to do it at home with the TV and you're considered witless?
This is a false dichotomy. I don’t go to many movies and I certainly don’t feel exalted when I do. I generally leave before movies are over—sometimes long before. And I certainly don’t consider people who watch TV, especially those who can write about it so articulately on this forum, to be “witless”. It just isn’t for me, nor will it be.
I'm sensing an age divide here
Very likely, at least as far as I am concerned. There are lots of age divides. When I was an undergraduate at a not particularly distinguished Midwestern university, one needed to have taken separate courses in Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton, in addition to the regular surveys and genre classes, in order to get a bachelor’s degree. I am not sure if one even needs to have read those authors to get into graduate school in English now—or perhaps to get an advanced degree.
Posted 04 June 2003 - 01:36 AM
And it is not fair to people who choose not to watch television when there is a casual reference to a catchphrase or personality in other forms of the mainstream media. It also makes more 'highbrow' publications seem to be 'dumbing down' when they do it too.
But in culture people are always excluded in one way or another. I'm not in the least interested in football, opera or poetry, but when my newspaper uses a 'well-known' sporting personality or poem to prove a point or make a comparison this is generally meaningless to me. The same goes for when a level of historical or geographical knowledge is assumed in an article. We well-educated people (I'm not sure WHAT is meant by the 'dead, white male' sense of the phrase) exclude less educated people with our language and our interests. And it is often not their fault if they don't know things.
When people are excluded in these varying ways, two things can be blamed. Either, like me and poetry and sports and tv, people are not interested or lazy in various things or they have never been given the opportunity to find out that there is an enormous range of knowledge and opportunity beyond what is offered by Fox and AOL and whatever other network they are watching. It is up to free thinking people to remember this when they make statements and generalisations about what makes someone 'well-educated'.
Anyway, the other thing is, I think in Europe, it might be easier for us to 'bathe in pop culture' and then talk about something else! I don't know why this should be, but I know amongst my friends the conversations range from what is happening on 'Big Brother' on TV to the state of the world to who was the greatest French novelist of the 19th century to the demise of Britart to what is number one in the charts and which popstars are going out with who!
I hate TV because it drains people's energy and curiosity. A lot of stuff on TV is terrible. And even the good stuff can be bad if people don't realise that it is only one person's - or one network's - opinion of events.
Posted 04 June 2003 - 08:36 AM
Posted 04 June 2003 - 09:12 AM
Sorry, back to the topic.
Posted 04 June 2003 - 10:01 AM
It's actually a nice joining of culture and pop culture. Even if some of the literature isn't exactly lofty.
Posted 04 June 2003 - 05:13 PM
"The late critic David Daniel, when he could be dragged to the theater to see something new (or was told over the phone about a recent dubious effort), loved to purr ominously, 'it’s the end of civilization as we know it.' Pushed for analysis, he fixed on the television screen as the great reductive force in American culture. There it was, shaped like a stage—a box—but without any depth or life, in fact, a vacuum. It was insanely quixotic, commercial breaks every five minutes. And most damaging, instead of being larger than life, scaled for wonder, it was very much smaller. To the teat of television, we can add the quick addictions of the computer—video games, the internet, virtual this and that. The 'extreme sports' that a tiny minority of Americans engage in (and the rest watch on TV) are the antidotal flip side to the extreme slouch of the couch potato and the computer junkie, sedentary sensibilities happy to gaze (or glaze) upon a depthless screen making synthetic sounds. As my best friend with two sons says, 'it’s a battle to keep your kids in three dimensions.' "
Though taken out of context (apologies to Ms. Jacobs), I thought it pertained pretty well.
Personally, my TV doubles as teat and telescope, depending on my needs. I almost never watch ABCNBCCBSWBFOXUPN networks.
Posted 04 June 2003 - 06:53 PM
I would think the Ms. Winfrey has to employ a few editorial assistants spend full days reading books that come to her from publishers in order to create a list for her to chose from.
Since being picked by Winfrey as a book worth reading means the book will be a financial success anyone who would denigrate such a selection is an extremely odd duck.
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