We Love TV

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There is a tremendous assault on television. It is nothing new, of course, but it seems to have been renewed. ABC has been working hard on its "We Love TV" campaign to fight back.

And while I am firmly against dumbing down the masses, I just don't see the problem with TV. Yes, many people abuse TV. So? We don't see people picketing all the other things people abuse. Everything can be abused. People abuse McDonald's and Coca-Cola. People abuse radio. People abuse Weight Watchers. People abuse salad. People abuse reading newspapers, magazines, and novels. People abuse weight lifting and listening to classical music.

There are those who claim, as Neil Postman did in Amusing Ourselves to Death, that TV is inherently bad for certain things, like carrying on effective public discourse. Of course, then he turns around and praises Firing Line and the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour. In one ear, and out each corner of the mouth.

Most TV sucks. Yes. And most novels suck, and most movies suck, and most music sucks, and most art sucks. Just because Prime Time is filled with opiatic sitcoms, that does not mean all TV is bad. It doesn't even mean all sitcoms are bad. What it all does mean is that you've gotta work at what you watch, you've gotta pay attention to what is being fed to you, you've gotta use your brain. And if you contend that you cannot use your brain while watching M*A*S*H, well, I pity you.

I like TV. I watch it a lot. I watch it for news. I watch it for sports. I watch it to relax. I watch it for information and for edification. People contend that my brain turns off when I watch TV. Well, we can argue about that, I suppose, but the evidence doesn't bear it out: I am the "victim" of countless hours of TV watching in my lifetime, and I think I've turned out pretty well. I don't recommend it to everyone, but it's been good for me.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on August 7, 1998 12:00 PM.

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