How Television Affects The Mind:
A Review Of The Tube
by Ron Kaufman
Television is not solely an American phenomenon. In the movie, The Tube, journalist Peter Entell and actor Luc Mariot travel to three continents to uncover the history of television and its effects on the human brain. Entell and Mariot's search is to find out the effect of television regardless of its content. Overall, this is an outstanding investigative movie that begins to present interesting questions about the true nature of television.
The movie starts off in Geneva, Switzerland with Mariot's young daughter, Zoe, crying because he had turned off the Pokemon cartoon. Mariot notices Zoe's fixation on the TV while she watches. He is disturbed by her unblinking gaze. He then begins to investigate on the Internet a little about the Pokemon cartoon and comes across articles describing an incident in December, 1997 when between 600 and 700 children and teenagers were hospitalized with convulsions and eye problems because of a Pokemon episode.
Mariot then travels to Tokyo, Japan to visit the hospital where many of the children were treated and the television station that broadcast the episode. At the hospital, the doctor explains that 1 in 4,000 people posses a hypersensitivity to light and therefore is "at risk" when watching TV. It makes sense that an unusually high rate of television "flicker" would effect people's minds and induce epileptic-type reactions. At TV Tokyo, the home of the Pokemon cartoon, Mariot discovers that because of outrage after this incident, the station now employs an Animation Flicker Machine which monitors each episode.
The film then travels to Schenectady, NY and visits ...Read it all
--->Majority of Americans Believe Television Programming is Getting Worse, Yet They’re Watching More Than Ever
--->Marshall McLuhan: "The Medium is the Message" by Todd Kappelman
The Mechanical Bride (Pb) Folklore of Industrial Man
With a new introduction by Philip B. Meggs
The Mechanical Bride (1951) is vintage McLuhan — so aptly illustrated by dozens of examples from ads, comic strips, columnists, etc., that those who were stung by McLuhan were hard put for rebuttals. It shows how sex was first used to sell industrial hardware, how Orphan Annie still keeps the world on track, and how an Arabian Nights wonderland of mass entertainment and suggestion makes information irrelevant, and sends us to bed at night too dazed to question whether we're happy or not. We live in an age in which legions of highly educated professionals dedicate themselves to the task of getting inside the collective public mind with the object of manipulating, exploiting and controlling...
In contrast with the evangelical affirmation of The Medium is the Massage, this text offers bitingly ironic and brilliantly incisive critiques of the media culture of American advertsing as it emerged on the pages of magazines in the years following World War II. McLuhan showed that the appeal of these ads suggested that ads were the catalysts in the creation of a new set of myths, narratives and folklore, and that these supported, but also exceeded in fascinating ways, the narrow ideologies of consumption. Here the range and wit of his readings satirize, defamilarize and read this folklore. Not only did McLuhan grasp the mass appeal of American advertising before most cultural critics, and his readings of these images have striking similarities with the readings of popular culture Roland Barthes would develop a few later in Mythologies (1957)
The Only Way to Watch It When One Does
McLuhan's strategy / resolve: "Why not use the new commercial education as a means to enlightening its intended prey? Why not assist the public to observe consciously the drama which is intended to operate upon it unconsciously?"
In other words do not be a passive watcher but an active observer when one looks at television programs. Ask things like what are the subtexts, why this meme, or doublespeak and even more blatant forms of propaganda (sex for kids, prime time, undermining family teaching). Then hold the sponsors responsible. If we don't notify and boycott the offenders we give them a pass to persecute, and then we become hardly better than they. Think how many useless emails we have written over the years. Why not be an activist and shoot off a useful post to a corporate offender telling them why you are insulted; and then write to friends and family saying why we should not purchase their goods. Corporations know that for every person who takes the time to write, there are many thousands who feel the same insulted way but do not write. And it worries them.
"...[I]f a new technology extends one or more of our senses outside us into the social world, then new ratios among all of our senses will occur in that particular culture. It is comparable to what happens when a new note is added to a melody. And when the sense ratios alter in any culture then what had appeared lucid before may suddenly become opaque, and what had been vague or opaque will become translucent.”---Marshall McLuhan
Catholic. While studying the trivium at Cambridge McLuhan took the first steps toward his eventual conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1937, founded on his reading of G. K. Chesterton---Wikipedia
--->Cops love iPhone data trail. Evidence never deleted, criminals who use device may be left without alibi. Is then all data captured and recorded forever? Who then cannot be traced without a court order?
--->Truly planetary war: Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continents
--->Ray McGovern: A Neocon Preps US for War with Iran. "I guess I was naïve in thinking that The Atlantic and its American-Israeli writer Jeffrey Goldberg might shy away from arguing for yet another war — this one with Iran — while the cauldrons are still boiling in Afghanistan and Iraq."
--->John Bolton: Russia's Loading of Nuke Fuel Into Iran Plant Means Aug. 21 Deadline for Israeli Attack. Let's hope not.
--->Barack Hussein Obama Endorses Building of Mosque at Ground Zero...; Too, controversy swells... "I applaud President Obama's clarion defense of the freedom of religion," [NYC mayor] Bloomberg said in a statement.
Will Mosque become a site of Islamic pilgrimage, transforming Manhattan?
--->Leading Jewish civil rights group in the U.S. has come out against the planned mosque and Islamic community center near the World Trade Center's ground zero. Memo to Abe Foxman: This is "tolerance"?
Note: It appears the Enlightenment's ill-defined, naive and ambiguous concepts, like "liberty" and "pursuit of happiness" are eating America and the West alive. The Popes warned of this ages ago. Apart from a system of stable law, which was "Borked" out of court in 1987, democracy is condemned to 'evolve' itself beyond recognition through the efforts of Utopian womYn and madmen, and then finally...
--->'Twenty Million Homeless' In Pakistan Floods
--->Pakistan Flood Victims Need Your Help. The floods have killed 1,500 people and left millions in need of emergency assistance...
--->Catholic Relief Service providing aid to Pakistan flood victims despite continued rain
--->Brave New World-like Soma? Scientists are developing a new vaccine for 'stress'. Dr Robert Sapolsky, a professor of neuroscience at Stanford University who studies stress, believes that a vaccine can alter brain chemistry to create a state of "focused calm" - which could lessen the need for prescription pills and relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation...has the potential to "change society".
--->Dr David Kelly was on a hitlist, says UN weapons expert as calls grow for full inquest into 'mysterious circumstances' surrounding Kelly's death. Demands come 24 hours after nine of Britain's leading medical experts wrote an open letter to minsters demanding a full inquest. Too, 'Why I know weapons expert Dr David Kelly was murdered', by the MP who spent a year investigating his death