Monday, May 02, 2005

Allow me to retort

In response to Mandy,

I overstated that I don't care about the Tour, but I need to convince myself, and suggest to others, that the outcome of the Tour does not affect my life at all. Given the choice between riding and watching other people ride I think I ought to get out and ride (or walk or garden or at least watch the tour with friends). Especially in July with all of those long beautiful days. These activities don't have to be mutually exclusive, but they might be if I plop down after work and let the daylight ebb away watching 2 hours of tour highlights rather than getting outside.

In watching the tour, I don't get anything out of it other than diversion and every once in a while an artificial adrenaline rush. Lot's of other experiences provide those, but they are real experiences that burn calories and build skills and abilities. I agree that the tour can be a great drama and wonderfully entertaining, and so can lots of other shows. I enjoy TV, but I also suspect that I am addicted to it and I suspect that most of america is as well.

I think you are right however that to me TV removes the reality from most experience. I have gotten to the point that I need to stop building my reality out of what I see on TV. I am afraid we as a nation have, through the collective exposure to hours of the same bullshit, had our reality shaped for us into something which is bizarre and perverse. We can't relate to each other because none of us act like Friends or Raymond or Beaver Cleaver. We are afraid and confused, dis-empowered and enslaved to the commercial production that is TV. I am now afraid of TV and trying to be less afraid of everything else.

As for Netflix vs TV I will stand up for the movies every time. Harold and Kumar was no worse than most TV shows and I didn't have to sit through commercials other than the running commercial for White Castle. Fortunately I was also exposed to an artistic production which didn't have to conform to the FCCs puritanical definition of what constitutes decent and moral behavior in a public medium. Movies like H&K allow me to decide what I find offensive, and what I find to be entertaining.

Isn't it funny that many right wingers can yell about a free market economy out of one side of their mouth while supporting FCC censorship out the other side? A truly free market is self mediating because only the products people want will survive. If smut sells then that tells us a lot about ourselves and too little about smut. I say let's embrace our indecency and stop lying about what happens behind every single bedroom door in america. If people want to see it they will watch it. If they don't they can turn off the TV.


mandy said...

Hmmm... Very interesting. I understand where you are coming from, but I still have some reservations. Another post will likely be forthcoming.

And calling Harold and Kumar and "artistic production" might be going a little far... ;)

Merce said...

I think you guys are essentially saying the same thing-sort of. Watching TV is a waste of time, but if you choose to waste time, then there's nothing wrong, (unless you truly are addicted and then you have bigger problems), with being entertained with stupid, funny TV or whatever else gets your goat. Or monkey.