Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Every TV newscast starts with “Breaking News”

March 29, 2017

Have you noticed that every TV newscast these days starts with “Breaking News”?

Presumably, “Breaking News” means that something unusual and extraordinary happened. Something that requires urgent reporting and attention.

But it occurs to me that if everything is unusual and extraordinary, then that becomes the new norm. That is, the unusual and extraordinary become the usual and ordinary. It is no longer “Breaking News”.

Food chemists … TV writer chemists?

March 17, 2017

Several years ago, someone wrote a book describing food chemists. Apparently, people in the food industry have discovered a certain combination of fats, salt, and sugar that makes people want to eat more and more. Good for the food industry. Bad for consumers.

It occurs to me that an analogous thing has happened with TV writing. There are some shows on TV that hit me with a huge emotional punch. After an episode is over my adrenaline is racing, the show runs through my mind over and over, and I have a hard time sleeping. And, …. I can’t wait to see the next episode! Good for the TV industry. Perhaps not so good for TV viewers.

Have TV writers discovered a way to write which causes viewers to crave more and more?

I spoke with a colleague about this and she referred me to these books and TED talk:

Made to Stick

Thinking Fast and Slow

Rory Sutherland

In 2016 a billion hours will be wasted watching a screen

January 3, 2016

A friend of mine recently informed me that he doesn’t watch much TV. And when he does, it is only if there is something on TV that he specifically wants to watch. He never turns on the TV, roaming the channels, looking for something to entertain him.

I thought about that and I agree with my friend’s philosophy. I don’t want to waste my life sitting mindlessly in front of a screen, seeking to be entertained.

Seth Godin wrote that in 2016: We’ll waste more than a billion hours staring at screens. (That’s in total, but for some people, it might feel like an individual number). I don’t want to contribute to that billion hours. My 2016 goal: I will only turn on TV when there is something that I specifically want to watch.

A sad commentary on today’s culture by philosopher Alan Watts

January 11, 2015

A sad commentary on our culture by philosopher Alan Watts (read the following words as you watch this fabulous video Human Culture – Alan Watts):

We want to get everything done as fast as possible.

We want to convert the rhythms and skills of work into cash, which indeed you can buy something with it but you can’t eat it.

We rush home to get away from work and begin the real business of life, to enjoy ourselves.

For the vast majority of American families, what seems to be the real point of life – what you rush home to get to – is to watch an electronic reproduction of life (TV). You can’t touch it, it doesn’t smell, and it has no taste.

You might think that people getting home to the real point of life in a robust, material culture would go home to a colossal banquet or a riot of music and dancing. But nothing of the kind.

It turns out to be this purely passive contemplation of a twittering screen.

You see mile after mile of darkened houses, with that little electronic screen flickering in the room. Everybody isolated, watching this thing. And thus in no real communion with each other, at all.

This isolation of people into a private world of their own is really the creation of a mindless crowd.

And so we don’t get with each other, except for public expressions of getting rid of our hostility like football or prize fighting.

Even in the spectacles on sees on this television, it’s preferable and proper to exhibit people slugging and slaying each other. But not people loving each other.

One can only draw the conclusion, the assumption underlying this is that expressions involving physical love are far more dangerous than expressions of physical hatred.

It seems to me that a culture that has this sort of assumption is basically crazy and is devoted, unintentionally, not to survival but to the actual destruction of life.