Sunday, February 26, 2012

TV is 80% Bullsh*t the Other 20% Are Commercials - The Mass Media Dumbing Down of the Populace

I had always dreamed of working in TV. I studied television and cinema in my university days. I worked in the mass media for nearly 30 years. After 20 of those years, I finally woke up and realized what kind of brain damage TV was and we threw out our TV set. We haven't missed it once.

I remember when my mother-in-law protested our disposing of the TV and said, "If my grandson doesn't watch TV then he won't be able to understand what the other kids in school are talking about!" To which I replied, "You mean he won't be able to discuss the stupid crap on TV like the other kids in school do? Okay. That's a good deal."

I've said it many times before: TV is 80% Bullsh*t. The other 20% are commercials.

It's this way for just about everything: FM radio, am radio, TV, magazines, all print media are merely pages and screens full of advertising with blocks of fluff in between the ads. The public has become so dense that they fail to realize it... You think that, maybe, the public watches too much TV?

This is why pablum like the Grammy Awards, Academy Awards or sports like the Superbowl and World Series are touted as "important." They are not important. They have become a total and complete waste of time yet few see the problem.

It's okay to enjoy a game or some short entertainment but what people have lost sight of is that these things are not important at all. They are distractions from what's really important.  

I just received a mail from a long time reader concerning my recent post: The McDonald's Effect: Why Music, Literature, Cinema and the Arts Have Become Mediocre - Just Like Processed Cheese. He says:

I think about this type of stuff now and again,... mostly every time I turn on the radio in the morning.

Rather than playing some music, all the FM rock stations are yuking it up with some kind of comedy between songs. I can't stand listening to them - especially in the morning - the only alternative is to turn the radio off.
Again in the afternoon after the comedy hours are over they might play an up-beat song I like only to be followed by a very slow song. This happens Every Single Time! It's almost as if there's a law against playing two or more up-beat songs in a row so the population doesn't get fired up too much.
I might have mentioned this before, sorry. It just bugs me why things aren't better, and as you say, inspiring for the youth.

Well, for a short explanation watch this:

There is a reason and a plan as to why this dumbing down relentlessly continues. This is not Conspiracy Theory. The dropping of academic scores in America for the last 50 years is well documented. 

If you are interested in learning more, may I suggest that you start your search with the words "dumbing down Lew Rockwell," you'll find many articles there. It's a start.

Also, please read two articles I wrote about TV:

The Plug in Drug

The Plug in Drug Part Two 


Mr. Nobody said...

Hi Mike,

Looking back on my youth, it seems that the people that were looked at as being the most strange, were those who didn't have a TV.

One could be an atheist, socialist, drunkard, neglectful, etc., but both children and adults viewed that family as almost from another planet.

The question I have, is the internet worse than TV?

mike in tokyo rogers said...

There is one inherent difference between TV and Internet (if you use it like we do)... TV is completely passive and you can sit there for 8 hours straight watching it without lifting a finger...

Anonymous said...

I'd like to say that TV is 100% bullshit. I think the commercials are worse.
As to the video going on about "Government is ruining education!" I'd say both yes and no.
The government should provide free education (through taxes, so not technically "free") and that it shouldn't be controlled by politicians because they have no idea what they're talking about. It should be controlled by people who are learned in their fields; scientists, historians, literary professors, etc.
You've already posed the question "Who would appoint these people" and like I said before; the government reaches out to the academic community and they elect the more qualified person for each position.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Ryu, still won't work: "government reaches out to the academic community and they elect the more qualified person for each position." The government person in charge will still reach out to their personal connections and friends. That's politics... Good example is the USA Department of Education... Educators and not politicians run that... They make their reputation inside the system then get appointments.

Mr. Nobody said...

Hi Mike,

I'm somewhat ambivalent regarding the internet. Sure, it gives interactivity, but with itself. So much of it seems to be mental masturbation.

What is thought without action? The internet? What is action without thought? The US government? How good is either extreme?

Maybe I'm getting too Kung-Fu or Yoda like...

All the best

mike in tokyo rogers said...

PS, Ryu, I don't know about the UK, but the highest ranking person running every state educational system in the USA is NOT a politician but an educator. The results are still evident. Since each education area is run by the education board (run by professional educators) they vie for funds (taxes) against other school districts. This is where the problem lies. The educators themselves are slaves to the money system. The money system established by the government. It is not a problem of who is in charge of the schools, it is a problem of where the money comes from. My son goes to one of the highest rated private schools in all of Asia. It is private. The government has no hand in the money or where it goes. The problem is not whether the educators run the curriculum or not. It's where the money comes from. If the government hand is involved, it will never improve.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

"The history of reform efforts in American public education is replete with half-hearted measures, with almost comical misdiagnoses of education problems, with blame-shifting, and with humbug. Everyone is an expert".

Anonymous said...

I finally got around to watching the video and reading the two links to your articles. Powerful stuff, I liked it.

Too bad James Altucher doesn't appear to have read them. It's kind of ironic that on his blog recently he boasts about watching the TV show Shark Tank for eight straight hours with his child.
He turned it into a learning/math/ educational experience, combined with thinking quick on your feet (or was that couch?) but still, eight straight hours?

Not that I'm any better, I still haven't thrown my digital-less, cable & satellite free TV out yet, but it's off most of the time.

I watched Moby Dick the other night and was feeling ok about that until I read your articles. It's not easy giving up TV in a small northern town with nothing much to do except gamble and bar-hop. I guess that's more a reflection of my failure to think up fun things to do, eh?
Or is it because I'm regulated close to death and most everything fun to do is outlawed?

- clark

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's coincidence, or if this blog has influence, but I thought you'd like to hear this observation of mine.

One recent afternoon I turned on a radio and the pop music station lead in was along the lines of, "Music this good should be against the law" or something like that. After that they played around five upbeat songs in a row.

I've listened to the station before (not by choice) it was a new station lead, and I can't recall ever hearing more than one upbeat song in a row.

Just coincidence, right?

- clark

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Well, it must be a coincidence. I doubt that this blog has any influence.

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