Download ...And There Was Television by Ellis Cashmore PDF

By Ellis Cashmore

Tv is blamed for an collection of evils, together with violence, shortened cognizance spans, the decline of literacy and political indoctrination. This research weighs up the theories and the facts. the writer argues that a lot of the panic is with out beginning, and that the only most vital possibility posed by way of television is that it encourages us to spend an excessive amount of. Cashmore has the same opinion with many writers that tv is an elemental strength in modern-day tradition, yet he offers a totally diverse account of the way and why this has occur. He postulates that tv is the primary equipment of patron society and its luck is measured no longer by way of no matter if we get pleasure from programmes, yet how a lot we spend because of staring at them.

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As Marx saw religion as supplying a relief from work, Adorno et al. saw mass culture as an escape attempt from the mechanized monotony of industrial work, helping workers refresh themselves for more labor. In no meaningful way, could this be described as happiness. Related to this was a second use, for, in supplying momentary pleasure, it distracted consumers from contemplating too deeply more urgent matters. “Pleasure always means not to think about anything,” wrote Adorno, “to forget suffering” (1991:9).

We might be spoon-fed our ideologies, but we are always careful to chew thoroughly before swallowing them. Cultural students argue that we are endlessly involved in searching for and finding meaning: everything we do, say, see, generally experience has some meaning for us. Listening to the car radio, watching a movie, viewing a painting: we can recover meaning from these, and any other activity for that matter. In the cultural studies vernacular, we “read” radio, movies, paintings and, most importantly for our purposes, television, much like we read a book.

Glance at any astrology column and it will dispense free advice on whether today is a good time for business, for love, for making drastic changes to one’s life. The advice is based on no more than the purported relationship between planetary movements and earthly affairs. It does not provide anything resembling scientific evidence, yet it permits belief and obedience. Even 30 …and there was television devout readers are not exhorted to surrender their scientific rationality and commitment to empirical evidence.

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