This section compiles the writings of the Acousticwood.net staff. If you have any interest whatsoever of making a contribution, please me.
In June 1999, Bhutan became the last nation in the world to turn on television
Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. What followed? Murder, fraud, drug offences
Statistics say that the moment you turn on the TV, your chances of watching something worthless are at 97.6%
Link between TV and Alzheimer's has been proven
Hi, My name is Marc. I own a TV. I'm 25 years old!
A pretty nice one as a matter of fact. An internal DVD player and a program guide that's supposed to detect your local channels and what not and set up an on screen TV guide for your local stations....imagine that! You don't have to get that damn paper that's miles away out in your driveway! That is, of course, if you've adapted with the times and have the latest and greatest services of Cox Digital or some type of Dish network. Who could have brewed up the idea of the in screen TV guide! Inconceivable! Next they'll be telling us there's something out there that will actually walk for us! Nevermind, apparently I'm behind the times...the Segway.
tele- or tel-
pref. - Distance; distant: telesthesia
n. - The faculty of sight; eyesight
Now, by no means am I different from the rest of you. I watch Television. I would say occasionally, but since Televisions are everywhere on this place we call Earth, except for most bathrooms, that would be impossible. The only difference, most likely, is my “ridiculous” theory. Television is scripted, fixed hogwash designed to engulf us, the individuals, into a state of vegetation while we are shown what, how, and where to buy, do, and waste. What you see in front of you is a projector. It brings television programming to you. When you say “I’m watching TV” you’re watching whatever programming happens to lie within your networks viewing area that you chose. When you’re “watching a movie,” you’re watching something of your choice, projected onto your screen. See the difference?
“But I channel surf and know exactly when to skip from channel to channel while missing commercials and various other, 'hogwash' related crap, as you so bluntly put it.” You have issues. Go outside. You watch too much Television if your brain has become as programmed and consistent as Television commercial breaks. But hey, that's your prerogitive.
Now before I go on, Yes, I watch Television. I'm not afraid to admit that. Sports is usually my main focus. Sports are live events projected onto our screens. Note keyword “live.” Sports is not all that I watch on Television though, I’ll catch the occasional Simpson’s episode, maybe a Seinfeld episode once every couple months along with the lovely History channel, Food Network and Discovery. But all in small doses. I can’t recite lines from a movie or Television show from the past 10 years, thankfully, I think my memory could be of better use. I feel I can be more constructive with my time – and that’s my personal preference. I have a couple of different endeavors ranging from playing guitar, being outside with the life that surrounds us, the very occasional book, and horticulture – all of which I consider productive. I consider time, and our brief stay here, of the essence. Do any of you wish you could change something in this world? I hope so. My past attempts to change things are miniscule compared to what they could be. The fact is, any single one of us could disappear from life, as we know it, tomorrow. And if this is the case with me, the most important closure I could have is knowing that I did my best to go against the grain of how we are told, unconsciously, to live. And I feel the Television has that much of an impact on society today. I can see it in peoples eyes when I speak to them about it, they go straight on the defensive before I even finish my sentence.
I know that no two people are the same, but I find it hard to believe that so many people have actually eat up, literally, what Television feeds us. I’m saying that these commercials for new double burrito with 6 layers of cheese and the new Whopper with Kazoo sauce are telling you a way to go about living your life! Not that you have to obey, but Television is so influential on everyone these days that, unintentionally, you do. A large portion of the US is obese. I’m not saying the main reason for this is because they watch Television but I do believe it’s a contributing factor. The influential impact of Television is so great that one of the many reasons the US sits in this bracket of obesity is ignorance and laziness. Ignorance to realize what’s being projected on the screen in front of you and laziness due to counter productivity associated with a Television.
Please don’t get me wrong, it’s your right to sit and watch Television with a soda in one hand, McBurger in the other and do whatever the fuck you want. I mean, the US is the hardest working country in the world and after all, who really wants to do something that involves time and effort when you’ve been at the office for 80 hours a week? I’m just saying we are puppets for everyone else that gained a step, were handed a step, or fell in a step ahead of us in life. There are countless amounts of people who’ve worked their rear ends off getting to where they are today, so don’t think I’m discrediting them, but we sit here and allow the “the rich to get rich, the poor to get poorer” by succumbing to these people who have enough money to project their products onto Television networks, which is turn, tells us how we want it. Yes, Television does have such an impact.
Now, coming from a high class area, I could be considered a complete hypocrite because if anything, I’ve fallen into life a step ahead of most people in the world. The opportunity to succeed in this area far surpasses that of so many places worldwide. I’m actually fortunate enough to be living where I do – here in the US. But I have my bearings, and no one is fooling me – society says I need a degree to be successful. Why? This practice of “playing the game” has gone on for too long. We’re essentially doing this to appease the rich. Just because certain people don’t have an expensive piece of paper it doesn’t make them less knowledgeable. Why the fuck do I have to play a game to be successful? Fuck. Now this is a whole new can of worms I’ve just opened, but let me clarify something. I’m currently “playing the game” and working towards my degree at a snails pace, but I’m doing it. I believe that everyone should at least give education beyond High School a shot. But the fact is that it’s not for everyone. This upsets me that it's become a necessity, and if you don't have the necessary tools, a majority of society deems you, unfortunately, less worthy. I’ve been in the working world for 6 years now. I figure experience to be an enormous asset, if not greater, than a piece of paper. It upsets me that peoples knowledge is judged by the fact of whether or not they went through 4 years of college. My point? I think Television contributes to lack of motivation, which leads to less education.
Without falling too far off course, my point is that while I have been fortunate enough to get a head start, I also have not forgotten how I got where I am today by means of a hard working ancestors which passed these traits down to my mother and father which gave them a chance at potential prosperity. Hard work and appreciation for life. The latter being something that has unknowingly been forgotten, and Television is a contributor to this. I’m not saying that by watching Television you don’t appreciate life, but by living in front of a Television for years on end, you’re letting it manage your opinions and forgetting about the valuable time slipping out the door. There's so much more.
I mostly watch Sports on Television, and so what is the difference between Sports on TV, and the act of watching TV? Nothing is scripted; it’s never the same. No, you can’t buy a beer for $6-8 and you can’t catch a fly ball. You can, however, put your feet up on the chair in front of you without the jerk in front having a go at you. “It’s television,” theoretically, yes. It’s not as fun of an atmosphere as if, say, you were at the game, but you do get better camera angles and such. These are what we like to call pros about TV. The technology these days is incredible; you can almost feel as if you are at a game with surround sound along with these camera angles. Anyway, I watch Sports on television for one reason, my teams. I’m a diehard Redskins, Capitals, Bullets, and O’s fan…I’ve found that over the years you turn to a different aspect of the game. Numbers. That is why any die-hard Sports fanatic probably knows percentages and numbers much better than your average Joe. “Wow – he had 3 interceptions? He had 4 last week? Jesus, he’s averaging 3.5 per game? What a tart.” Now that doesn’t take a mathematician to figure that out, but ask your psychotic football fan anything concerning statistics at any point throughout the year and I’m sure he’ll provide any answer. Sports on Television is entertainment, nothing more, nothing less. The difference lies within the authenticity. These aren’t people putting on a front and pretending to be something they aren’t.
I’m not saying I thrive for a good old 9 inning baseball game on TV, but people, The Real World, Queer Eye for a Straight Asshole, VH1 let me tell you how pathetic your life is compared to this person, and so on should not be something that makes us waste away into the couch for hours upon hours while we marvel at just another average Joes success. Why are so many humans caught up in what they bought, who they’re dating, why they did this, that and the other thing? Who cares? Yes, it sells, but is it really something that concerns us? You’re just giving back to the golden hand. Is it something that could possibly change how you feel, act, or live? “Other peoples lives seem much more interesting cause they ain’t mine.”
As mentioned above, the pure reason for all of this is entertainment. Yes, this is something that many people find entertaining and eat up. Some people can actually relate to this and maybe find a part Joe Schmos life comparable to theirs. If this is the case, and that is something you’re searching for, please stop. “You’re looking for something in professional athletes to relate yourself to.” No I’m not. I do like to play sports so there is a relation (productive) between us, but it’s nothing more than an athletic, opposed to mental, kind of way. There is an ultimate goal in sports. They play for one reason and these reasons can inspire many memories throughout the years. How many memorable moments do you have from Television? For the hours upon hours you’ve watched, what really sticks out and makes you remember the good old days? Be honest, nothing! These memories sit in your head for a couple days, disperse, then get filled by another slide (TV show).
Many of you, probably about 99.9%, will not agree with me in any way, shape, or form, but my friends, it’s the truth. TV is not healthy. The gateway to drugs, is TV. I’ve had enough of these greasy politicians along with these ad campaigns saying marijuana is the gateway to harder drugs. Look at the TV folks! Why are kids gradually dipping into drugs, at an alarming rate, at such a younger age? Because curiosity killed the cat, that’s why. I’d imagine about 85% of kids don’t even understand these anti-drug campaigns and at such an age and inquiring minds dig. The gateway to violence is TV. Does watching TV, violence and such, alter the kids mental state of thought? Toss two kids into a room with a toy truck on one table and guns on the other and I’ll guarantee you 95% of the kids will head towards the guns.
· The context in which most violence is presented on television poses risks for viewers.
· Perpetrators go unpunished in 73% of all violent scenes.
· The negative consequences of violence are not often portrayed in violent programing.
· One out of four violent interactions involve the use of handguns.
· Only 4% of violent programs emphasize an anti-violent theme.
· On the positive side, television violence is usually not explicit or graphic.
· Premium cable channels present the highest percentage of violent programs (85%).
· Children's programs are the least likely of all genres to show the long-term negative consequences of violence (5%)
“So Sports isn’t violent?” Sports can be violent, yes. If hitting knocking the snot out of a guy in football isn’t violent or dropping the gloves in hockey isn’t considered violent then I must be smoking something. The fact is that this violence has guidelines. “But it's violence.” Ok, whatever. Violence is violence, you’re right. But, the difference is one is for pure entertainment and the other is violence that results in death. Entertainment is the reason we all watch Television.
I'm not biased, but Television is a enormous reason a majority of the public believes what is going on in Iraq is right. Now, I know this is something that I shouldn’t even talk about, but the fact remains that nothing has been proven. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I just want honesty. It's been mentioned that the facts seem to have, lets say, been faulty and it’s “well, Hussein is a bad person.” Yes. You’re 100% correct. But we were lead to believe that Iraq harbored terrorists and WMD – this may be the case, no one knows, but has yet to be proven. People were misled, and when these facts became evident, the belief behind combat was swayed to a completely different point and people bought it. Television is the major outlet for these slime balls to manipulate peoples thoughts because they realize the influence it has on people. Now, we all know for a fact that Saddam was a bad person. But while Osama sits back and praises 9/11 we invade a country that has absolutely no legitimate ties to 9/11. This is what we call a blindfold. While we’re being told what’s been done is absolutely necessary, or lied to, someone else takes care of his own personal interests.
Philo T. Farnsworth invented the Television in 1929. God, if he’d seen how important it’s become to everyday life, he’d of pleaded like Lou Gherig to be frozen for a few decades then cashed in. Honestly though, coming from the era he did, maybe he would have just looked into a magical crystal ball and said, “Jesus,” and stored it away like it was the plague. Sure, someone else would have come along and done it anyway, but I don’t think the ultimate theory/goal for this invention involved manipulation of the people who watched it. At the time it was seen as a major outlet for a variety of things. Seeing is believing.
I do in some ways see the Television as one of the greatest inventions ever. Television takes you away from your surroundings and gives you that feeling of utter relaxation, never before was it so easy to kick back after you finished tilling the soil or milking the cows. Instead, you were forced to converse with those around you. Interaction. Snicker, and ask “Is Ayres really writing this?” but it’s the truth. You’re forced to make your mind fire, click on all bearings, exercise! There are seriously some amazing things on television that you can learn so much from. The channels that I speak of aren’t exactly in abundance compared to the other garbage you must filter through, but if you dig hard enough you can find them. You can learn just about anything from the inside out. The possibilities could be endless if it were used as a source for intelligent programming. But most of Television is just an outlet for trashy programs. These programs continue because people watch them. But I wonder – if 97% of TV is garbage, does this have an adverse effect on the remaining 3% of intellectual Television? Probably.
I’ve expressed my dissatisfaction towards TV on a variety of occasions to people I know, and one of the more recent replies was “What would you do without the Internet crazy theory guy? It’s just as bad as TV.” To this, I disagree. First, I probably wouldn’t have a job as millions of others wouldn’t in this country without the Internet. It’s a tool to work with that happens to have the most convenient, accessible, and resourceful stage in the world. The Internet is a consistent. You can go to espn.com and know what you’re getting. Yes, it’s filled with advertising but you aren’t forced to “watch” these ads. They’re there in a tiny box out of the way of main content. But with browsers adapting to the times and preventing popup ads and such to ruin your day (mozilla firebird), surfing the net is becoming less of a hassle. The form in which advertising is…....advertised isn’t as effective. You read what you want, when you want just like you watch what you want to watch. Sounds similar, but the difference between the two is much greater than you think.
I believe my point has clearly been made. Television is unhealthy for you no matter what spin you put on it. Now I know I may come across as a complete hypocrite throughout because I do in fact watch a minute amount of Television, I just want people to realize what we can do to prevent future generations from being formed into something they are not. This piece has holes throughout that all of you could argue to your grave. I do not have the time to sit and structure this properly for Gods sake, I wrote this at work! But my ultimate goal of writing this was basically to bash Television and spread my thoughts and beliefs on it’s counterproductive traits. I know that this will not change how anyone views television. But if I can get through to one, just one, I’ll be happy. I think the reality of it all is that Television is nothing more than a box. It’s does have it’s positive attributes, but the negative ones heavily outweigh them in the big picture. If you’re content with sitting in front of a Television for 25 hours a week, 1300 hours a year, fine, it doesn’t bother me one bit. But when you look around and wonder where in the hell your life has gone, don’t say I didn’t try and warn all of you that production equals happiness in the long run, and happiness is what we strive for. If Television is your bliss and you've got one remote, a Television, and 200+ channels to click and choose from...be my guest, continue to do what the Television tells you is best. .
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additionally, click here to see the mental ward Marc attended.