Thursday, December 17, 2009

Artists Are Not Like You and Me

...They have less reality. Or at least a different one:
Unlike people in a movie theatre, where images are projected onto a screen, television viewers become prey to the television’s own light impulses, they go into an altered state - a transfixed condition where the eyes, the mind, the breathing of the subject is clearly under the control of an outside force. In a poetic sense and without exaggerating one might say that the television technology is eating the subjects who sit before its gaze.
[Italics mine] Ummm, class? Class? Who can point out the total goofiness here? (Also, does this means you'd better avoid theatres employing rear projection? Hint: Oh, hells no). Son, the tale of the Gorgon is just a myth; reflecting light doesn't take the ickiness out.*

Conversely, sometimes that different vision results in wonder, as the Unwanted Blog points out.

Art: The s/n is lousy but the payoff, well... I wouldn't want to do without it.
* The film is beautiful, haunting and only eight minutes long -- but it's about being a passive consumer rather than a participant, not Teh Ebbil Electron Beam. The subjects could as easily have been watching films or even a very dull puppet show.


Stranger said...

The electron beam cannot be evil. Nor can the electron gun in the cathode ray tube, nor can the various stages of amplification, demodulation, and frequency conversion back to the antenna terminals. Nor can the air or other medium between the receiver and the transmitter be evil.

Likewise, the transmitting station, its personnel or its equipment can no more be evil than the 1911 under my elbow. The source of evil is the source of the programming.

It is fortunate that only a small percentage of children can be swayed by programs persuasive calls to adopt a criminal lifestyle. But that percentage has certainly made a difference to our society.

One of the studies in my files begins with the date every American television market was first opened, followed by the crime statistics before and after that opening.

Give or take a few months, eight years after opening day, juvenile crime starts to take off. Fourteen years after a market opens, the jails fill with youthful offenders.

But there are exceptions. Those are markets that did not allow "explicit interpersonal violence" from the git go. South Africa is the largest such market, but there are enough others to come to a statistical certainty.

It is a tragedy with more than a half million victims that the networks did not heed the first study linking TV violence to violent crime.

Instead, the networks chose to blame "easy access to firearms" for the problems their violent programming created.


Roberta X said...

Kinda went pear-shaped for South Africa eventually, no?

Old Grouch said...

"the radiation gun aimed at the viewer"

So plasma/LCD screens or front-projection don't count? How about rear-projection with the CRT pointing up? Think of the unsuspecting innocents in the apartment above!

And what about the good 'ol movies' 48-per-second[1] "light impulses"? Sheeesh!

Looks like another attempt to blame eeeevil technology, instead of the eeeevil users thereof.

(As to the programming, I'll just say that IMO Hollywood has a lot to answer for, and Sturgeon's Law definitely applies.)

[1] 24 frames/second[2], each frame projected twice to reduce perceived flicker.

[2] unless you're viewing original system Todd-AO (30 frames/second) or pre-1929 silent (variable).

BobG said...

"Evidence looks into the eyes of children watching television - in this case Walt Disney’s "Dumbo". Though engaged in a daily routine, they appear drugged, retarded, like the patients of a mental hospital."

Hell, I can see people like that just watching Congress on CSPAN.