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TV overload

February 26, 2009

 

good-night-and-good-luck-11 I watched a very good movie yesterday while I was stranded to the couch due to a nasty head cold   caught. I watched Good Night, and Good Luck, which is a movie about a newscaster in the early 1950’s who stood up to a bully politician, Joseph McCarthy. This is a true story of how Ed Murrow refused to be silenced due to the fear techniques of a very powerful McCarthy. McCarthy was basically accusing people of being communist, there did not seem to be much rhyme or reason as to who was being accused, but if you were on McCarthy’s radar then you would surely be dealt with. The problem was that McCarthy was going about this business in a unconstitutional way. No news broadcasters would stand up to Sen. McCarthy for fear that they may be accused of themselves being a part of the communist party. 

The movie was co-written by George Clooney, who also had a role in the film. The film was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. 

In the film, Murrow asked an audience of very well-off folk what the television was for. He had his regular Tuesday night program taken away from him after he stood up to McCarthy, I suppose he was a bit too controversial at the time. While talking to the audience he was questioning if they really wanted news, and the truth about politicians and current affairs, or if they just wanted to waste away with meaningless programming. Huh… interesting thought. I started to think about the television today. You see when Murrow was talking to this crowd the television was still fairly new to the American family. Not everyone had a television in their home, let alone 3 or 4. 

Back to the television. What has it become today? What are all the top spots filled with? I know some people who claim to not watch television. I always get angry when people say that. Mostly because I want to not need television in a way that I just never think to turn it on. I don’t watch much t.v., but when I do it is pretty much useless stuff, mindless entertainment. I watch The Office, Friends, American Idol, The Bachelor (yeah so what?!), sports, and a whole bunch of other stuff to take up time. 

Tonight I was riding my bike through my neighborhood and I noticed that nobody was outside. The streets were empty, as they almost always are. But… then I started to look inside of the windows of the houses I was riding by ( not in a creepy way, just a curious way), and I could see the glow of television sets at almost every house. We have become slave to the tube. By the way, the weather was absolutely perfect out. 

So I guess my question/concern is what have we made the television? What do we get out of it? We watch these programs that really do not better us as humans beings, but we do it with such regularity that we schedule things around our favorite shows. Mr. Murrow wants to know what we plan on doing with the programs we watch? If we do not want honest reporting, then what do we want? 

What are your thoughts? Have you seen Good Night, and Good Luck? If not, I suggest you watch it. It is a piece of our history that we may not know much about. Do you ever feel like your slave to the T.V.?ist2_457588_old_television

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2009 2:34 pm

    I completely agree. I remember when we were growing up, we would be in the streets playing with the neighbor kids and only going in to watch T.V. after the sun went down. Now, it’s all the time. It’s a shame. We always criticize kids for playing too many video games, and watching too much T.V., but where did they learn that from. They learned it from the previous generation. We get off work and go home to eat dinner and watch T.V. Do families ever play games together and go to the park or play basketball in the streets? It’s a shame. No wonder most of America is Obese. There is no more excersize in the average person’s day. They actually say that you burn less calories watching T.V. than you do when you’re sleeping. Interesting huh.

  2. February 26, 2009 4:49 pm

    First off, its so funny you mention this movie, as I just rewatched it last week. Crazy how its so calm in action, yet enthralling, huh?

    I think TV has it’s positive side as well as a downside. I mean, take for instance what you were doing – watching a (in my opinion) high-quality film about a historical event, played out by some well-respected actors. It seems you learned something from it, yes? I think some TV shows can be thrown into that category, or in the category of escapism and simple entertainment (save for most reality tv, which is just dumbing us down.) That said, there’s still a lot of crap keeping kids on their bums and not being active.

    But, I think partly its the climate that’s keeping kids inside. I, too, played outside a TON when I was younger, but there wasn’t as much fear on the part of my parents that some creep was going to come kidnap me, and I lived in an area that was relatively safe from random violence. We were fortunate to grow up in more innocent times (which I took for granted, that’s for sure). I do miss those days!

  3. March 1, 2009 2:33 am

    Good review! It’s a great film with some terrific acting. It’s also a fascinating look at the people behind the scenes of TV. I’m actually finding that the Internet and cell phones are quickly replacing the TV, especially as TV shows are becoming more available on the Internet. I personally struggle with the amount of time I spend watching films. I spend lots of time and money seeing movies…then I feel convicted when I think of how much time I’ve spent reading Scripture or hanging out with friends that day. And now with my first kid, I have to think about what I’m modeling to my son with my habits and hobbies.

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