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On 07/04/07, Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Robert Hodge" <[log in to unmask]>
>> Well, with the current state of television programming as it is,
>> you could only improve it if you were !  
>> 
>> The technology improves while the content disintegrates. Except for
>> rare occations and on PBS it is a "vast wasteland".
>> 
>> And how could anyone watch anything worthwhile on a 2 inch or smaller
>> screen ? Some do, so I hear.
>> 
> Well...I shall vehemently disagree/comment here!
> 
> Television exists...and has ALWAYS existed...as a medium on which
> advertising can be sold at maximum profit!

That is only true in the USA. 

BBC TV carries advertising only for BBC products, and many countries
have only a state TV service whose function is to carry government
propaganda.

For many years the TV channels in Britain also carried the Open
University programs during the night.


>  The creators of the
> medium enthusiastically forecast all sorts of programming which
> would "bring culture to the masses"...ignoring the reality that
> "the masses" have absolutely NO desire for "culture!" 

I believe the audiences for some of the BBC cultural and scientific
series were quite large. At least the educated middle-class masses watch
them.

(For example, Kenneth Clark's "Civilisation", or "Walking with
Dinosaurs".)

> The all-too
> inevitable result was/is that television programming quickly
> drifted toward a "lowest common denominator"...which, in turn,
> lowered the cultural level of the masses...which then lowered
> the cultural/intellectual quality  of TV programming (and life
> in general...?!) even further...and on and on in a downward
> spiral. Even PBS (and other "serious" programming) inevitably
> skews its content toward that "LCD" demographic (since there
> wouldn't be much of an audience otherwise...?!).
> 
> The applicable question actually is: how much serious thinking
> is going on?! I suspect this variable is in constant-decrease
> mode, since it doesn't pay very well or lead to fame and/or
> fortune! After all, it is much easier to sit mindlessly in
> front of one's TV set (or, for students, to regurgitate on
> demand a few memorized answers to complete a multiple-choice
> examination...!) than it is to actually SERIOUSLY think about
> a question more complicated than "For whom should I vote in
> the 'American Idol' competition...?"
> 
> Steven C. Barr
> (With increased vehemence, he expostulates "FEH!!"...)
> 
Regards
-- 
Don Cox
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