Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  .This section is about television.  ---  1/24/2006

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  A searchable catalog of television shows.  Searchable on the television screen.  Pay per view.  Or pay in advance for a certain number of shows.  ---  8/5/2002

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Commercial vs. public (government or viewer sponsored) television.  Pros and cons of each.  Much of the advertising on commercial television brainwashes with propaganda, and molds shit values.  Commercial TV appeals to lowest common denominator.  Censorship of language and pictures about sex and violence is another issue.  ---  03/30/1993

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Consider the amount of time people spend watching television relative to the amount of free time they have.  Some people devote fifty percent of their free time to television.  ---  9/17/2005

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Many of the past objections to television no longer apply.  (1) It is not realistic to expect every show on television to be suitable for you.  There are many other demographics besides you.  (2) It is not true that there is nothing of value on television, especially when you consider PBS, TLC, TDC, etc.  (3) Television has improved since its start in the stolid 50's.  (4) There are so many alternative media (ex. Internet, DVD, videotape, etc.) that television has lost its preeminent, all powerful position.  (5) So get off television's back.  Go create your own media if you don't like television.  ---  10/25/2001

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Museum of Broadcasting.  Arguments for and against it.  (1) Argument for.  Episode x of series y, of any radio or TV show, may not present any new earth shattering idea, or be great art, but someone, somewhere, may need, and may only be able to understand, the relatively simple message that show communicates (about drugs, pregnancy, etc.), in the candy coated format (audio-visual form) the show is in.  So it is therefore good to keep all those sitcoms saved and available for consumption.  (2) Argument against.  (A) When does watching television all day (even "good" reruns) start holding us back and wasting our time, as opposed to helping us grow?  How much did you ever really learn from a sitcom episode?  Maybe you learned about comedy writing for television, but that's about it.  (B) Also, how much does a Batman episode tell us about our actual culture?  So the argument that these shows are very historically significant is very thin.  Fun house mirror reflections that distort as much as they reflect can be worthless.  ---  09/20/1994

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  My favorite television shows:  The Simpsons.  Charlie Rose.  Soul Train.  ---  10/25/2001

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Nature shows are not about nature.  They are about the absence of people.  That is why they are so popular.  ---  3/3/1999

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Ninety percent of television programming is low quality, escapist, dumbed down to lowest common denominator, pablum.  ---  9/12/2004

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Possible reasons why television shows have improved in quality over the last fifty years.  (1) the major networks face increased competition from cable and the Internet.  This competition results in better programming.  In the past, when the major networks enjoyed a monopoly, they were able to get away with poor programming.  (2) Cable provides more channels.  More channels means greater market segmentation.  Instead of programming for the lowest common denominator, shows are now created for varied levels and segments.  (3) The American public has grown more sophisticated in the past fifty years.  An amusing notion.  The improved television programming reflects a more evolved American public.  (4) A counterargument is that there was good television in the 1950's as well as bad television.  And there still is today.  There is always a mix of high and low quality television on the air so as to hit every demographic.  ---  2/23/2001

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Sitcoms.  What the sitcoms would have us believe.  There is a philosophy of life that has been around for a long time which holds that the best way to spend your life is to sit in your rocker on the porch and watch the world go by.  This is the philosophy implicit in sitcoms.  In order to make this philosophy more modern and more appealing, the sitcoms update this philosophy by saying that if you get a cool chair and make some hip jokes to some smart friends who get your obscure yet cogent pop-culture references then that's as good as life gets.  You've made it to the top.  However, even though the actuality is that we all need a little rocker time everyday, you can't base your life on continuous rocker time.  You can't build a life around 24 x 7 rocker time.  But that is what the sitcoms would have you believe, and that is what they imply.  ---  8/10/2000

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Soap operas.  (1) Soap operas can tell you much.  (A) What women are interested in.  (B) How women think and communicate.  (C) How women want to be wooed.  (D) How people socialize.  (E) How sleazy people can be.  (F) What duplicitous techniques they use in their sleaze.  (2) Too much soaps can be harmful.  (A) You can forget about the man's perspective.  (B) You can get paranoid that everyone is as evil as soap opera villains.  ---  05/30/1996

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Soap operas.  There are people out there who actually are in a position to learn a lot from watching soap operas.  ---  3/5/2002

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Specific shows.  Dance shows.  Pretty, slim, smiling things in skin-tight outfits, gyrating suggestively.  Closest thing to porn on TV.  A life of pure youth, pure health, pure beauty, and pure sex.  Nice idea, not practical or ethical.  No words or even ideas, emotions, or memories.  Just bodies and sensations, and drive to fu*k.  ---  9/30/1996

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Television commercials.  (1) When are television commercials good?  When they do more than sell a product.  Like make a truthful, useful statement about life.  When they are art.  (2) When are television commercials bad?  When they shamelessly attempt to manipulate the public.  ---  12/28/2003

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Television is the education of the American masses.  ---  02/20/1989

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Television speeds up time, and thus television can be used as a time management technology.  (1) If you have a tendency to say to yourself, "Time is really going slowly, much too slowly for me.", then by all means turn on the television.  (2) If you have a tendency to say to yourself, "Time is moving way to quickly.  My life is passing me by.", then by all means unplug the television set.  ---  2/13/2001

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  TV is depressing and a waste of time.  Must it be that way?  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  TV.  (1) Arguments for: another window to the world.  (2) Arguments against: too many commercials, TV schizophrenia.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  TV.  (1) Can't review it (unless you tape it).  (2) Can't carry it (portability).  (3) Most is poor quality, waste of time.  (4) Too much entertainment, not enough information.  (5) Not enough user control (choice).  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Was there ever anything good on television?  ---  9/17/2005

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  When you watch a movie on television, are you watching a movie or are you watching television?  It seems like either a really bad movie experience or a really good television experience.  ---  10/25/2001

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Why is television entrancing?  Because we are genetically programmed to monitor our environment, especially when something is happening, even more especially when the happening involves people.  When the television is on, and our normally quiet rooms are full of sights, sounds and active people, we are held spellbound.  ---  7/24/1999

Sociology, communication, media, television.  ---  Why is television important?  Because a lot of people spend a lot of time watching television.  ---  9/17/2005

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.