Sunday, May 11, 2008

All We Hear is All We Need...


A wonderful post at the Hermitage has led me reconsider the role of TV on the daily running of our lives. I myself abhor most of the programmes they tend to show on TV nowadays. For instance, one channel that used to be renowned for its good selection of films on weekends, is now solely concerned with the CSI series, CSI:Miami and Law and Order – all of them being distasteful American programmes which follow on from one another each Saturday night. I am sorry but I would rather eat my own foot than spend each Saturday night watching these programmes and their endlessly repetitive plots, dreary acting and 10-minute commercial breaks, all of which leaves you with the overwhelming desire to throw the remote control at the TV set (if you can find it that is).

TV has appallingly been treading the same water for years now. All those shows, films, sitcoms and even documentary programmes are simply tossed at you, without any consideration as to their artistic merit. In the end you become their pet – whatever they fling in your cage, you are left without much choice whether to eat it or not. I myself transcend the boundaries of this ‘cage’ by simply leaving the living-room; but what about all those people my age who spend an inordinate amount of time in front of the TV and are virtually hooked on programmes such as Prison Break or Lost?
Their MySpace pages are ruinously packed with all kinds of references to such shows, and even the more sensible people who try and avoid them are inevitably swept by the tide of the majority as they risk not ‘fitting-in’ if they appear not to be interested in those programmes. Sure, Lost may be rich in references to philosophy but how many viewers are really truly concerned as to why the character of John Locke bears that name?
For them, it is not important what they watch but what is shown on TV at a particular moment when they are slumped comfortably on the armchair next to a revolting take-away which they believe was actually cooked. In the end, most people are as inseparable from their couch as a red wine stain.

For this reason, I propose the revival of radio. I am beginning to listen to radio more and more often, and at least one thing is certain: radio presenters are infinitely better than TV presenters. There is a superior air of professionalism about them; they are erudite and most of them feel right at home in front of the microphone, as they are selected on the basis of merit and talent, rather than solely on looks as is the case in the highly nepotistic realm of the television industry. Also, even though radio stations are likewise highly malleable under the pressure of commercialism, most of them still bear a good assortment of songs which do well to accompany the vicissitudes of one’s precarious state of mind. Instead of the TV programmes which are full of half-wits who pester us with their pseudo-intellectual remarks, radio shows often feature some quite well-informed guest speakers and a sophisticated debate is thus formed on a variety of subjects. Even commercial breaks are somewhat more entertaining than the ones you get on TV.

Listening to the radio is process which stimulates the mind far better than watching television anyway, as it requires greater concentration.
In the end, due to lack of alternatives, radio is swiftly becoming my version of prime-time TV. Maybe we ought to stop watching and engage the other senses as well...

Learn to listen, listen and learn.

5 Comments:

At 11 May 2008 at 20:29 , Blogger Underground Dude said...

Maybe in England it's better, but where I live, radio is just as bad as TV. I'll try to look up some online stations. I prefer to choose my own music, anyway.

But I agree with you on the superiority of the auditory sense over vision.

 
At 13 May 2008 at 03:02 , Blogger ¡Benjaminista! said...

I'm reminded of a line from a song (as always): "I'll watch some TV, guess that's a solution . . ."

Television is a default solution for people who prefer to get lost in the plot of some other person's problem instead of solving their own.

 
At 13 May 2008 at 17:12 , Blogger Louis Berceli said...

I'm told that English radio is amazing. Here in America, however, the personalities are obnoxious at best.

I know this because I am one, at least every Wednesday from 11-2 at night.

 
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