Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

Save your country by turning off your TV..zuh?


I’m sort of torn after reading this screed about the terrible effects of television on the nation’s psyche. Nothing the author says is off-base about the bad effects television (and other media) have on families, communities and the body politic.

But what I do have a problem with is the hopeless idealism that says that once everyone switches off their televisions (which will never happen) they’ll immediately rise up and become social advocates for change (which will never happen.) It’s the same mentality I see in hardcore cyclists. Much as I love my bike and dislike automobiles, it’s ridiculous to say that motorized vehicles should be outright banned, and that once we do so everyone will realize the error of their ways and join a community garden/anti-poverty committee.

What it amounts to, in both cases, is the exact narrow-minded, blinkered view that most activists claim is held by whatever they oppose. The plain truth is that most people generally won’t rise up against anything. Some are lucky enough to be following something that’s personally or financially (or even spiritually) beneficial to them, but most are followers, no matter what end of the political spectrum they fall under.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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