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Author Topic: If you don't like it, then don't watch it.
eif
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by jdmarlin06:
I live 45 minutes from the nearest city with a public library or Barnes and Nobles. Used book stores don't even exist there except for the one on the college campus. What can I say, I live in the middle of a very rural county.

Then I would suggest http://www.gutenberg.org/

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Where I come from we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it History.

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by eif:
quote:
Originally posted by jdmarlin06:
I live 45 minutes from the nearest city with a public library or Barnes and Nobles. Used book stores don't even exist there except for the one on the college campus. What can I say, I live in the middle of a very rural county.

Then I would suggest http://www.gutenberg.org/
Can you also explain why that's inherently better than television? Whether you're reading a book, reading a magazine or comic book, watching television, watching a movie, surfing the internet, listening to music, or staring at the ceiling in complete silence, they're all just time filling activities. I'm a huge reader and I'm also a big fan of staring at the television for a couple hours. Just as television isn't for everyone, I recognize that reading isn't for everyone.

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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To be fair, Eif didn't say that reading was inherently better than wathcing TV. He simply offered an alternative source of reading material.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Sylvanz
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Can you also explain why that's inherently better than television? Whether you're reading a book, reading a magazine or comic book, watching television, watching a movie, surfing the internet, listening to music, or staring at the ceiling in complete silence, they're all just time filling activities. I'm a huge reader and I'm also a big fan of staring at the television for a couple hours. Just as television isn't for everyone, I recognize that reading isn't for everyone.
I'd have to say I agree. I like TV...should I be embarrassed? I don't watch a lot, but then I'm on line way too much now...should I blush about that? There are good worthy shows on TV, there's dreck on TV, and I like to watch a variety of things all over the spectrum. The same can be said for reading and internet. No one thing is inherently "better" than another. All of these things are leisure time activities and are as constructive as the individual book you're reading or program you're watching.

P&LL, Syl'I love to do all this stuff'vanz

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

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eif
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Jenn:
Can you also explain why that's inherently better than television? Whether you're reading a book, reading a magazine or comic book, watching television, watching a movie, surfing the internet, listening to music, or staring at the ceiling in complete silence, they're all just time filling activities. I'm a huge reader and I'm also a big fan of staring at the television for a couple hours. Just as television isn't for everyone, I recognize that reading isn't for everyone.

Thank you Lainie, that was my intention.

To Jenn's question, I will try and answer anyway. First, I do watch TV. I thought I used to watch a lot of TV. But compared to some of my coworkers with their TiVo, etc; I no longer think I watch a lot of TV. Given that I monitor what my daughters watch, I watch a fair amount of TV aimed at 9 thru 13 year-olds. The funny thing is, I find it to be more enjoyable that TV geared to adults.

But back to the question, first let me take a stab at it from an unusual direction. TV has been on for about 60 years now. For one network, that would be about 500,000 hours of programming and that is probably an overestimate due to reruns and the like. For many years there were just four networks in the US so that would get you up to ~2 million hours. The last decade had an explosion of networks so the total number of hours may be as high as 5 million. That is just a guess. Even if it was 10 million, compare that to the number of books that have been published since Gutenberg. I would bet that it is a heck of a lot more. Applying Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crap), that would leave a lot more books that are not crap compared to hours of TV that are not crap. I would expect a distribution of quality in each group and given a larger amount with books, the best books should be better than the best TV.
The other aspect of this is given the millions of hours of TV, how much of it can I access at any one time? Even with 200+ channels, I often find my self saying that nothing good is on. And I really hate watching something and at the end, feeling like whoever made the show, owes me an hour of my life because it was so bad. And it may be just the ending that makes it so bad so you don't really know until the end.


Want another? I'll make a few generalizations so please don't point out a few exceptions that prove the rule so to speak. TV is passive. You sit there and the pictures and sounds drip into your brain, nothing required from you except being awake. Reading, if you are doing it right, requires you to imagine the world that the author has created. Have you ever read a book and then seen movie or TV adaptation of it? Was it just as you imagine it? I often fine that a character is not how I pictured them. Take Sherlock Holmes for example. I saw the old Basil Rathbone versions as a kid before I read the stories. When I read them I could tell the differences between the two. But than again, the Jeremy Brett versions were spot on.
Then again, different people have different opinions it this area. A friend of mine has a different view concerning the Harry Potter movies. I have read the books so when I see the movies, I notice what the left out, the changes they made, etc. She wants to see the movie first so when she then reads the book, that's how she will imagine it. I tell her that they are now cutting a lot out, and I am not sure if you can really follow the latest ones if you haven't read the book. I also think (but don't say this to her) that letting the movie provide the "scenes in your mind" is a lazy way, like is using your own mind too much work?

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Where I come from we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it History.

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Egg Note
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvanz:
quote:
Can you also explain why that's inherently better than television? Whether you're reading a book, reading a magazine or comic book, watching television, watching a movie, surfing the internet, listening to music, or staring at the ceiling in complete silence, they're all just time filling activities. I'm a huge reader and I'm also a big fan of staring at the television for a couple hours. Just as television isn't for everyone, I recognize that reading isn't for everyone.
I'd have to say I agree. I like TV...should I be embarrassed? I don't watch a lot, but then I'm on line way too much now...should I blush about that? There are good worthy shows on TV, there's dreck on TV, and I like to watch a variety of things all over the spectrum. The same can be said for reading and internet. No one thing is inherently "better" than another. All of these things are leisure time activities and are as constructive as the individual book you're reading or program you're watching.

P&LL, Syl'I love to do all this stuff'vanz

While we're on that subject I really hated the "video games rots your brains" mindset that some people have. Never mind the fact that there are plenty of video games out there that require you to think about what actions you take to progress. Even "mindless shooters" as some people like to call them require strategy as just simply running around shooting everything will get you killed unless you're cheating obviously.

To get even more off topic, there was this one girl one of my classes back in high school who apparently "couldn't believe" that girls were getting more into video games. To this day I still don't know how to interpret that. Did she think that only boys should played video games? [ [Roll Eyes] ] Or was she really surprised? The way she said it made me believe it was the former.

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Okay, just to make it clear, there is a real world out there. No really, there is. I checked.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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eif, regarding television as a passive activity, I gotta say that I think that is a gross overgeneraliztion (as you said it would be).

In fact, I think that that is wrong. I think that it requires active intellectual involvement in order to process the audio/visual inputs. The notion that television doesn't require brainpower to enjoy is snobbery.

I have read some books that do not engage my brain nearly as much as most of the television I watch.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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quote:
For many years there were just four networks in the US
For the majority of commercial broadcast history (1954-87) there were only three TV networks in the U.S.

quote:
TV is passive. You sit there and the pictures and sounds drip into your brain, nothing required from you except being awake.
Really? Television watching never requires the viewer to draw inferences about things that aren't explicity explained or acted out on-screen, to interpret characters' motivations, to anticipate events, to guess at the resolution of plots, to recognize symbolism, to ponder ambiguity, to understand analogy, etc.?

quote:
Reading, if you are doing it right, requires you to imagine the world that the author has created.
Reading is the epitome of passive. You just have to sit there and let the words drip into your brain, nothing required of you except occasionally turning a page.

- snopes

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
[...]Television watching never requires the viewer to draw inferences about things that aren't explicity explained or acted out on-screen, to interpret characters' motivations, to anticipate events, to guess at the resolution of plots, to recognize symbolism, to ponder ambiguity, to understand analogy, etc.?

Alright! I knew snopes and I had something in common: We're both Three's Company fans. [fish]
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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by eif:

To Jenn's question, I will try and answer anyway. First, I do watch TV. I thought I used to watch a lot of TV. But compared to some of my coworkers with their TiVo, etc; I no longer think I watch a lot of TV. Given that I monitor what my daughters watch, I watch a fair amount of TV aimed at 9 thru 13 year-olds. The funny thing is, I find it to be more enjoyable that TV geared to adults.

Sounds like me. If asked, I think I would have self described myself (at least a few years ago anyway) as a bit of a TV junkie - now I realise that compared to many I am a rank amateur. There are actually no current shows on the air that I make any real effort to watch, I don't tape anything, and if I do happen to catch a show I like, I'm pleased but that's no guarantee I'll remember it's on next week.

As to the shows for the 9-13 crowd, I'm not sure what programs you mean, but around here we've been watching a lot of shows that air on Family Channel because my 12 yr old niece has been staying with us. While these shows are unlikely to win any Emmys I find them very entertaining and eminently watchable. Particularly Life With Derek and Darcy's Wild Life (I think that's the name). Anyway not bad at all - and infinitely better then Saved By the Bell [Wink] .

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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For every "Mythbusters", there are 1000 "Survivor"s. For every "1984", there are 1000 "Babysitter's Club"s. For every "snopes.com", there are 1000 mindless blogs. The medium is not what makes something intellectually stimulating or not.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Jonny T
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I don't have a TV. I didn't bring one to university with me and found that pretty quickly, what with the availability of DVDs etc.*, I didn't really miss it. Save for current events anyway.

On the subject title, tho:

If I don't like it, I don't watch it. However, TV is full of trends and latest big hits which can dominate papers, websites, and general conversation, making them pretty hard to get away from.

For example: I don't like Lost. I've seen a few episodes of it and found it to be a confusing, overhyped mess. So - shock! - I don't watch it. However, when it seems everybody I know is talking about it all the time, it can get more than a little irritating. Ditto for Big Brother and most of the other Big Things TV has to offer.

Simply not watching it doesn't stop it impacting me.

- Jonathan
* I watch them on my PC

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Hello, I love you - won't you tell me your name?
Hello! I'm good for nothing - will you love me just the same?

Greetings from the dark side...

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YudanTaiteki
Deck the Malls


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Just on a side note, watching Lost starting anywhere besides episode 1 is an exercise in futility -- it's basically the equivalent of starting a novel in the middle.
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Brillo Bee
Wii Three Kings


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2005 NY Times review of a book about how TV shows and video games are getting MORE intellectually stimulating.

quote:
[Steven] Johnson, a cross-disciplinary thinker who has written about neuroscience, media studies and computer technology, wants to convince us that pop culture is not the intellectual tranquilizer that its sound-alike critics have made it out to be but a potent promoter of cerebral fitness. The Xbox and ''The Apprentice,'' he contends, are pumping up their audiences' brains by accustoming them to ever-increasing levels of complexity, nuance and ambiguity that work on brain cells much as crunches do on the abdominal muscles.
I just thought that article/book might be interesting to some people in this thread. I haven't read the book, just the article. Sounds like an interesting thesis, though.

~Bee

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People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actually fools. -Alice Walker

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by YudanTaiteki:
Just on a side note, watching Lost starting anywhere besides episode 1 is an exercise in futility -- it's basically the equivalent of starting a novel in the middle.

I started watching this when the first season started to air in England last summer and managed to catch the first 4 (I think or maybe 5 anyway...) episodes. Didn't get a chance to see it again until this season's finale - I couldn't even begin to understand what was happening [Confused] .

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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YudanTaiteki
Deck the Malls


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Lost is structured in a way that's not like most other shows, although the format is coming more common. Basically the entire show is like one story that just happens to be shown in hour segments, but you can't watch them out of order any more than you can skip chapters of a book.

This method of storytelling used to be verboten on TV (with a few rare exceptions) but the popularity of DVD box sets of TV shows has made it much easier for people to catch up with the complicated continuity, making the show more palatable.

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eif
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:

quote:
For many years there were just four networks in the US
For the majority of commercial broadcast history (1954-87) there were only three TV networks in the U.S.

NBC, ABC, CBS. What about PBS? Also, wasn’t there a DuMont network back in the 50’s?

quote:

quote:
TV is passive. You sit there and the pictures and sounds drip into your brain, nothing required from you except being awake.
Really? Television watching never requires the viewer to draw inferences about things that aren't explicity explained or acted out on-screen, to interpret characters' motivations, to anticipate events, to guess at the resolution of plots, to recognize symbolism, to ponder ambiguity, to understand analogy, etc.?
I would suggest that for 90%+ of the population it does not. For some people and for some shows it might. I have found that shows that just “entertain” go on and on while shows that make you think, get canceled.


quote:

quote:
Reading, if you are doing it right, requires you to imagine the world that the author has created.
Reading is the epitome of passive. You just have to sit there and let the words drip into your brain, nothing required of you except occasionally turning a page.
I strongly disagree. The very act of reading is engaging the brain to decipher the code we call language and above that, the form we call grammar. Determining just what is meant by the written word is stimulating the brain. As for letting the words drip into your brain, that would be a book on tape or in other words, TV without the video AKA Radio.

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Where I come from we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it History.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by eif:
I strongly disagree. The very act of reading is engaging the brain to decipher the code we call language and above that, the form we call grammar. Determining just what is meant by the written word is stimulating the brain. As for letting the words drip into your brain, that would be a book on tape or in other words, TV without the video AKA Radio.

Ah, I see so those in the population who cannot read and must rely on books-on-tape or that others read to them (example children, the blind, people with profound dyslexia) are just letting "the words drip into their brain"? I think you are wrong. I think you are very wrong.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by eif:
TV is passive. You sit there and the pictures and sounds drip into your brain, nothing required from you except being awake. Reading, if you are doing it right, requires you to imagine the world that the author has created. Have you ever read a book and then seen movie or TV adaptation of it? Was it just as you imagine it? I often fine that a character is not how I pictured them.

Funny, I've noticed that with book illustrators or cover artists. Their picture of a character is often not the one I had in my head. So what? Just because I can picture a story in my head doesn't make it better than someone else's vision.

I've seen television and movie adaptations that were spot-on or even better than what I had imagined while reading the book. And I've seen some that were utter crap. These art forms cover such a broad spectrum that it's not fair to say that imagination is better than television. I've read many books that were horribly written and I couldn't figure out what the author was trying to convey. I've seen many television shows that made me think, question, wonder, and inspired me to write some fan fiction. It's easy to say that television is passive, but I've got many light "trashy" novels that don't require much thought or participation, just sitting there and turning a page.

"Television is passive." Do you feel the same way about seeing a play at the theater? Unless it's completely reliant on audience participation, it's no different than watching it played out on a small screen. On the surface, all that's required is for you to sit there and be awake. However, you can also pay attention and become emotionally involved in the story. I've seen people cry during movies and TV shows; I've never seen someone cry during a play. (This is actually true and makes me wonder why.)

Television, like any form of art or communication, can ask its audience to be passive or to engage in analysis and discussion. For every "Full House", there's a Nova or National Geographic Presents. How is watching a documentary inherently different than listening to a lecture at a university? It involves visual aids, narration, and information. And there's no guarantee that a lecturer will take questions or invite audience participation.

As much as I love books, I don't like the implication that reading is inherently better than television. Both have a bell curve of a few really good pieces, a few really horrible pieces, and most of what's produced is average.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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YudanTaiteki
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by eif:
I strongly disagree. The very act of reading is engaging the brain to decipher the code we call language and above that, the form we call grammar. Determining just what is meant by the written word is stimulating the brain.

This has no support in linguistics; when you read, you connect the words on the page to sounds. Your brain does not process it any differently.

quote:
As for letting the words drip into your brain, that would be a book on tape or in other words, TV without the video AKA Radio.
So the spoken word is less stimulating than the written word? That sounds absurd to me -- what you seem to be saying here is that the exact same words, if spoken instead of written down, are less stimulating. This is exceedingly bizarre.
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eif
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
Ah, I see so those in the population who cannot read and must rely on books-on-tape or that others read to them (example children, the blind, people with profound dyslexia) are just letting "the words drip into their brain"? I think you are wrong. I think you are very wrong.

I would think that someone of your obvious intelligence would assume that I did not mean to include, 1) Children who can not read yet, 2) the blind, and 3) any other people who might suffer from some disability that would prevent them from reading. Since I suffer from dyslexia myself that could have also included me. I made the comment referring to able adults. I didn't think it needed a disclaimer.

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Where I come from we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it History.

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Spamamander in a pear tree
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
I've seen people cry during movies and TV shows; I've never seen someone cry during a play. (This is actually true and makes me wonder why.)

Do musicals count? I just saw Les Miz the other day and I wept like a big ol' goob. Part of the time just because the actor playing Jean Valjean had an absolutely incredible falsetto that brought me to tears, but part of the time in the story itself. Ahhh, melodramas.

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"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by eif:
quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
Ah, I see so those in the population who cannot read and must rely on books-on-tape or that others read to them (example children, the blind, people with profound dyslexia) are just letting "the words drip into their brain"? I think you are wrong. I think you are very wrong.

I would think that someone of your obvious intelligence would assume that I did not mean to include, 1) Children who can not read yet, 2) the blind, and 3) any other people who might suffer from some disability that would prevent them from reading. Since I suffer from dyslexia myself that could have also included me. I made the comment referring to able adults. I didn't think it needed a disclaimer.
It doesn't make you less wrong to exclude people who cannot read in a traditional way from your generalization.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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defaultcrush
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quote:
Originally posted by Spamamander with cheese on rye:
quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
I've seen people cry during movies and TV shows; I've never seen someone cry during a play. (This is actually true and makes me wonder why.)

Do musicals count? I just saw Les Miz the other day and I wept like a big ol' goob. Part of the time just because the actor playing Jean Valjean had an absolutely incredible falsetto that brought me to tears, but part of the time in the story itself. Ahhh, melodramas.
I bawled during "Angels in America" and while I haven't seen "Rent" onstage, if it's anything like the movie (and I hear it's far better) I'm sure I'd cry during that too. I think it depends on the types of shows you're seeing. If you're always seeing fluffy plays/musicals like "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" you're probably not going to cry during it, but that's probably the same if you only watching shows like "Survivor".

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Kaylee Frye: Been more'n a year since I had anything twixt my nethers didn't run on batteries!
-Serenity

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eif
Jingle Bell Hock


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Cervus,

To you first two paragraphs in your last post, I would say that someone else’s vision in not necessarily better or worst than your own. But it IS your vision, and that was my point in saying so. It’s a version that you own and no one can take away from you.

quote:
“Television is passive." Do you feel the same way about seeing a play at the theater?
You know, I thought about that when writing the previous post. I would say that it is. I’m not saying that TV or a play can not move someone to emotion, of course they can.
“I've seen people cry during movies and TV shows; I've never seen someone cry during a play. (This is actually true and makes me wonder why.)” (Raises hand) I prove your conjecture to be false. In the past, I have cried during a play.

There is a possible difference with plays. If I see a certain production, that is how the director is presenting it. I could see the same play, but with a different director and it is a very different play. What comes to mind is Richard III. One could see the standard production or the film version that is set in the 1930’s. Seeing different versions of a production is something you won’t see on a regular TV show.


quote:
As much as I love books, I don't like the implication that reading is inherently better than television. Both have a bell curve of a few really good pieces, a few really horrible pieces, and most of what's produced is average.
I agree with you but there is part of my post that seems to have been lost, perhaps I was not clear enough. I did invoke Sturgeon’s law so I agree that the best TV is better than the average book. (90% of everything is crap). But at any one time (and I’m not counting DVDs, TiVo, etc), there is a limited number of choices on TV, even if you have 100+ channels. I’ve mentioned before that even with 100+ or even 200+ one can say “There’s nothing good on.” At that point I would suggest turn off the TV and pick up a good book. Unfortunately, there are people who would rather watch Ron Popeil “Set it and forget it” than crack open a book.

On a side note, our school system has a requirement that students read 25 books during the school year. Now they count textbooks as part of the total so there are five to begin with and in reading or English class will have four or five during the year as well. So the students only have to read ~15 on their own. To prove they read it they either have to do a simple book report or if the book is in the system, take a “Readings Counts”® test and get a 70 or better. (10 questions, multiple choice). There are parents who complain that the requirement is too high. I then look over at my own 7th grade daughter who has at this moment 61 books read and counted, ~10 more that she has read but are not Reading Counts books and she doesn’t what to do a report on them, and there are about 6 that we just got from a bookstore that she will probably finish before the end of the school year. I want to say to these parents, get rid of the gameboys, the playstations, Xboxes, etc. If the child has to be constantly entertained, put a book in their hands.

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Where I come from we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it History.

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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I always think of that old Dilbert cartoon when this discussion of "TV bad/reading good" appears. Dilbert is reading and he asks Dogbert why he is watching TV since reading is so much more intellectual than TV (or somethign like that). Dogbert replies that he learned about how Marie Curie discovered radium, then saw a biography of Crick & Watson & is now learning how to bake a cake from scratch; what is Dilbert reading? "The Poodle Who Killed".

I like my TV. I like being able to vicariously go places I've never gone, see news reports, watch mindlessly entertaining shows. No different than reading travel books, reading newspapers and reading fiction/mysteries/science fiction.

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"I have never in my life been more disappointed by a politician I voted for than I have been with George Bush. He is a total liberal."- overheard by me on the shuttle to the U of A game on Nov. 11th.

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Zorro
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by defaultcrush:
I bawled during "Angels in America" and while I haven't seen "Rent" onstage, if it's anything like the movie (and I hear it's far better) I'm sure I'd cry during that too.

Yep, bawled my eyes out during "Rent" when I saw it onstage a few years ago. I also cried during Les Miz.

ETA: Someone else said, i forget who, but I generally don't think about shows I don't watch because I think they're stupid, nor do I complain about them. What I complain about is all the other people going on and on about how brilliant a show is and, "What do you mean you don't like 'Seinfeld'???" [Roll Eyes] People, I watched it a few times, and hated it. Therefore, I never watched it again. Get over it.

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"Seize the day! Make your lives extraordinary!"
-John Keating, "Dead Poets Society"

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Sylvanz
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Originally posted by Zorro:
quote:
ETA: Someone else said, i forget who, but I generally don't think about shows I don't watch because I think they're stupid, nor do I complain about them. What I complain about is all the other people going on and on about how brilliant a show is and, "What do you mean you don't like 'Seinfeld'???" People, I watched it a few times, and hated it. Therefore, I never watched it again. Get over it.

I know what you mean. I once posted how much I hated "The Office" and that I thought is was dreck. I was pretty much informed that I'm "unsophisticated" and hinted at that I was a non-intellectual since I didn't "get it." I got "it" I just didn't think it was funny. As for forcing kids to read books Eif? Some people never learn to "enjoy" books. My Step-daughter is borderline brilliant. She literally slept through Calculus and got straight As. However, in lit I had to hold her hand every step of the way, and practically had to do the homework for her because symbolism, foreshadowing etc. to her were: "...stupid and why don't they just write what they mean instead of you having to figure it out?" Yeah, she's a bit one sided. The point being you can't force a love of reading, and assuming someone is "rotting their brain" because they don't read books is a little hasty if you ask me. A good parent can make sure good books are in the home, but if you remove a kids video game and inform him/her that they "have" to read instead you are setting your child up to be a non-reader, unless it is a very natural trait for that particular child. All IMHO.

P&LL, Syl'Don't get me started on "requiring" a set number of books at school'vanz

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

Posts: 1944 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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In case anyone was confused, I just want to clear up that I didn't mean people don't cry at plays; just that in my personal observation I've never seen it. Perhaps I go to lousy plays. [Razz]

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Fordo
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvanz:
Some people never learn to "enjoy" books. My Step-daughter is borderline brilliant. She literally slept through Calculus and got straight As. However, in lit I had to hold her hand every step of the way, and practically had to do the homework for her because symbolism, foreshadowing etc. to her were: "...stupid and why don't they just write what they mean instead of you having to figure it out?" [/QB]

I'm a lot like your daughter. Schoo pretty much sucked any love for reading right out. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and that point was apparently lost in my high school classes. Seemed like everything in every book was symbolic of something. I can count on one hand the number of fiction books I've read since I finished high school. I have read several non fiction books for pleasure, but still, I much prefer a magazine to a book.

Fordo

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Sylvanz
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Originally posted by Fordo:
quote:
I'm a lot like your daughter. Schoo pretty much sucked any love for reading right out. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and that point was apparently lost in my high school classes. Seemed like everything in every book was symbolic of something. I can count on one hand the number of fiction books I've read since I finished high school. I have read several non fiction books for pleasure, but still, I much prefer a magazine to a book.

Fordo

Thus my point. Some people just do not read for subtext. I'm not like this, and neither are my sons (particularly my oldest) or my daughter, but some people are. I just don't think forcing them to read books they don't wish to read, and then making them prove they read them is going to ever foster a love of reading in a kid that is not so naturally inclined. It well may, and has, fostered resentment, and a dislike for books in general.

I'm not saying don't teach them to read, and of course it is important to their educational experience to read for curriculum (and I do think they need to at least learn about subtext ect. in lit classes just like I had to learn ugh...Algebra) but don't force recreational reading on them; it is non-constructive for many kids.

P&LL, Syl

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

Posts: 1944 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Logoboros
We Three Blings


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For non-reading kids, I'd suggest that part of the problem is that they aren't reading books that interest them. There are a lot of good, well-written, thought-provoking books that aren't 19th-century classics (which still seem to make up too much of high school reading). Not that 19th-century classics aren't great, but they're certainly not for everyone, and not for people who aren't already experienced novel readers (after all, they were written for an audience whose primary form of entertainment was reading).

I didn't care for "great literature" through most of high school -- I read sci-fi and horror, stuff that I thought was more imaginative and interesting. Then I read a Flannery O'Connor short story and had an epiphany: here were "realistic" (albeit stylized) stories that actually had a powerful effect on me and were fun to read. And today I'm in a English doctoral program doing lit and creative writing.

Now, I was already a pretty avid reader before encountering "good" (for me) "real" literature. But the point is, sometimes a kid needs that first, personal experience with the "right" kind of book. And the fewer books that kid encounters, the less likely they are to have that experience. It may require a lot of trial and error, though. Is forcing the kid to read the right way to make this happen? Maybe not. But some kind of stronger encouragement (or even reward system) might be in order.

Also, I'm not really convinced by this whole "school ruins books for kids" line (even if I still think that schools aren't necessarily picking out appropriate books or teaching them the appropriate way). After all, schools show TV programs and movies all the time -- these are now a staple of classroom material -- and no one's saying that school is ruining kids' appreciation of film or TV.

The problem is that reading is an alien experience that the kid only seems to encounter in the less-than-stellar school environment. Encouragement of reading is something that needs to start at home. Of course, if the parents aren't really readers, why would anyone expect their kids to be?

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

Posts: 1025 | From: Memphis, TN & Columbia, MO | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I love reading, but I hated reading most books for English class because we went beyond analyzing and almost vivisected them to death. Everything had meaning and symbolism. I asked several of my teachers if maybe the author didn't intend to write anything but a story, and the reply was that all symbolism and metaphors were intentional. Everything had to have meaning. Later I read a similar anecdote by Stephen King (I think) so I knew I wasn't the only one bothered by the overanalyzation of books in English classes. (The Scarlet Letter, anyone? To my teacher the symbolism and color were more important than the actual plot or syntax.)

Sometimes I don't want to think about a character's motivations. Sometimes I just want to read a story. I only like to analyze characters if the author has written them in a compelling way. I do agree that forcing people to read for subtext can deter them from enjoying reading. I had a friend who, after finishing a book, analyzed everything and wrote down his thoughts and possible discussion questions. He was disappointed when I told him that sometimes I don't like to deeply discuss books I've read. It makes reading into a chore.

I just finished The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, which has so much character depth that I wouldn't mind analyzing or discussing subtext. I can't say the same for a Michael Crichton or Carl Hiaasen book - I read those purely for fun, because they're "light" and plot-driven. I knew several English teachers who looked down on students reading "light" or "trashy" novels and tried to get them to read more "important" works. I think it's bad form to discourage a kid from reading anything, even if it's something you diapprove of.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Sylvanz
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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The fact is though Logo some schools are "forcing" kids to read. It is included in the grade; it is not a reward system - it's a punishment system. Some people, very smart people, never ever appreciate reading for recreation. *I* think these people are missing a valuable part of life, but do I have the right to proselytize them with my opinion? I've also never heard of a school requiring watching X many movies as part of the grading system. Yes, you love reading obviously, you chose to do it on your own even if it wasn't something the school would have approved of. Some kids even in the most reading of families don't choose to read. The best thing is have books available...all kinds of books including comic books, but don't force reading x many books as part of a grade.

P&LL, Syl

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

Posts: 1944 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Colonel Zoidberg
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Hi folks. First off, I am brand new here. Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I agree with a lot of the sentiments here - I have a DVR, and I don't watch what I don't like. Well, sometimes my fiancee puts some garbage on the TV, like a Lifetime original movie, which are some of thw worst-written movies I have ever seen...but for the most part, there is too much I like on TV to bother with stuff I don't. I pay big bucks for digital cable for a reason.

Also, what's with all the Survivor bashing? It's not a bad show...well, I don't think so. Of course, that having been said, I go to other boards where people are Survivor fanatics, so seeing such a unanimous anti-Survivor sentiment is a bit of a shock.

But yeah, there is plenty of good stuff as well on TV...and plenty of good stuff to read or play or whatever. It's whatever you want to do, really. I've been sneered at because I enjoy reality TV, though I don't get into all of it (I could have cared less about American Idol...although its counterpart with inventors was a lot of fun. Yay to the Perfect Pet Petter!)

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