Tuesday, April 22, 2003

To TV Or Not To TV

Blog More, Watch Less?

It's Adbusters TV Turnoff Week this week, until the 27th. I'm a bit ambivalent about this sort of consciousness awareness raising strategy, mostly because I believe it has no impact on the cultural consciousness whatsoever.

Look, not watching TV is interesting if you're a couch potato; maybe you'll learn something. But couch potatoes don't care about Adbusters. It's people who don't watch much TV to begin with, and who watch TV well and with a critical eye when they do, who end up participating in this annual hoopla, and they -- we -- aren't the ones who need it. Watching TV or not watching TV is invisible; it happens in your home, and unless you're one of the Nielsen families, no one will ever know.

It's kind of like helping the poor by leaving dollar bills around your house. Your kids will love you, and maybe you'll feel good about yourself, but that homeless guy down the street isn't going to be any less hungry.

I also feel that way about protest marching. So you get a five-second blip of the nightly news, one of a million shooting by the synapses of mass consciousness in a given day -- so what? No one saw you march but the marchers, and the subsequent mass media message surely got lost in the glutted infosphere. If you want to see effective protest, go for the staged iconographic approach -- make 'em think. Don't preach to the choir from your living room; you're only fooling yourself.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:30 AM |

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