One of the main activities that American’s participate in during their free time is watching the television. Since its invention over sixty years ago, the television has been a source of enjoyment and information for the American citizen (Pember, 1981). Though what one sees on the television is not what one should always believe. Many people look at television with the “camera never lies” attitude, and are easily manipulated by this medium. People are manipulated by television because most television programming is controlled by a small number of companies, this is a main source of information, and people all too often trust what they witness in the media. Because television is controlled by an oligolistic market, the few companies that do control television programming are able to benefit from a great deal of selectivity, and would not put something on a news cast that would harm their business. The media is also able to manipulate people because television is one of the main sources of information in this country; from local news casts, to news related magazines like 20/20 and Dateline. These programs show a very limited view of the facts due to time restraints and company wide bias (Kaufman, 1998). And many people do not question what they witness on news shows, which can be very detrimental the their own knowledge of the facts. These three causes promote a society where the media many times has the upper hand in directing people’s decisions, and therefore manipulating society as a whole.
In the modern era, with cable and satellite television there is wide array of programming to choose from. A television connected to the latest technology can receive over 200 channels. Many pe…
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…dia significantly effects many of the decisions that we make in our lives, and the media has learned to control how American citizens think and behave. There is no wonder that what we see on television is called “programming.”
Bagdikian, B. (1983) The Media Monopoly pp. xv, 4, 187
Kaufman, R. (1998) “Review of Jerry Mander’s Four Arguments For The Elimination Of elevision”
availible online: http://www.netreach.net/~kaufman/
Mander, J. (1977) Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television
Review by Kaufman, R. availible on line: http://www.netreach.net/~kaufman/
Mann, J. (1982) “What is TV doing to America,” Impact of Mass Media pp. 25-27
Pember, D. (1981) Mass Media in America pp. 178, 181
Stevetwt (1998) “Media Watch” availible online: http://www.infoasis.com/www/people/stevetwt/Media/media_watch.html
Stone’s Cynicism Exposed in Natural Born Killers
Stone’s Cynicism Exposed in Natural Born Killers
As a hardworking college student living (without a TV) in this impenetrable Gothic galaxy, I am usually quite oblivious to popular culture. I was not even aware of the barrage of hype surrounding the release of Natural Born Killers. My attention was directed belatedly to the movie by a letter from a friend in which she lamented the present state of humanity – or lack thereof. And yet, I still stayed away from the movie for over a month despite my knowledge that it would be at the very least thought-provoking. I’ve learned that I have not been desensitized to images of violence, perhaps because of my earlier-mentioned insulation from pop culture. However, I was intent on listening to what Oliver Stone had to say. So last night I spent the entire 100 minutes of the film curled in my seat, my head in my hands.
Now that I’ve seen the movie, I’m left with questions_questions which kept my body shifting in bed all last night and my mind shifting from work all day today. Questions about life, death, humanity, and efficacy. Big questions, giant_the kind that could keep me in my own world for weeks if they weren’t constantly forcing me to look at the world around me. This is an article of questions, of seeking answers, of wondering if, indeed, there are answers.
Stone’s film is extreme in every way. Extreme in its violence. Extreme in its visual imagery, flashing hyper-speed bits of reality which don’t quite register in one’s mind. Extreme in its sit-com presentation of an abusive family as the ordinary stuff of entertainment. Extreme in its depiction of mass-murderers revered as icons of popular culture. Extreme in the banality with which the killers approach their crime.
Perhaps this extremity is what caused me to react so strongly to the film at first. The impact has by now lost its initial force, and I’m able to attempt to evaluate that impact. I feel ambivalent about the success of the movie, and by success, I mean neither monetary value nor entertainment value. I mean whether or not Stone was effective in conveying his message. In my estimation, he definitely had a message. It seems impossible to me that anyone could exit this movie not understanding that Stone is criticizing the glorification of violence. If the