For Buffy Neophytes and Fans

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Thu Feb 25 13:36:04 PST 1999

Apsken at wrote:

>Doug wrote,
>"How can you understand American society without a TV? Assuming you have any
>interest in understanding American society, of course."
>I don't have a television, but I have never felt out of touch with American
>society. On the other hand, plenty of what I read on the Internet makes me
>wonder where the on-line world connects with reality.
>I'm particularly surprised to see this from Doug, since he added a dose of
>reality when others were urging him to be our Marxist savior via tube

I don't remember the exact numbers, but the average American watches 4-8 hours of TV a day, and something like 98% of U.S. households (including around 90% of poor households) have TVs. It's the way most people get their news. It's a major way fashion and popular culture are disseminated. Phrases from ads enter the language, and ads themselves do a lot to fetishize the commodity. As the old man said, when an ideology grips the mind of the masses it becomes a material force, and TV has a lot to do with the process. This all seems painfully obvious to me - am I missing something?


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