For Buffy Neophytes and Fans

William S. Lear rael at
Thu Feb 25 15:12:58 PST 1999

On Thursday, February 25, 1999 at 16:36:04 (-0500) Doug Henwood writes:
>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

Just one minor addendum: another way to look at this is that TV is poor continuing education for a poorly educated citizenry. I think TV should be coupled with education, at least at some point, when we analyze it. A good deal of TV is (anti-)educative...

I remember some poll done somewhere that compared the average European (Swedish?) citizen's grasp of salient political issues against that of the Average American's. The gap was breathtaking. Largely due, if I remember, to the Swedish having media that in part actually represented portions of the population --- labor channel or some such.


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