Weapon of Mass Instruction
Philo Farnsworth may not have known in the beginning just how fundamentally different his invention that began in a high school in Rigby, Idaho, would change the world.
During the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War, every living room in the United States could have access to information as it happened! The atrocities of mob rule in the South and the mismanagement and propaganda about Vietnam created a cultural movement that disconnected an entire generation of White children culturally from their parents! It is significant that the majority population participated in the cultural revolution that took place because of the images broadcast over television sets. The public having access to the atrocity of wars and the degradation of entire peoples change the relationship of victims and oppressors. What would have occurred had television been a factor in the American Civil War?
Free love and free sex became the norm in society as love for all and acceptance of all possible practice and school of thought. Thousands of all races banded together to protest the government and defy cultural norms by participating in unmarried sex and mind altering drugs.
The death of Christian controlled value systems began because television broadcast what the prevailing concept morality at the time did in The American South and such places. It was moral to discriminate. Television helped to change that.
Television is its Own Culture
Many people have developed what is now called a television accent. It means that individuals with this ability could hide cultural heritage associated with the accent of origin -New York, The South, etcetera. I have been accused of having a television accent, and I do. I can hide the fact that I am Black by the way I speak unless the listener has a trained ear to listen for subtleties that will betray my deception. Why do Latin youth or youth of Asian heritage usually sound different than their parents? Television is the answer! School also, but that is a different topic. We are the new mixed cultured brats of America!
It took a hundred years to change things before TV and Radio--at least a hundred years! People do not have to wait for a cultural experience anymore. All we need to do is turn on the flat-screen and absorb the information and misinformation. Well, misinformation is a coined phrase. Information is information whether it is correct or incorrect.
Television helps to bridge or destroy cultural gaps. Now, the White teen can look at Black Entertainment Television (BET) and get a warped version of Black culture. White culture has been warped by Leave it To Beaver and Married With Children.
Do you think that Television has helped shape American culture?
Leave It To Beaver to Single White Female: Explanation of the Disintegration of the Nuclear Family On Television
Leave it to Beaver was a cultural idea of how America views itself--White, middle class, father working, and mother taking care of home. That's when television was trying to promote the idea of tradition and values instead of entertainment only.
Television was a cultural bombshell that affected a few generations and still does today. The idea of the Nuclear Family is an American concept. Before industrialization in the US, the Nuclear family did not exist. Father, Mother, sister, brother and relatives for generations lived near or with each other and worked on farms together to eek out an existence.
As our standard of living increased and our population changed and diversified after the Emancipation Proclamation, the family evolved into the Nuclear Family as the need for all to work to survive diminished. Television and radio helped to reinforce the idea of the Nuclear Family. The Nuclear family is still the idea, but after years of failures, media has turned to portraying the Nuclear Family with much more dysfunction.
Whites became the happy-go-lucky people who were always honest, and Blacks became the ghetto poor who could not make it. Latins became doughy-eyed people that could not understand the language. Asians became bad drivers. Women became empowered, and men became bumbling fools! Can I say, Homer Simpson?!
(I know the subtitle sounds like it could be a dissertation.)
No Small wonder some Blacks go around calling each other n****rs if it is in the music and entertainment as well as the culture. Entertainment reinforces the behavior! TV had help consolidate the different ethnicities carved out of slavery that became the Black Americans as one big Black cultural group!
Small wonder that some White kids curse their parents out because it is socially acceptable to give kids room to express themselves--thanks to the Civil Rights and other Movements (And by thanks I mean thanks for giving me a fighting chance, but now every questionable behavior and thought from every culture is being re-examined under the light of having rights to do what ever feels good and comes to mind!).
Television helps to move the culture forward. The internet helps to move it fast and broader!That is another topic, however.
Do you think that Television has changed the world for the good?
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© 2013 Rodric Anthony Johnson