Most people gaze neither into the past nor the future, they explore neither truth nor lies. They gaze at the television.
It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,A beautiful day for a neighbor.Would you be mine?Could you be mine?...It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,A neighborly day for a beauty.Would you be mine?Could you be mine?...I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.Since we're together we might as well say:Would you be mine?Could you be mine?Won't you be my neighbor?Won't you please,Won't you please?Please won't you be my neighbor?
I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,Go throw your TV set away,And in its place you can installA lovely bookshelf on the wall.Then fill the shelves with lots of books.
Calvin:It says here that 'religion is the opiate of the masses.'...what do you suppose that means?Television: ...it means that Karl Marx hadn't seen anything yet
If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence.
Television's perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles in the primeval ooze. You don't have to concentrate. You don't have to react. You don't have to remember. You don't miss your brain because you don't need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the man's nirvana. And if some poor nasty minded person comes along and says you look like a fly on a can of garbage, pay him no mind. He probably hasn't got the price of a television set.
There are different ways people make this place. Sweat, exercise and pain is one way. You can see them in the gyms, in the well-ordered swimming pools. You can see them jogging in the small, worn parks. Another way to make your place is TV. A bright, brash place, always well lit, full of fun and jokes that tell you when to laugh so you never miss them. World news carefully edited so that it’s not too disturbing, but disturbing enough to make you glad that you weren’t born in a foreign country. News with music to tell you who to hate, who to feel sorry for, and who laugh at.
In honor of Oprah Winfrey: Even greater than the ability to inspire others with hope is the power to motivate them to give as much to the lives of others as they would give to their own, and to empower them to confront the worst in themselves in order to discover and claim the best in themselves.
FRUITS AND NUTSKeep jumping around them like monkeys.The clones,Commercialized zombies,And the TV junkies.Keep throwing berries,Twigs,And nuts at them.Until they wake upTo see what's up And figure out whyWe're laughing at 'em.
People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don't like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy.
Reading, for me, is like this: consumptive, pleasing, calming, as much as edifying. It's how I feel after a good dinner. That's why I do it so often: It feels wonderful. The book is mind and I insert myself into it, cover it entire, ear my way through every last slash and dot. That's something you can do with a book, unlike television or movies or the Internet. You can eat it, or mark it, like a dog does on a hydrant.
I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit.
For those whose ganglia were formed pre-TV, the mimetic deployment of pop-culture icons seems at best an annoying tic and at worst a dangerous vapidity that compromises fiction's seriousness by dating it out of the Platonic Always, where it ought to reside.
You are more likely to find three TVs inside a randomly selected house than you are to find a single book that is or was not read to pass an exam, to please God, or to be a better cook.
Understanding knowledge as an essential element of love is vital because we are bombarded daily with messages that tell us love is about mystery, about that which cannot be known. We see movies in which people are represented as being in love who never talk with one another, who fall into bed without ever discussing their bodies, their sexual needs, their likes and dislikes. Indeed, the message is received from the mass media is that knowledge makes love less compelling; that it is ignorance that gives love its erotic and transgressive edge. These messages are brought to us by profiteering producers who have no clue about the art of loving, who substitute their mystified visions because they do not really know how to genuinely portray loving interaction.
On Friday night, I was reading my new book, but my brain got tired, so I decided to watch some television instead.
The problem with our society is that our values aren’t in the right place. There’s an awful lot of bleeding and naked bodies on prime-time networks, but not nearly enough cable television on public programming.
But though it had prevailed against such fierce adversaries as fire and flood, it had fallen victim softly and swiftly to television in the 1960's.
It's been suggested that if the super-naturalists really had the powers they claim, they'd win the lottery every week. I prefer to point out that they could also win a Nobel Prize for discovering fundamental physical forces hitherto unknown to science. Either way, why are they wasting their talents doing party turns on television?By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
Personally, I believe if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'd rather use film cameras and vinyl records and cathode ray tubes than any sort of the digital technology available. Look around! The streets are full of people who would rather have their eyes on their cell phones than on the world around them! Scientists are researching technology to erase specific memories from people! Our thrown-away digital technology is showing up overseas in huge piles of toxic heavy metals and plastic! And yet there are still people who keep wanting technology and the future to keep going. They dream of flying cars, or humanoid robots, of populated cities on Mars. But do we really NEED this stuff? Maybe before we try to keep turning our world into an episode of The Jetsons, we should focus more on the problems that are surprisingly being overlooked now more than ever. Before we design another stupid cell phone or build a flying car, let's put a stop to racism, to sexism, to homophobia, to war. Let's stop buying all our American products from sweat shops overseas and let's end poverty in third-world countries. Let's let film photography never go obsolete, let's let print books continue to be printed. Let's stop domestic violence and child abuse and prostitution and this world's heavy reliance on prescription drugs. Let's stop terrorism, let's stop animal cruelty, let's stop overpopulation and urbanization, let's stop the manufacture of nuclear weapons......I mean come on, we have all these problems to solve, but digital tech enthusiasts are more concerned that we don't have flying cars or robotic maids yet? That's pathetic.
Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.
Last week, I suggested the candidates take up mushrooms. I’ll be damned if Rick Perry didn’t take me up on that.
The serious reader in the age of technology is a rebel by definition: a protester without a placard, a Luddite without hammer or bludgeon. She reads on planes to picket the antiseptic nature of modern travel, on commuter trains to insist on individualism in the midst of the herd, in hotel rooms to boycott the circumstances that separate her from her usual sources of comfort and stimulation, during office breaks to escape from the banal conversation of office mates, and at home to revolt against the pervasive and mind-deadening irrelevance of television.
So I ask you: whose job is it in this country to wake up comatose parents? Someone better do it soon because knowing television's potential for harm and keeping that knowledge to ourselves instead of sharing it with parents amounts to covering up a land mine on a busy street.
Why is it these days that so many people hate reading? Some people won't even touch a newspaper or magazine. It isn't television that kills reading, or cinema or radio, or even those accursed little things known as video games. People used to read all the time, but when the century shifted subtly, somewhere along the way, people forgot how to imagine. When did it happen? At what point? Who or what is to blame? Maybe it's just because the world has become so cold and scientific and shallow in recent years.
Americans may say they love our accents (I have been accused of sounding 'like Princess Di') but the more thoughtful ones resent and rather dislike us as a nation and people, as friends of mine have found out by being on the edge of conversations where Americans assumed no Englishmen were listening.And it is the English, specifically, who are the targets of this. Few Americans have heard of Wales. All of them have heard of Ireland and many of them think they are Irish. Scotland gets a sort of free pass, especially since Braveheart re-established the Scots' anti-English credentials among the ignorant millions who get their history off the TV.
The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital. The live green earth is transformed into dead gold bricks, with luxury items for the few and toxic slag heaps for the many. The glittering mansion overlooks a vast sprawl of shanty towns, wherein a desperate, demoralized humanity is kept in line with drugs, television, and armed force.
If naturalists go to heaven (about which there is considerable ecclesiastical doubt), I hope that I will be furnished with a troop of kakapo to amuse me in the evening instead of television.