Anti-TV Books


For quite a while I had been uneasy with the huge amount of TV I was watching (no more than the American average, which of course is quite a bit). And, for quite a while I had been meaning to read “Bowling Alone”.

Finally, I managed to slog my way through the book. “Bowling Alone” is filled with fascinating ideas, but the writing is pretty dry. At that point I didn’t stop watching TV, but I did come to the decision that I wanted to radically cut back.

I excitedly told my hubby about my momentous decision and argued that he too should give up TV. Anyway, his response was basically “yes dear, good thinking, wonderful idea, you go ahead”. In other words, he wasn’t convinced.

Over the next year or two, I read a number of anti-TV books and described them, in detail, to my long-suffering husband. The upshot, is that he still watches TV, but very little, and a lot less than he used to.

So, if you want to learn more, or are just curious as to why anyone would be so crazy as to reject the wonderful invention that is TV, here is my list of excellent anti-TV books.

Note: of all the anti-TV books, by far my favorite is “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business” by Neil Postman.

Anyone out there have a favorite anti-TV book you would recommend?

Click on image for list (Amazon Listmania):

anti-tv

4 Responses to “Anti-TV Books”

  1. hubby Says:

    A word from the hubby who has been around since the days of pre-cable television when most homes had a motor-driven antennae to pick up those precious signals from a handful of local stations to share the wonder and technology that brought us Ralph Kramden and Bonanza. My grandmother had rabbit ears and with those you could improve the signal by picking them up and walking around. To recall that era when television was new and exciting and promised new wonders is a wistful look back to an era when cars had tailfins and long division was done manually. Early critics warned that television could impair cognitive development; particularly in young children and they were seen as gloomy cynics who were out of touch with modern thinking.

    Now cable television, flat screen technology, cameras in every pocket and antennas replaced by satellite dishes have elevated television to an all pervasive role that truly does shape our world in ways not at all good for us. I’m fortunate that television wasn’t a big deal when I was going to grade school; lucky that there were playgrounds everywhere, minor sports activities of all types, after school activities and the bookmobile.

    Reading and little theater have been replaced by MTV and the novelty of a two-part television episode has long since given way to scripted TV Reality series which shape our realities for us by beckoning to us every week. For our part all we need to do is disengage; park our brain in neutral and buy the soap.

    My blessings really that I was pushed a little bit to knock off the tube time. There’s really no way around it and the science is rock solid. Television does not make us smarter. If that was true we would have solved a whole range of pressing world issues by now. Instead we have a medium that shapes our perceptions to the point where a large portion of Americans now believe that torture is acceptable. (Compliments of shows like 24.)

    Lucky for all of us that Terry has worked so hard to create a top-notch web site in terms of solid content and resources. Her energetic advocacy for using our limited time wisely has certainly been an inspiration to me and I’m sure that her website has inspired many to live more creatively.

  2. Chris Says:

    Nice list!

    And yes, “Amusing Ourselves to Death…” fits right in with a great article in Alternet discussing, “Is America’s Love Affair with Stupidity Finally Over?” and our relationship with not so bright television…

    http://www.alternet.org/story/119283/is_america%27s_love_affair_with_stupidity_finally_over/?page=entire

    Hopefully, the lets start using our brain cells “boot camp” starts in a few days!!! (I have a feeling there are going to be some sore brains as the first days of training are encountered…)

    Cheers,

    Chris

  3. terry33 Says:

    Hey Hubby! Thanks for your kind words.

    Yes, I do think we’ve both been more creative since (mostly) turning off the TV, and happier too!

  4. terry33 Says:

    Chris wrote:

    “And yes, “Amusing Ourselves to Death…” fits right in with a great article in Alternet discussing, “Is America’s Love Affair with Stupidity Finally Over?” and our relationship with not so bright television…”

    It’s been pretty scary seeing just how dumb a TV-based society can get.

    “Hopefully, the lets start using our brain cells “boot camp” starts in a few days!!! (I have a feeling there are going to be some sore brains as the first days of training are encountered…)”

    Ha, very true about the sore brains. I don’t think we are quite at the “boot camp” level, but at least a substantial minority of Americans has gotten off the proverbial brain cell couch.


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