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Television And Media Essay Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Tv

2890 words - 12 pages

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television


Television technology has been a controversial issue since its debut in the early 1940s. In order to fully understand any controversial issue, one must be presented with both the pro and the con sides of the issue. One must understand and be able to argue both sides of the issue in order to become a successful and well-educated person. Being a member of the pro-technological society, one is well educated on the pro side of this issue. That is, the positive effects that television technology has on society: Television's entertainment value, the ability to get "up to the minute" news coverage from around the world, and the uses of television as an educational tool. In order to understand the con side of this issue, one can look at the work Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, by Jerry Mander. This work provides four strong arguments against the television technology and gives reasons why the technology should be eradicated. Through the study of this work, one can become better equipped to argue the con side of the issue, thus becoming a well-educated member of society, conscious of the effects that television has on him/her.


Mander was a poor child growing up in the Lower East Side of New York City. His parents were immigrants who had escaped from pogroms in Eastern Europe. His father did many odd jobs during their initial years in America. He worked hard at anything in order to keep life together. His father's success came to him during World War II. He was beyond the draft age, and so he was able to do successful trade business in manufacturing uniforms for the military.


When it was time for Mander to pick a career, he saw something "flashier" for himself. He did not find that following in his father's business would fulfill this criterion. When Mander thought "carrier", he saw images of "big cars, white yachts, the polished people on them and the life of leisure and pleasure: The Dream." (Mander, 15) Since many of these images were presented to Mander through the use of advertisements, the world of advertising seemed like a good choice. By 1966, much of Mander's "Dream" was realized; By then he had become a member of a fairly large advertising firm in San Francisco: Freeman, Mander and Gossage. This firm had many "class" clients which included: Triumph, Land Rover, Paul Masson, KLH audio equipment, Scientific American, and Random House publishing. Mander was able to "commute coast to coast weekly, take five-day vacations in Tahiti, eating only in French restaurants, jetting to Europe for a few days' skiing." (Mander, 15)


In 1968, during a trip through the Dalmatian Straits, while observing the beautiful scenery, Mander came to a horrifying revelation; He felt nothing. He was unmoved by the spectacular scenery. At this point, Mander realized that the fast paced lifestyle he was living caused him to become...

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