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Regardless of whether the contents of NBC’s new fall lineup have progressed intellectually or further succumbed to the superficial pleasures that constitute the abstract spiritual force known as “good television” – and taking into consideration the fact that TV has begun to invade our free time outside our living rooms thanks to streaming content and truly unforeseeable advancements in telephonic technology – the core philosophy of television, as outlined by the man whose birthname is remarkably synonymous with the very term for one of television’s many manipulative powers, remains the same, In accordance with the incessant referencing of lit-savvy Mc Luhan and the observational analyses of social, psychological, and political manipulation put forth by Gerry, er, Jerry Mander, this list offers wholly unscientific evidence in support of Mander’s claims in the form of ten real-life examples of instances in which screenwriters (with varying degrees of awareness) were inspired to illustrate the mind-altering intrusion of television’s soft glow on their hapless personas.The two unspoken tenets of television which have traditionally set the medium apart from movies, music, and literature are the established corporate powers that mediate all of television’s content to everyone with access to network programming, and the necessity for all of television’s content to be presented in a way that is optimally engaging and, thus, lucrative.As the result of his imminent severance from his network due to poor ratings, newscaster Howard Beale unwittingly finds himself with a growing amount of freedom on air after ditching his script during a newscast to announce his imminent suicide.Consequently, he utilizes his allotted air time for a public apology to shed light on the “bullshit” of his profession, earning him the national spotlight, his own program to vent his frustrations to all of America, and, of course, a nationally-renowned catch phrase.Such unnecessary necessities aided in capitalism’s redefining of “value,” for which every square inch of the natural world must be exploited.

More recent works postdating any credible research on the effects of screen activity on the human brain such as Steven Johnson’s Everything Bad is Good for You (which defends pop culture’s increasing complexity, completely misses the point of Mc Luhan) and Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows (which applies medium-as-message theory to the internet, isn’t totally pessimistic) counteract much of the dystopian postulations put forth by Mander, who mostly cites Brave New World and 1984 as sources.Such items are made to seem important by the subliminality of their promotion – where “SALE” translates to “CONSUME” and “ACT NOW” means “OBEY” – and are presented as stepping stones in the universal quest to marry, reproduce, and stave off all independent thought.As They Live observes most famously in its five-and-a-half-minute hand-to-hand combat scene, the perceived insanity of those unable to fit this social arrangement must face the tedium of resistance involved in overthrowing the mindset of passivity sown deep into the individual consumer.“Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one,” wrote journalist A. Liebling, and in a time of viral videos and a tightly-knit global village, television remains the foremost widely-available medium which maintains the press’s exclusivity.While humans have been living in man-made environments for millennia, these manufactured spaces have only recently become mediated by panoramic capitalistic insignia overdosing American culture with edenic projections of wealth and comfort with an incomprehensible focus on selling a pre-packaged way of life over individual products.

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