virus: The Culture of TV

Tim Rhodes (
Tue, 5 Aug 1997 10:40:23 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 5 Aug 1997, Reed Konsler wrote:

> Tim wrote:
> >What about the accompanying cultures of TV or the Internet?
> >
> >Relevant? Good, bad, or indifferent?
> Provide an example? I don't understand the question.
> Do you mean the "Body of TV" as all Catholics are
> sometimes referred to as the "Body of Christ"?

That may be a way of looking at it. I'm surprised you're not conscious of
the Culture of TV. But then, these things always seem invisible from the

Try this experiment: Have a party or a small social gathering. Once
people are interacting and conversing, turn on a TV. Now sit back and
observe the transformation of conversation (or sudden lack of) in the

Or this: Pay attention to how often the people you talk with use examples
from TV to define themselves. "It was just like on that episode of
Seinfeld where..."

There is a Culture of TV that is just cohesive and unique (possibly
moreso) as the Culture of Hip-Hop or the Culture of Drugs or even the
Culture of Academia.

I have a friend that was raised without a TV in his house and has never
watched TV for more than 5 minutes at a time (usually subjected to it by
friends) He's 35 now. It's amazing to me how often a group of people
will be talking and he'll say, "So where did you meet this `Jerry' guy?"
"Meet? Um, well he's on TV...he has this show, see..."
"TV? Oh, it sounded like you were talking about someone you all knew. You
seem to know more about him than you do about each other."


-Prof. Tim