Friday, April 13, 2012

National Nasal Radio on TV

An NPR or (NPaaa) "media critic" today was lauding the greatness of Sunday TV this season. He nasally intones, "Despite what you anti-TV snobs say, Sundays have plenty of quality TV." Furthermore, the "quality" requires you buy the right technology (whatever the Sam Hill it is) so you can record programs airing at the same time.

Where to start? Invoking "TV snob" has no argumentative force. If seeking the highest quality of things in life means being a "snob," then, fine: I am a snob. It does not mean I am wrong. The classic book on television is Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death.

"Quality TV" is wrong for (at least two reasons). First, the medium itself is limited; it exalts the image above the word all the time, no matter what. (See J. Ellul, The Humiliation of the Word.) Second, saying that something is "quality X," says only that it possessing qualities or properties. Everything that exists fits this description (and, therefore, there can be no Nirguna Brahman, the quality-less absolute in one form of Hinduism) and perhaps even fictional beings, as in "Aslan is strong." One needs to be specific as to what kind of quality.

I cannot go on. "Stupidity roams the world."