CMNS 110 Chapter Notes -Marshall Mcluhan

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
Simon Fraser University
CMNS 110
Fear and Self Loathing in Couchland: 8 Myths about Television
- tv is the dominant medium for info and entertainment in this generation
Myth #1: TV is a neutral medium.
o tv is not a neutral medium
o not just a vessel for content
o a medium extends our senses and changes our experiences/world (McLuhan)
o mediums come loaded with biases
o tv is a time based medium and dominated by advertising
o visual medium
Myth #2: tv is controlled by individuals
o because tv is a time based medium it is not controlled by individuals but by the strict
time schedule of the medium
o every field has internal norms of rationality that determine what makes sense
o rules of the structure are what controls tv
Myth #3: Tv is democratic
o tv based on ratings
o assumed viewer is stupid and easily entertained
o 2 choices: give them what they want, or slip some quality past them
o myth because viewers feeling/wants are pre-determined by experience and
Myth #4: tv is all junk
o tv is a flexible medium, not all junk
o because tv’s main focus is entertainment it affects the information we get
o people begin to hate themselves for not being able to fix the problems on/with tv. begin
to hate themselves, especially critics
Myth #5: tv is responsible for the world’s evils
o what is interesting to viewers?
a thought they already had or is easily accepted
o tv takes the blame when really there was a multitude of causes
o myth caused by “experts” with bad analyses
o people look for the simple solution, easy to blame
o don’t make quick judgements
Myth #6: you can talk about tv on tv
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