Tag Archives: TV



Social Media Is Killing Discourse 

Because It’s Too Much Like TV

We need more text and fewer videos and memes in the age of Trump.

November 29, 2016

music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO6qcRdedck 

An excerpt:

“… social media represents the ultimate ascendance of television over other media.

I’ve been warning about this since November 2014, when I was freed from six years of incarceration in Tehran, a punishment I received for my online activism in Iran. Before I went to prison, I blogged frequently on what I now call the open Web: it was decentralized, text-centered, and abundant with hyperlinks to source material and rich background. It nurtured varying opinions. It was related to the world of books.

Then for six years I got disconnected; when I left prison and came back online, I was confronted by a brave new world. Facebook and Twitter had replaced blogging and had made the Internet like TV: centralized and image-centered, with content embedded in pictures, without links.

Like TV it now increasingly entertains us, and even more so than television it amplifies our existing beliefs and habits. It makes us feel more than think, and it comforts more than challenges. The result is a deeply fragmented society, driven by emotions, and radicalized by lack of contact and challenge from outside….

Neil Postman provided some clues about this in his illuminating 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. The media scholar at New York University saw then how television transformed public discourse into an exchange of volatile emotions that are usually mistaken by pollsters as opinion. One of the scariest outcomes of this transition, Postman wrote, is that television essentially turns all news into disinformation.

“Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information—misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information—information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing … The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.” (Emphasis added.) And, Postman argued, when news is constructed as a form of entertainment, it inevitably loses its function for a healthy democracy. “I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?…”

Hossein Derakshan (@h0d3r) is an Iranian-Canadian author, media analyst, and performance artist who lives in Tehran. Find his latest project, an exploration of the intersection of performance art and journalism, at @talkingtagsart.


Posted by Michele Kearney at 7:47 AM  


The Magic of the Book: Hermann Hesse on Why We Read and Always Will




Must read:


via Naked Capitalism




On page 27 and 28, in Lesson #3, Read Your Head Off, in Patty Dann’s book “The Butterfly Hours” :


“Read books and magazines and the labels on the backs of cereal boxes. In Beloved, Toni Morrison wrote that one of her characters died “soft as cream.” You can’t use that brilliant line, but when a sentence like that is in your mouth, there is a possibility you’ll find another to offer to the gods.

People often switch genres as they get older, of what they write but also of what they read. They will say “I don’t know why I am suddenly reading poetry” or “I’ve given up reading fiction altogether.” People are often surprised or even uncomfortable, as if they’d suddenly begun an illicit affair if they switch writing or reading certain genres. “But I always loved fiction,” they say. It is as true as swimming in a lake where the water suddenly changes temperature. It can be unsettling, but the oldest students in my class, those in their nineties, just smile and say “And it will change again. You will see.”

Genre does not matter, as long as you’re reading. If you’re not reading, you’re not writing. Reading is part of your daily devotion if you are a writer. When you read as a writer, it is different than reading for pleasure.  You are studying the craft, just as an artist must go to the museums to see the great masters, and a musician must listen to Mozart and Miles Davis, and everyone should read Vincent’s letters to his brother, Theo

When you read as a writer, read a sentence and try to imagine the sounds, the touch, the taste, the smells the writer is writing about. As you write, you put yourself back together.”



An observation in this age of social media, driven by TV, Hollywood and other practices of the creation of a “brand”, is that brand image is the new battleground for supremacy of information. The mainstream media have been knocked off their high perch and, while the pre-season scrimmaging for audience share and recognition has been underway for some time now, the new ratings period is open.  The New York Times is selling its office space, oligarchs are venturing into news company ownership and web site creation, and ioncreasingly we see competition for who should be seen as the premier purveyor of acuracy.

Everyone, before and after the numerous infilitrations, was and is responsible for their own minds.

What we are witnessing is the Oprahfication of truth. The hapless reader is asked, nay being forced, to choose between the Kardsashans of investigative journalism and the others.

It’s just the latest variant or extension of contempt for your own ability to read, decide, and more.  Indeed, along with the Oprahs and her offspring, the Kardashian sub-industry, “reality TV”, revamped and re-packaged TV news, and dozens of other choices, it’s a battle for where and how you should place your attention.

The book “Deep Survival” will explain the real importance of attention.

Eric Booth’s “The Everyday Work of Art” stands as a pinnacle.

Find a copy of Terry Orlick’s interview with the world-class cardiothoracic surgeon Curt Tribble, M.D., in which he discusses the ability to function with an element of uncertainty, the critical importance of focus and distraction control, and the ability to deal with sub-optimal outcomes, all relevant to any pursuit of excellence.

It has been said that the information we allow into our consciousness is what determines, in the end, the content and quality of our lives.


Leonard Bernstein on Cynicism, Instant Gratification, and Why Paying Attention Is a Countercultural Act of Courage and Rebellion


explaining news to kids

explaining news to kids

I woke up this morning clutching desperately for something that would stem the sinus drainage that I developed in the middle of the night, jotted down a shopping list for more nose-related sundries, and opened up my window into the world to find this enticing article on how to explan the news to our kids.

I’m still trying to find the best ways to explain the news to grown adults but the idea of tender and vulnerable minds watching what gets put on the telly is intriguing. (WGN offers up a logo that suggests its eager to put more violent garbage in front of you, to say nothing of the other pablum and lies that abound in that medium.)  My own thoughts and reactions will follow, but here’s the article:



Explaining the News to Our Kids

Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media 

Fri Aug 8, 4:45 PM UTC 

Kids get their news from many sources—and they’re not always correct. How to talk about the news—and listen, too.

Shootings, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, end-of-the-world predictions—even local news reports of missing kids and area shootings—all of this can be upsetting news even for adults, much less kids. In our 24/7 news world, it’s become nearly impossible to shield kids from distressing current events.

Today, kids get news from everywhere. This constant stream of information shows up in sharable videos, posts, blogs, feeds, and alerts. And since much of this content comes from sites that are designed for adult audiences, what your kids see, hear, or read might not always be age appropriate. Making things even more challenging is the fact that many kids are getting this information directly on their phones and laptops. Often parents aren’t around to immediately help their children make sense of horrendous situations.

The bottom line is that young kids simply don’t have the ability to understand news events in context, much less know whether or not a source of information is credible. And while older teens are better able to understand current events, even they face challenges when it comes to sifting fact from opinion—or misinformation.

No matter how old your kid is, threatening or upsetting news can affect them emotionally. Many can feel worried, frightened, angry — even guilty. And these anxious feelings can last long after the news event is over. So what can you do as a parent to help your kids deal with all of this information?


Reassure your children that they’re safe. Tell your kids that even though a story is getting a lot of attention, it was just one event and was most likely a very rare occurrence. And remember that your kids will look to the way you handle your reactions to determine their own approach. If you stay calm and considered, they will, too.


Keep the news away. Turn off the TV and radio news at the top of the hour and half hour. Read the newspaper out of range of young eyes that can be frightened by the pictures. Preschool children don’t need to see or hear about something that will only scare them silly, especially because they can easily confuse facts with fantasies or fears.

At this age, kids are most concerned with your safety and separation from you. They’ll also respond strongly to pictures of other young children in jeopardy. Try not to minimize or discount their concerns and fears, but reassure them by explaining all the protective measures that exist to keep them safe. If you’re flying somewhere with them, explain that extra security is a good thing


Carefully consider your child’s maturity and temperament.Many kids can handle a discussion of threatening events, but if your children tend toward the sensitive side, be sure to keep them away from the TV news; repetitive images and stories can make dangers appear greater, more prevalent, and closer to home.

At this age, many kids will see the morality of events in stark black-and-white terms and are in the process of developing their moral beliefs. You may have to explain the basics of prejudice, bias, and civil and religious strife. But be careful about making generalizations, since kids will take what you say to the bank. This is a good time to ask them what they know, since they’ll probably have gotten their information from friends, and you may have to correct facts.

You might explain that even news programs compete for viewers, which sometimes affects content decisions. If you let your kids use the Internet, go online with them. Some of the pictures posted are simply grisly. Monitor where your kids are going, and set your URLs to open to non-news-based portals.


Check in. Since, in many instances, teens will have absorbed the news independently of you, talking with them can offer great insights into their developing politics and their senses of justice and morality. It will also give you the opportunity to throw your own insights into the mix (just don’t dismiss theirs, since that will shut down the conversation immediately).

Many teens will feel passionately about events and may even personalize them if someone they know has been directly affected. They’ll also probably be aware that their own lives could be impacted by terrorist tactics. Try to address their concerns without dismissing or minimizing them. If you disagree with media portrayals, explain why so that your teens can separate the mediums through which they absorb news from the messages conveyed.

Additional resources: For more information on how to talk to your kids about a recent tragedy please visit the National Association of School Psychologists or the American Psychological Association.

© 2014 Common Sense Media, Inc. All rights reserved.



Here’s my alternative approach:


Turn off the TV and tell the kids to go out and play.

Turn off the TV and read a good book to them. 

Take them to a museum, or on a hike. 

If they whine and carry on, get them invested in reading, community and after-school ventures in creativity, drama, the arts, photography, athletics, the worlds of science, technology and math.

When they get old enough to understand:

Explain the concept of media concentration (see notes 1 and 2).

Explain what propaganda is (see notes 3, 4 and especially 5), as well as this book.  Explain something about the history of Bernaysian thought and application; a trip to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays will probably suffice for openers, especially if you get the connection between “Torches of Freedom” and the incidence of lung cancer.

Explain the rudimentary concepts of perception management (see notes 6, 7, 8 and 9).

When you feel the child is ready (probably at least deep into high school), you can consider introducing them to information warfare (note 10), and then venture as you dare into the topics of  thought control, psychological warfare, mind control and mind wars

Tell them all about Operation Mockingbird (notes 11, 12, 13 and 14), the law that approves domestic propaganda (note 15), and how the CIA circulated a memo that set out the idea of a “conspiracy theory”  for the first time (note 16) right after they killed the President of the United States and before they killed the leading candidate for peace and reform emerging from out of the Presidential primary process. 

Explain the relationship of news to entertainment and vice versa (notes 17, 18 and 19), how the movies and TV shows aid perception, the role of the CIA in Hollywood (notes 20, 21 and 22), the links between Zionism and Hollywood (notes 23, 24 and 25), the links between Zionism and terrorism (notes 26, 27, 28 and 29), Operation Gladio (notes 30, 31, 32 and 33), and the silent sound technology built in to HDTV (notes 34 and 35 ) and the surveillance tools built in to smart TV’s (notes 36, 37 and 38 ).

Give them a short primer in the emergence of a secret, centuries-long plan starting in an obscure group in Bavaria called Perfectibilists into a secret exclusive fraternity at Yale that since the 1830’s has placed in control virtually every major large-group society, publishing venture or non-governmental organization under the control of people whose allegiance seems sworn to Luciferianism, including the American Psychology Association. You can read all about it for free with a 14-day trial at Scribd. 

Finally, after securing your child to a board and holding them upside down under a faucet, ask them if they have done their homework.  [Refresh their memory about the use of the term “hot and cold running images”.]

Then explain the ties between the American Psychological Association and the use of torture in American prisons (see notes 39, 40 and 41) and ask them if they want that organization to provide tips on how they should watch TV and understand the news.


  1. http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6?op=1 

2) http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1118&context=aulr [“Media Concentration: A Case of Power, Ego, and Greed Confronting Our Sensibilities”]

3) http://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/gi-roundtable-series/pamphlets/what-is-propaganda 

4) http://changingminds.org/techniques/propaganda/propaganda_is.htm 

5) http://www.schooljournalism.org/recognizing-types-of-propaganda-in-advertising/ 

6) http://www.scribd.com/doc/53678637/Basic-Concept-of-Perception 

7) http://www.scribd.com/doc/25022575/The-Concept-of-Perception 

8) http://www.csc.kth.se/~ronniej/pubs/perception_management.pdf 

9) http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/12/30/endless-war-and-victory-perception-management 

10) http://inform.nu/Articles/Vol9/v9p213-223Hutchinson64.pdf 

11) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=The_CIA_and_journalism 

12) http://whale.to/b/mockingbird.html 

13) http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Wurlitzer 

14) http://investmentwatchblog.com/cnns-anderson-cooper-admits-working-for-the-cia-operation-mockingbird-asset-exposed/ 

15) http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5?op=1 

16) http://memoryholeblog.com/2013/01/20/cia-document-1035-960-foundation-of-a-weaponized-term/ 

17) http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/26/business/media-at-cbs-the-lines-between-news-and-entertainment-grow-fuzzier.html 

18) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/16/arts/television/george-stephanopoulos-and-the-line-between-news-and-entertainment.html?_r=0 

19) https://www.princeton.edu/~mprior/Prior2005.News%20v%20Entertainment.AJPS.pdf  [“… greater media choice makes it easier for people to find their preferred content. People who like news take advantage of abundant political information to become more knowledgeable and more likely to turn out. In contrast, people who prefer entertainment abandon the news and become less likely to learn about politics….”] 

20) http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/01/28/hollywood-and-the-cia-a-dark-marriage-revealed/ 

21) http://www.salon.com/2013/02/28/is_hollywood_secretly_in_bed_with_the_cia_partner/ 

22) http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/jencia [The CIA in Hollywood: How The Agency Shapes Film and Television]

23) http://www.whale.to/c/jews_and_hollywood.html 

24) http://www.whale.to/c/jewish_media_control.html 

25) http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/09/the-connection-between-zionism-and-organized-islamophobia-the-facts/ 

26) http://www.whale.to/b/zionists.html 

27) http://www.serendipity.li/zionism/israel_terr.htm 

28) http://rense.com/general21/pastzionist.htm [Don’t expect any Hollywood films highlighting any of these massacres committed by Jewish-Zionist terrorists, notably by the Zionist Hagana, Irgun and Stern Gang groups.]

29) http://www.ihr.org/books/ztn.html 

30) http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA%20Hits/Gladio_CIAHits.html 

31) http://www.globalresearch.ca/operation-gladio-cia-network-of-stay-behind-secret-armies/9556 

32) https://www.danieleganser.ch/assets/files/Inhalte/Interviews/Zeitungsinterviews/pdf_05/EIR_Interview_Gladio_and_911_08.04.05.pdf 

33) http://wideshut.co.uk/gladio-b-the-origins-of-natos-secret-islamic-terrorist-proxies/ 

34) http://proliberty.com/observer/20090118.htm

35) http://wariscrime.com/new/digital-tv-mind-control-by-the-sound-of-silence/ 

36) http://www.pcworld.com/article/2889472/samsung-faces-complaint-in-us-ftc-over-smart-tv-surveillance.html 

37 https://www.rt.com/usa/smart-tv-security-access-092/ 

38) http://www.networkworld.com/article/2225091/microsoft-subnet/black-hat–smart-tvs-are-the–perfect-target–for-spying-on-you.html 

39) http://radioboston.wbur.org/2015/07/21/apa-pentagon 

40) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/us/report-says-american-psychological-association-collaborated-on-torture-justification.html 

41) https://theintercept.com/2015/07/14/cia-involving-psychologists-torture-sounds-bad-ok/ 


source of image: 



Suggested reading to put the emphasis back on the proper development of your child as a sentient intelligent creative and empathetic being:

Seven Times Smarter: 50 Activities, Games and Projects to Develop the Seven Intelligences of Your Child, Laurel Schmidt, Three Rivers Press, New York 2001. [If you want a pearl, you have to put a grain of sand in the shell.]

Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All In Your Head, Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., Great Ocean Publishers, Arlington, VA 1995. [The author is a nationally-recognized neuropsychologist and educator. This is a fascinating, very readable and

important book on neuroscience, educational kinesiology and the brain/body connection as it affects us in learning, in performance, at work, and in society. It explains several basic BrainGym exercises, very simple techniques anyone can use to enhance their lives in innumerable ways.]

Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People, Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, Houghton Mifflin, New York. 1999. [The primary tools are observing, imaging, abstracting, recognizing patterns, forming patterns, analogizing, body thinking, empathizing and dimensional thinking; the integrative tools are modeling,

playing, transforming and synthesizing.]

The Everyday Work of Art: How Artistic Experience Can Transform Your Life, Eric Booth, Sourcebooks, Napierville, Illinois 1997.

How To Be, Do, or Have Anything: A Practical Guide to Creative Empowerment, Laurence G. Boldt, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA 2001.

Becoming Adult: How Teenagers Prepare for the World of Work, Mihaly Csikszentmthalyi and Barbara Schnieder, Basic Books, New York, 2000.

One Kid at a Time: Big Lessons from a Small School, Eliot Levine, Teachers College Press, New York, 2002.

Schools With Spirit: Nurturing the Inner Lives of Children and Teachers, edited by Linda Lantieri, Beacon Press, 2001.

Deep Play, Diane Ackerman, Random House, New York, 1999.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, M. Csikszentmihalyi, Harper & Row, New York, 1990.

Reclaiming Our Children: A Healing Plan for a Nation in Crisis, Peter R. Breggin, M.D., Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA 2000.

Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity, Julia Cameron, Tarcher/Putnam 2002. [A follow-up to The Artists’ Way, this book is about rediscovering our senses of origin, proportion, perspective, adventure, personal territory, boundaries, momentum, discernment, resiliency, camaraderie, authenticity and dignity. Her list of recommended reading is remarkable.]

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Jerry Mander, William Morrow Paperbacks, 1977. [“TV stops the critical processes of the brain.”]

Robin Williams

Robin McLaurin Williams was recognized as a one-of-a-kind genius, graced with a gift and a need to give it, scarred by his own humanity, and a penchant for hard work. He reached deep into himself. With over seven hours of video available here, this is a tribute to him and his gift on the first anniversary of his death.

“He made us laugh, hard, any time you saw him,” Crystal began. “As genius as he was onstage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine—supportive, protective, loving,” Crystal continued. It’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he’s so present in all of our lives.

“For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy, but though some of the brightest stars are extinct now…They float in the heavens, so far away from us now, their beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever…[and sometimes] you’ll think to yourselves, ‘Robin Williams, what a concept.’”

Just weeks after Williams’ death, Crystal took the stage at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre to preside over a heartfelt stand-alone tribute to his longtime colleague.

© 2014 E! Entertainment Television, Inc. 





Documentary: Robin Williams 

best moments 1951-2014 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2rSblJshVE (33:12)


Perhaps some of the best of Robin Williams was his 90-minute appearance on The Actor’s Studio with James Lipton; here’s a slice: 


It’s been up and down on YouTube and the DVD is available for purchase through various outlets:


James Lipton: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Robin Williams: “There’s seating near the front. The concert begins at 5. It’ll be Mozart, Elvis, and one of your choosing.” Or just nice, if heaven exists, to know that there’s laughter, that’d be a great thing. Just to hear God go, “Two Jews walk into a bar…”.

As Lipton reveals, Williams’s installment of the series was the first-ever two-hour episode: The actor actually spoke and performed for the audience for over five hours, but Lipton and the producers simply couldn’t bear to edit the performance any shorter than two hours, according to the DVD extras.

Lipton was unable to even ask his first question for the first nine minutes of Williams’s appearance, and it took seven minutes for him to get to his follow-up.

Finally, the part of his appearance that’s passed into legend: Lipton confirms on the DVD commentary that one member of the audience was actually taken away in an ambulance after the show, having developed a hernia from laughing so hard at Williams.


More highlights from that appearance at the link above


Robin Williams – “Seize the Day” – by Melodysheep 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2e_M06YDyY (2:39)


Robin Williams Hilarious FULL Interview 

on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show – 1991

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqdSagycCWc (11:00)






Robin Williams breaks down the last ten years of U.S politics




Robin Williams – On Jesus, Mother Teresa & Gandhi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJhZcOhLRzE (5:33)


Robin Williams – Golf (full version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcnFbCCgTo4 (4:47)



Robin Williams Crazy First Appearance 

on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr1DSLoHni0 (1:41)


Robin Williams – Parkinson interview [2002] 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LaJDOD5cJI (22:36)


Robin Williams last appearance 

on Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 5/21/92 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGxdvkoYqrc (14:02)


Robin Williams on Letterman Post Surgery 2000


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When Did you Know?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg_9FQk6UnA (3:09)


Good Will Hunting – The best Robin Williams scene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AvxR5vVgY4 (4:08)


[HiDef] Good Will Hunting – Park Bench Scene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBjWHfBHKos (4:47)


Being Human 1994 


Full Length Movie 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsvbdhqAcVk (2:01:56)


Robin Williams – 

Live on Broadway (New York 2002) [Full Length]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQCbbMDHHqE (1:39:02) 


Robin Williams full live performance in Washington (1:29:40)



Robin Williams on Porn

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ubjuna5X4w (3:40)


Robin Williams Viagra Skit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFM11SmoxfI (6:26)