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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Tue Jun 19th, 2007 10:50am Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
As promised I intend to kick off a discussion thread which will be based on the articles/monologues/play in Paperweight, allotting a minimum of 1 week per piece (more depending on the amount of interest/discussion). For those who haven't read the book I will try and start each week with a brief synopsis of the pieces, rather than re-print the whole thing and infringe copyright laws and discourage you from filling Sir Stephen's coffers.

The first section of the book are a series of monologues which Stephen wrote and performed for a Radio 4 programme in the 1980s called 'Loose Ends'. Sadly I was too young at the time to be aware of Radio 4 programming and missed them. As far as I am aware they cannot be found in recorded form and the book contains only a selection. Most of these monologues are written in the persona of Professor Donald Trefusis, who many of you will know from 'The Liar'. The semi-autobiographical nature of'The Liar' suggests Mr Fry may have known someone like Trefusis, or at least wished that he had done.
Professor Trefusis is a Cambridge tutor of Philology and is a delightful character. He comes across as a slightly senile old man, fascinated by his academic area, yet posessing a remarkable range of sensible views which one assumes Stephen shares and is expressing through this alter ego.

In the first monologue, simply entitled 'Donald Trefusis', the government has asked Trefusis to watch a year of BBC television and 'deliver his verdict on scenes of violence that might disturb or influence young children'.
Trefusis admits that he is an avid radio listener who has never watched television before and was therefore curious as one who takes an interest in modern society. Despite his ignorance he states that he has always had faith in the potential of television.
Trefusis' verdict is amusing because of his interpretation (or misinterpretation, depending on your point of view) of the word 'violence'. On the one hand he criticises 'The Late Late Breakfast Show' (a typical BBC Saturday evening 'family entertainment show' hosted by Noel Edmonds) for its violence against 'all canons of decency, respectability, gentleness, courtesy, taste, humanity and dignity' and accuses it of having violent effects on the sensibilities of the young. He also criticises (without naming it, though it is obvious) 'Points of View', the programme in which critical letters from BBC viewers are addressed. He accuses it of doing violence to Britain's 'good name for literacy, intelligence, spelling, calligraphy, discernment and modesty'.
On the other hand, Trefusis appears to have enjoyed 'Starsky and Hutch', fully aware that it was fiction and not to be treated seriously. He describes it and shows like it as follows: 'These merry, silly, romping fictional diversions were, as fiction always has been, and always will be, harmless, instructive and charming. I shall recommend that they be left alone, as should be all drama and fiction'.

As this post is long enough already I shall leave my personal comments for now and wait for your own.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Tue Jun 19th, 2007 8:34pm Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
I found the essay to be quite an amusing take on the violence on television issue. I personally don't see anything wrong with violence on television as long as it's not glamourising the negative aspects i.e. cold blooded killers, sadism, rape, torturing for fun etc. Glamourising violence as used by 'the good guys' is different I feel. When children watch 'violent' cartoons and shows like Power Rangers, He-Man, Turtles etc they're seeing the characters using their fighting abilities and strengths for good and they don't abuse them or use them to malciously harm anyone. In some cases the message of using fighting for defence only and not to attack is explicitly stated and can even be used as a theme/moral for an episode like it was in an episode of Hey Arnold. This is why I have no problem with children playing fighting games with pretend/imaginary weapons. It's role-play. They're good guys and bad guys and they know the difference, they're re-enacting roles they've seen portrayed in books and television.

There are many of us who grew up watching violent cartoons and television shows and played violent video games from a young age but we haven't grown up to be killers, psychos or rapists. Despite this there are calls for violent video games to be banned and children to be shielded from them because of a handful of people who committed murders and happened to own a Playstation. Video games do not cause people to kill. They may influence and inspire a killer but surely they would already have the psychological make-up of being a killer/potential to become one whether or not they played the games? You will get those who are obsessed with killers but that's not necessarily a direct result of television. even if violence is taken out of fiction there is still real violence shown in the news everyday and real crime books being churned out by the dozen. The media just want to look for quick simple answers and find a scapegoat but things are never that simple and many other factors are involved. It's not only videogames that get blamed, musicians do too. Marilyn Manson being an excellent example. The Columbine Incident was blamed on him yet it was later revealed the killers weren't even fans of his music and despised it. It wasn't music that caused them to kill, there will have been so much more going on in their lives that would have driven them to it but nobody ever wants to address the real issues and would rather put a ban on black t-shirts as though that would solve anything.

The Boffle sketch Grease My Gristle, Blow My Whistle springs to mind. It's message still holds true today. People need to be given more credit. We're not mindless drones who react to a video and carry out what it tells us to do.

On the other side that Trefusis brought up television has definatly declined over the last decade or so. Ignorance is put up on a pedestal in our modern society with shows like Big Brother dominating and attention seekers who also happen to be total idiots are given fame, glory and 'celeb status'. At the same time anything that seems 'too high brow' (even when it isn't) is sneered at and looked down upon. Inverse snobbery rules the day.

Assuming direct control...

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joan


Member

Posted Wed Jun 20th, 2007 9:42am Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
I'm waffling a bit here as I have been in Australia for the last 28 years, and have lost touch with some UK TV. The fictional professor's views are like my own though - I enjoy a bit of fictional fun: shows like 'Life on Mars' for instance, and another, older time-travelling series 'Goodnight Sweetheart', as well as 'Dr Who'.
It is the crass, mindless so-called 'reality TV that makes me despair, as well as the commercial media's manipulation of the news, the sick obsession with sport in all its boring detail, and horror of all horrors, US sitcoms.
Of course, i don't have to watch that stuff, and I certainly avoid it like the plague, but I live in a society that DOES watch it, and that is the basis of my despair.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Wed Jun 20th, 2007 9:44am Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
(following amylnitrate)

I appreciate the extremely well-thought out argument you have presented and the link to the Fry and Laurie sketch illustrates your point very well. However, I would have been interested if you had spent equal time on the other side of the argument, i.e. Trefusis' apparent assertion that dumbed down family entertainment has far more violent results and also that Points of View gives a voice to sections of society who are a discredit to our nation's intelligence. One wonders whether they actually represent the majority of viewers or whether the BBC believes it is being unbiased and allowing the minority view to be heard.

I whole heartedly agree that television violence affects only those who are already in some way damaged. My wife and I were watching some Doctor Who stories from the old era recently and my wife wondered whether 'Revelation of the Daleks' was too violent and scary for children. My response was that nothing on television and film can be as scary as things which happen in real life, even if the real events are tamer such as losing your parent in a shopping centre for a few minutes. Children are well aware of the difference between fiction and reality and the only thing one need woory about is the moral representaition of violence. If sadistic acts are presented as reprehensible that is fine.

I am a huge fan of television as a medium. Like Trefusis I believe in its potential. Some may say the internet has superseded it, but only in terms of novelty. It is still a relatively new medium going through the pains and discoveries of its puberty, one might argue. Those who blanket criticise TV as a medium might as well dismiss literature simply becasue it includes airport novels, pornography and gossip magazines. The majority of TV I enjoy is either comedy or drama. I use the word 'drama' loosely to describe anything which features acting and a plot, so I include science fiction and action shows.
Although my DVD collection is large I only consider a handful of programs to be superlative (if you must know - Buffy, Angel, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, The Prisoner and I Claudius). Most of the rest are diverting entertainment, including the aforementioned Starsky and Hutch, which appeals to my nostalgia and features a satisfying 'good guys beat the bad guys' story. I like TV shows with heroes, and whatever the degree of violence there is always a moral centre to many of these stories which is not difficult to agree with regardless of one's political side of the fence. In fact I believe that many of these programmes appeal to liberal sensibilities. Even the A Team - look how many times the villains are corrupt officials, bigots and powerful industrialists, as if the programme is saying 'these people exist in America and thrive within the law', which I think is pretty subversive.
My wife enjoys these programmes with me and we discuss them intelligently as well as being swept up in the simple fun, though her primary interests are theatre, folk music and dance and art cinema. She, however, is in favour of more control over scheduling of violent programmes and believes that there are more susceptible minds watching TV than discerning and objective ones.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Wed Jun 20th, 2007 8:59pm Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
(following amylnitrate)

I appreciate the extremely well-thought out argument you have presented and the link to the Fry and Laurie sketch illustrates your point very well. However, I would have been interested if you had spent equal time on the other side of the argument, i.e. Trefusis' apparent assertion that dumbed down family entertainment has far more violent results and also that Points of View gives a voice to sections of society who are a discredit to our nation's intelligence. One wonders whether they actually represent the majority of viewers or whether the BBC believes it is being unbiased and allowing the minority view to be heard.

Well I don't know those specific shows that were referred to in the article like Points of View so I couldn't specifically comment on them. I was also waiting for someone else to join the discussion and take that side further. The side that I did focus on is one that is of interest to me as someone working in the field of education. This issue does come up - should we allow children to play fight and use pretend guns they've constructed out of connecting shapes or blocks of wood? I say yes. I don't see the harm in it as long as it's not crossing the boundary into sadistic killing and seeing pain and death as fun and cool.

I whole heartedly agree that television violence affects only those who are already in some way damaged. My wife and I were watching some Doctor Who stories from the old era recently and my wife wondered whether 'Revelation of the Daleks' was too violent and scary for children. My response was that nothing on television and film can be as scary as things which happen in real life, even if the real events are tamer such as losing your parent in a shopping centre for a few minutes. Children are well aware of the difference between fiction and reality and the only thing one need woory about is the moral representaition of violence. If sadistic acts are presented as reprehensible that is fine.

Fictional violence and scares from shows like Doctor Who are fine. It's fun to get scared. Children and adults alike love it for the adrenaline rush it gives you. That's why theme park rides and horror/thriller films are so popular. People love being scared in an artificial and safe way. When I was a child I loved scary and disturbing stories and films. They were fun to watch and were very entertaining. I also loved playing beat 'em up and shooting video games. They didn't traumatise me, stop me from sleeping and they didn't detract from other activities such as creativity, reading and learning.

I am a huge fan of television as a medium. Like Trefusis I believe in its potential. Some may say the internet has superseded it, but only in terms of novelty. It is still a relatively new medium going through the pains and discoveries of its puberty, one might argue. Those who blanket criticise TV as a medium might as well dismiss literature simply becasue it includes airport novels, pornography and gossip magazines.

I believe every medium has it's purpose. They all have their good points and their bad points. They can be enjoyed in different ways and at different times. They will all have their high culture and their dross. I enjoy listening to the radio, watching television and films, reading books, manga and comics and I enjoy using the internet. Each of these have their no-brainer rubbish aimed at the lowest common denominator and the real quality stuff that is well made and with intelligence.

The majority of TV I enjoy is either comedy or drama. I use the word 'drama' loosely to describe anything which features acting and a plot, so I include science fiction and action shows.
Although my DVD collection is large I only consider a handful of programs to be superlative (if you must know - Buffy, Angel, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, The Prisoner and I Claudius). Most of the rest are diverting entertainment, including the aforementioned Starsky and Hutch, which appeals to my nostalgia and features a satisfying 'good guys beat the bad guys' story. I like TV shows with heroes, and whatever the degree of violence there is always a moral centre to many of these stories which is not difficult to agree with regardless of one's political side of the fence. In fact I believe that many of these programmes appeal to liberal sensibilities. Even the A Team - look how many times the villains are corrupt officials, bigots and powerful industrialists, as if the programme is saying 'these people exist in America and thrive within the law', which I think is pretty subversive.
My wife enjoys these programmes with me and we discuss them intelligently as well as being swept up in the simple fun, though her primary interests are theatre, folk music and dance and art cinema. She, however, is in favour of more control over scheduling of violent programmes and believes that there are more susceptible minds watching TV than discerning and objective ones.

I'm waffling a bit here as I have been in Australia for the last 28 years, and have lost touch with some UK TV. The fictional professor's views are like my own though - I enjoy a bit of fictional fun: shows like 'Life on Mars' for instance, and another, older time-travelling series 'Goodnight Sweetheart', as well as 'Dr Who'.
It is the crass, mindless so-called 'reality TV that makes me despair, as well as the commercial media's manipulation of the news, the sick obsession with sport in all its boring detail, and horror of all horrors, US sitcoms.
Of course, i don't have to watch that stuff, and I certainly avoid it like the plague, but I live in a society that DOES watch it, and that is the basis of my despair.

The kind of tv shows I enjoy are comedies like The League of Gentlemen and Spaced (I love a lot of classic stuff which I've listed in the Favourite comedians thread, I won't repeat here or I'll be here all day) and panel shows like QI, Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week and Never Mind The Full Stops. I love dramas like Doctor Who, Star Trek, Buffy, Angel, Life on Mars, New Tricks, Sea of Souls and Supernatural. I also love watching historical documentaries and shows like Time Team. The only 'entertainment' show I watch is Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and I do not watch game shows, reality shows or anything 'celeb' orientated point blank.

I would like to see more intelligent programming and good quality dramas and comedies. There does seem to be a serious drought in terms of good comedy at the moment. It's dreadful. It all seems to be very dull, repetitive mainly catchphrase based comedy like Little Britain, Catherine Tate, Ruddy Hell! It's Harry and Paul, Little Miss Jocelyn, TittyBangBang. Even That Mitchell and Webb Look/Sound seems to suffer from repetition from time to time though not quite as severely as the first two examples. I don't get how we've got to this state. Looking at the British Comedy Awards for instance is just depressing. There's sod all of interest. Whatever happened to the days of exciting new comedy that really grabs you?

One thing I particularly hate is the new talent show format. Shows like Pop Idol, The X Factor and those new musical based ones. I always hated manufactured music and now it's just got worse. All the people who go on these shows sound so samey, bland and boring. People are being told by a tv show that suchansuch an individual is a 'pop idol' before they've even done their first gig.

I think one of the biggest changes in television that seemed to really take hold in the 90s is that of teen orientated television. It really took over in the 90s and now a lot of television channels seem to be geared towards grabbing teenage audiences with flashy graphics, fast cuts, shorter scenes, dodgy camera wobbling for 'authenticity', loud obnoxious music about "shaking your booty" and other such shit and dumb presenters the audience can "relate to". The channels don't seem to want to attract an older and/or more intelligent audience at all. Instead of having interesting, intelligent people going on television shows and hosting them we instead have 'celebs' who are thick as pig shit and have done sod all of interest or value to anyone who does not read gossip magazines. There's another thing that I really hate - gossip magazines. Who gives a flying toss about what these celebs do? Why would you really? Must you have that much of a boring life to spend your time obsessing over losers like Victoria Beckham and Paris Hilton?

Assuming direct control...

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Wed Jun 20th, 2007 10:03pm Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
Sorry, it has taken me a while to come up with my POV, I hope I am not making a complete fool of myself here:

When I first read Trefusis´ monologue on violence on TV I thought the point he was trying to make was to weigh fictional violence as in e.g. Starsky and Hutch against violence emerging from real-life situations.

Words like “actors dressed up and pretended to be policemen and criminals”, “part of this make-believe”, “forever simulating gun-fights and beatings-up” suggested – to me at least – that the “non-reality” character of these scenes was so blatantly obvious to all and sundry, probably for the lack of special effects at the time (let´s face it, S&H look very dated), that even a child would be able to figure out that it was all “made up”. That it was scripted and that no-one got physically killed or hurt.

But what really shook him was the “violence done to decency, respectability, gentleness, courtesy, taste, humanity and dignity”. A complete different type of violence, obviously. Not of a physical nature, but aiming to annihilate traditional values which, for centuries, have been the foundation of human interrelations, the pillars of our social architecture. Once this foundation is underminded and first cracks appear in the supporting elements of society, the whole structure is bound to cave in and come tumbling down sooner or later. These concepts of decency, gentleness, courtesy, etc. have been acting as a kind of control mechanism. Showing a lack of e.g. courtesy on TV – just watch (not that I do…) some day-time programmes, the language people use to express their views or to attack others verbally - and people not only getting away with it, but those staging the most outrageous tantrum usually receiving the most enthusiastic response from the audience, conveys the message: people will take notice of you when you act like this! And children, especially adolescents, DO want to be noticed. And some of the situations conjuring up vociferous arguments are so likely to arise within one´s own family and outside that everybody may find themselves confronted with them sometime during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of course. But, as I said, children and adolescents may prove more vulnerable to emulating the conduct witnessed on television in order to draw attention. So initially it is “just” verbal outbursts that will place them at the centre of interest, but attacking someone verbally may sooner or later not appear “enough”, some sort of “tolerance effect” kicks in (not as in “acceptance” though, but rather as in “increase the dose to achieve the same effect”) which will induce them to up the ante which, at a later stage, will ensue some sort of physical confrontation which will invariably lead to acts of full-blown violence.

Given the every-day character of these situations, innumerable “little violations of courtesy et al.” will eventually develop into hot-beds of violence.
And that´s the danger: the initial apparent harmlessness (“well, they are just having a small argument”) which may soon – and fpossibly going unnoticed for a prolonged period of time - assume proportions which will prove difficult to get under control again (e.g. knife crime, not a single day passes without at least one being reported in the news, the act often being preceded by some argument…)

Since it is getting a little late, I´ll come back to your questions re: However, I would have been interested if you had spent equal time on the other side of the argument, i.e. Trefusis' apparent assertion that dumbed down family entertainment has far more violent results and also that Points of View gives a voice to sections of society who are a discredit to our nation's intelligence. One wonders whether they actually represent the majority of viewers or whether the BBC believes it is being unbiased and allowing the minority view to be heard.
And I´d like to follow up on some other observations made so far, hopefully tomorrow…

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Thu Jun 21st, 2007 9:16am Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
The programmes Stephen refers to in the article are 'Noel's House Party' and 'Points of View'. The former was a Saturday evening 'family entertainment' show, consisting of practical jokes played on the public and celebrities (the latter often involving Mr Blobby); celebrity guests interviewed in a brief, banal and sycophantic manner largely geared towards plugging somethng; and prize-winning quizzes in which the loser was often dunked in coloured slime.
Points of View is a programme which, as far as I can remember, is presented by Anne Robinson (of Weakest Link fame) and is a 15 minute feedback forum of letters from viewers about BBC programmes. British comedians have often parodied the programme, particularly the fact that some letters nitpick about historically accurate props/set design in dramas and others begin letters of complaint with the phrase "Why oh why oh why...". Hope that answers your questions about the type of programme Stephen was criticising, as I am sure there are programmes like them out there today even if those specifically mentioned have ended.
I agree with what amyl says about TV violence and horror movies. At primary schoool I remember discussing 'Damien: Omen 2' with friends and we were relishing the nasty bits. What I didn't tell them was that, for me, the scariest moment had been when Damien learns he is the antichrist and shouts "Why me?". I think this demonstrates the greater power of psychologcal horror over fictional representations of violence.
I'm not so sure I agree with the glorification of gunplay amongst schoolkids. Sure, we like to play games of heroes and villains, but I think it might be preferable to give them water pistols instead of realistic looking and sounding gun toys. When I used to play with realistic toy guns my main interest was how cool I believed I looked holding them and posing with them. I abhor guns now, but I doubt very much that I was going through a healthy phase then.

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Thu Jun 21st, 2007 10:23am Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
I am glad my comments haven´t given rise to any response...

Wasn´t Mr Blobby in The Generation Game as well?
POV is presented by Terry Wogan now.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Thu Jun 21st, 2007 10:25am Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
Gerti, your comments are so well-put it will take me quite a long time to think of what to say!

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Thu Jun 21st, 2007 10:27am Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
...you say it best when you say nothing at all... X-D X-D

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Thu Jun 21st, 2007 5:44pm Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
The programmes Stephen refers to in the article are 'Noel's House Party' and 'Points of View'. The former was a Saturday evening 'family entertainment' show, consisting of practical jokes played on the public and celebrities (the latter often involving Mr Blobby); celebrity guests interviewed in a brief, banal and sycophantic manner largely geared towards plugging somethng; and prize-winning quizzes in which the loser was often dunked in coloured slime.
Points of View is a programme which, as far as I can remember, is presented by Anne Robinson (of Weakest Link fame) and is a 15 minute feedback forum of letters from viewers about BBC programmes. British comedians have often parodied the programme, particularly the fact that some letters nitpick about historically accurate props/set design in dramas and others begin letters of complaint with the phrase "Why oh why oh why...". Hope that answers your questions about the type of programme Stephen was criticising, as I am sure there are programmes like them out there today even if those specifically mentioned have ended.

I remember Noal's House Party vaguely. My parents watched it but I didn't like it so I would wander away. I wouldn't have been older than 5 or 6 when Stephen wrote these articles so a lot of programmes and magazines he references I've never heard of.

I'm not so sure I agree with the glorification of gunplay amongst schoolkids. Sure, we like to play games of heroes and villains, but I think it might be preferable to give them water pistols instead of realistic looking and sounding gun toys. When I used to play with realistic toy guns my main interest was how cool I believed I looked holding them and posing with them. I abhor guns now, but I doubt very much that I was going through a healthy phase then.

But I didn't say anything about giving children realistic toy guns. What I said was using construction materials like connecting cubes or blocks of wood or inter-star connectors and use them as symbolic of guns. Children are not even given access to toy guns or even water pistols in any school or nursery environment I've been in to begin with. They have to use their imagination.

Assuming direct control...

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Fri Jun 22nd, 2007 10:01am Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
Gerti's comments on violations of courtesy and respectability do not, in my mind, connect with the specific programmes to which Trefusis refers. Are you referring perhaps to soap operas, children's dramas or some other variety of programming, such as reality TV? Your comments remind me of arguments against rock music culture of the 1960s, whether justified or not.
Reality programming certainly violates taste and decency and promotes a culture of 'fame at all costs' over talent, intelligence and all other qualities which are deserving of public attention and approbation. One could argue that manufactured pop groups like the Spice Girls promoted such an ethos even before programmes like Pop Idol came again.
It's interesting to me that the programme is called 'Pop Idol' rather than 'Pop Singer', emphasising the value of fame over music.
Trefusis fictional brief from the government was to monitor the effects of violence on television on the impressionable minds of the young. Up to now, Gerti excepted, we seem to have been commenting on TV violence and inanity in general, rather than its specific effects on young people.
I believe that even the behaviour of politicians on television is a negative influence, as many of them are frequently and quite obviously lying, toeing party lines or spouting ignorant and ill thought out arguments - hardly sterling examples of education, manners and healthy probing minds.

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Fri Jun 22nd, 2007 12:16pm Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
No, I am not referring to soap operas or reality TV. The latter did not even exist back then when Trefusis was briefed to monitor the effects of violence. Neither are my comments intended to remind you of arguments against rock music culture of the 1960s either (I´m not that old... ). And the issue of "fame at all cost" did not cross my mind at all.

The programmes Trefusis mentioned were just examples intended to give the readers a general idea of the genre he found particularly disturbing I thought (why don´t you mention the Breakfast Show?), as he must have spent endless hours in front of the TV set .

And the reason why he thought that violence as shown in fiction should be left alone whereas violations of courtesy etc. as encountered in programmes like those specified, obviously shook him to the core, was, IMHO, because he felt that the young were more likely to find themselves in situations shown on Breakfast TV for example and therefore more likely to imitate the behaviour they previously witnessed on TV. This type of violence may not be as crude as hitting someone over the head, it is "more subtle" as it causes damage at a different level: it hurts people´s feelings and self-esteem. This goes a lot deeper than watching Starsky & Hutch embark on some wild car chase or whatever they used to do. This is violence that comes from "real" people and is directed against "real" people in "real-life" situations.

Especially young people feel insecure about themselves, they doubt themselves, they haven´t found their places in life yet and any assault on their fragile psyche, and I am at this point referring to verbal assault, throws them into even deeper insecurity and self-doubt. Depending on the individual´s nature, they may then either lash out and take the "an eye for an eye" approach, i.e. start hurling verbal abuse at others, or they may withdraw from the world they feel is offensive and cruel. They may even develop various disorders as a result. However, those who make offence the weapon of (self-)defence may be getting themselves increasingly often into trouble and may start hanging out with the wrong people. And where this will lead to, we all know...

But, quite honestly, I am only guessing here and what the exact motif was that led Trefusis to make this distinction I will never know for certain, because I am not psychic (well, a little perhaps) and if I were I´d probably make it my priority to tap Mr Fry´s galaxy-sized brain to find out, which at the same time should also boost my eloquence enormously and make it a lot easier for me to put my ideas into words which are also comprehensible to the rest of the world... Or perhaps my reasoning is flawed to begin with...

Back to work....

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Fri Jun 22nd, 2007 12:54pm Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
I appreciate that you may be unaware of the programmes referred to, but perhaps you could give examples of incidents in your memory, possibly even from Austrian TV.
It is my understanding, from reading 'The Uses of Enchantment' by Bruno Betelheim, that the absence of violence in stories can sometimes have negative effects on children. For example, watered-down versions of fairy tales leave the youngest, most impressionable children with the sense that justice has not been done. That is not to say that revenge and execution are necessarily morally just, but that to a child's limited understanding they are. As one cannot explain to them the intricate moral arguments against, say, capital punishment, one obviously doesn't bother and acceopts that their concept of justice in a fairytale is that the villiain should die in a manner appropriate to their crime. Similarly, whatever one's views about monarchy, a story should centre around royal families as the child identifies with the heroes/heroines, and in their worldview there is nothing greater than being or becoming a prince or princess. A great deal has been done by those who misinterpret psychology and sanitise traditional fiction, which has always contained allegorical elements to which children can relate and which helps them to understand subconsciously things which they lack the intellect to fully appreciate at so young an age.
What I meant about your arguments representing anti-rock'n'roll comments was that they sounded like you were referring to incidents such as the infamous Sex Pistols swearing interview (though to be fair to them, they were deliberately goaded by the 'respectable' middle-aged, middle-class presenter).

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Fri Jun 22nd, 2007 1:00pm Post subject: Paperweight-a-week
The Sex Pistols side of the story.

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