Monday, November 7, 2016

Quotes from Ophuls, Pt. 5

The quotes today from Requiem for Modern Politics all concern television. When reading these quotes, ask yourself: would Donald Trump be a candidate for president if television as a medium didn't exist?

Television is not an informative medium at all, but a dramatic one: it transmits images, not ideas; it evokes emotions, not thoughts; and it arouses passion, not deliberation. Indeed, at its worst, it is frankly inflammatory. 81

Reading is active: the reader translates printed words on a page into mental images, which takes imagination and thought. Viewing television is passive: the viewer absorbs ready-made images, which takes neither thought nor imagination. Because reading exercises the mind, whereas television entrances and even stupefies It, citizens no longer deliberate but instead respond to events with raw emotion. Television is theIf refore antithetical to the traditional understanding of politics and citizenship in the liberal tradition. 82

Finally, if the goal of civilization is greater consciousness, a position held in one form or another by virtually everyone from Plato to Freud, then television is indeed the enemy of civilization: to use Friday language, it fosters more I did and less more unconscious emotional reaction and less of the reality principle. In effect, television is psychoanalysis in reverse. 86 [Italics mine]

"if the goal of civilization is greater consciousness": Is this the goal of civilization? If not, what is? What creates "greater consciousness"? 

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