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Why does tv portray people being so ugly towards eachother?

KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest?Europe Veteran

There are a few tv series that I watch, and I've noticed that in nearly all of them there are people behaving in a very ugly fashion towards eachother... in the last week I've watched episodes of Quantico, Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot and Poldark. And in there, there were scenes of death threats, torture, rape, killing, blackmail, deceit, imprisonment, poisoning, people burning alive, human trafficking as well as a few gunfights, sword battles and near-drownings.

And these are popular, critically well-regarded series. It makes me wonder, do I have really atrocious taste? Or is it really not safe anymore to watch prime time tv without being confronted with the darkest side of human nature? Literally for half an hour afterwards I felt affected, tense, slightly disgusted, and also alert and stimulated. These are not positive signs.

It just seems as if people are no longer content with villains, they have to see their heroes in the most terrible circumstances. It used to be that these kinds of shenanigans were restricted to rated movies, I remember when The French Connection was shocking. I'm seriously thinking of restricting my viewing to carefully selected documentaries, talk shows, and kids movies.

BunksAkasha
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Comments

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    Whatever you're seeing, it exists entirely because it makes money.

    AkashaBeej
  • As an author, I deal mostly in the written word, but the same trends exist in all entertainment media. I have also noticed a marked uptick in popularity in the more violent shows. Not that enjoying a violent movie or story is anything new to this generation. One of the first and most watched movies were war movies of one type or another filled with deaths on a massive scale. The Westerns were full of people being killed, mostly Native American but plenty of white folk too.

    But we seem to have entered an age of violence and death for the shock value only. If you watch Game of Thrones or those zombie shows, the entire appeal is trying to guess which popular character is going to be tortured and killed next. The deaths don't have any other purpose and don't advance the plot or develop characters.

    The problem with that is, first it's lazy storytelling. At its worse, I call it torture porn. Just like in porn the plot is people arrive, people hang around a bit, people screw, so in some shows a character is introduced and developed only for the purpose of maximum shock value when the brutality starts. People arrive, hang around a bit, are murdered.

    I suppose it's a mix of a ready market and society that accepts more and more violence on popular entertainment.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    We've delighted in the suffering of others ever since the Romans set up the Games in coliseums, and probably well before that... the Greeks, and Egyptians probably had their ways too... And read any History book, and there are countless tales of 'Man's Inhumanity to Man' littering every page you turn...I mean, look what happened to Boudicca and her daughters....
    It's just that the Media, social media and the internet make it easier to witness such horror at the touch of a button....Had such technology been available then, you can bet your bottom dollar it would have been just as easily and widely broadcast to the masses, then, too....

    KeromeBunkspersonAkasha
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @Steve_B said:
    Whatever you're seeing, it exists entirely because it makes money.

    It sells, but what is it in human nature that makes it so that it sells? Violence triggers fight or flight, it can be exciting for that reason but surely a bit of gunfight or swordfight serves that purpose.

    I can kind of understand that these kinds of scenes cause a high degree of emotional charge on the parts of viewers, and so can be used to cast villains as blacker than black, or to create very dramatic moments. But it does strike me as a very brute force approach.

    On the whole I find it hard to imagine why tv producers would want to put rape or torture or human trafficking on screen - in me it triggers primarily revulsion and disgust, and makes me want to stop watching the series. Surely that is not the desired result?

    Akasha
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Hasn't it always served the deepest wants and desires of the powers that be?
    Easy entertainment because god forbid we should find ourselves listless and bored in our easy chairs.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    On the flip side, I think often people watch such "evil" things in order to see it overcome in the end. Everyone wants to see the serial killer caught, to see "good" win, and so on. While GoT has some horrific stuff in it, it's also taken a turn that the women who have been so used and abused are suddenly becoming in control of the kingdom, for the most part. So that part has been fun to watch. Quantico I have not seen but I assume it is about the FBI training academy and is a "hunt for the worst of humanity" type of show. But is it the violence people like, or is it the resolution to it? I'm sure it depends on the person.

    We all have our limits to what we can watch and what we carry with us. As always I'll say TNH makes a point that our consumption of everything matters, not just what we put in our mouths. And I do believe it does.

    The answer to your headline question, it is what someone else said. TV/movies/entertainment is what it is because it makes money. It becomes rather circular, as none of these shows would be around if no one watched them. But we wouldn't watch them if they weren't well marketed to us. That said, there have been several excellent family tv shows that have been canceled because they cannot retain viewership. Parenthood comes to mind. I hope that This Is Us does not go the same way, but it will not surprise me. While we like feel-good and stories of overcoming, we seem to prefer that which needs to be overcome be less life-like. Dealing with struggles with children and aging parents and ill spouses is too close to real life. We prefer to be distracted with that which is less like our regular life, in order to distract ourselves from that daily life.

    Fosdick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    The problem is, that is how it affects you. sadly, some are drawn to such images and incidents, and there is a sense of voyeurism they feel the need to satisfy.
    It's like 'rubberneckers' on the opposite side of the barrier where the accident took place on the Motorway... Eastbound we have three Police Cars, two ambulances, a Fire Engine, and debris all over the place, tracs of what looks like blood, and a group of Emergency service Personnel all focused around one or two people who frankly, don't look too good...

    On the Westbound carriageway, we have a building traffic jam, going past really slowly, because they're all taking a look....

    I think while people don't feel the pain, or are not directly involved, it's compelling to watch - even if some things make us go "Oooh, my god, I felt that!" and we wince and recoil...

    Others wince and recoil less, and feel a compunction to 'participate'...

    But that's why you and I don't participate.
    Unfortunately, others are not all like us....

  • We don't have to watch TV. I have watched three of the shows mentioned by @Kerome. Currently watching 'Westworld', SF plus the nature of sentience ... and brutality. We choose to participate. We can always watch the news ... probably even worse as it is real. :o

    I feel it is an ape thing. We are partly animals; us and them tribalism. I do notice an increased brutality. I personally believe the conflictive emotional side in us will have to be increasingly managed ...

    Just as an illustration just had to mediate in a furious interchange between two family members. >:)

    Calm restored ... One watching the Simpsons with Homer being abused another happily doing chores. Had to seperate and calm ... o:)

    silverFosdick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited November 2016

    @lobster, Sometimes, the best thing to do is to 'switch off' walk away and let them deal with their own issues. If you just get up, put your coat on, walk out and tell them "I'll be back later when you two have quit bickering and sorted yourselves out" they will do it a lot quicker than with you being there as arbiter.
    If they're old enough to get into it, they're old enough to come out of it....

    lobster
  • In 2000 I gave away my telly. In 2005 I was on a work weekend and thought, ah, I'll watch some telly but turned it off because all the channels had something grotesque on - violence in one form or another.

    When I asked colleagues about it, they said that it had become worse in the intervening 5 years. I put it down to 9/11. It's probably 15 years since then and things have become worse.

    At least in the UK on iPlayer there are good social history documentaries, except that they've changed the licencing laws and now you have to pay £145 to access iPlayer.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I know. Talk about profiteering....

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    The thing is, there has been some tv over the last 20 years that was worth watching and didn't dredge up the worst excesses of mankind. Thinking of The West Wing, Lost and Mad Men. So it's not impossible to write gripping drama without the worst of violence and sex, but not very many people are following their leads.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited November 2016

    Why does tv portray people being so ugly towards eachother?

    The simple answer ..."For Entertainment" ... bearing in "mind" it's different strokes for different folks when it comes to what one calls "entertainment"....Plus it takes three positive thoughts to balance one negative thought...more energy goes into developing positive thoughts, than negative ones( back in the day we needed the negative thoughts to keep us on our toes so we didn't become snacks for the saber-toothed tigers ... "Old habits die hard" Thanks for nothing evolution :winky:

    However for Buddhist practitioners we have the opportunity to explore the thoughts feelings and emotions that arise when observing (but not participating in) the 'sequence of events' that lead to the outcome/result...ie, cause condition effect (be they at times somewhat exaggerated for 'effect' for viewers 'entertainment')

    But most importantly.......

    May "we" clearly perceive all experiences to be as insubstantial as the "Dream Fabric Of The Night" and instantly awaken to perceive the pure wisdom displayed in the arising of every phenomenon !

    upekka
  • It's a reflection of our nature and circumstance as well as a means of social control.

    upekkalobster
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited November 2016

    OP, I've never heard of those shows. And now that I've heard of them and you've described them, I certainly wouldn't watch them. The question is, why do you watch them, if you find them disturbing? There is MUCH better fare on TV; quite a bit of it, in fact. You have a choice. Exercise it.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Shoshin said:...Plus it takes three positive thoughts to balance one negative thought...

    Could you cite a reference for this, please?
    Thanks.

  • @federica said:

    @Shoshin said:...Plus it takes three positive thoughts to balance one negative thought...

    Could you cite a reference for this, please? Thanks.

    I can't cite a reference for that one but John Gottman (relationship researcher) says that for every 1 negative interaction with your partner, you need 5 genuine positive ones or there will be trouble on the horizon.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Ooh-er! Thanks for that...! O.o

  • John Gottman's also done a lot of research into domestic violence and most of the time (though of course, not always) DV runs along 2 basic types. 1 anxious person who hits the other person (often it's stereotyped as the violent man beating the woman - but there are violent women too and it works in both straight and gay relationships - Rosie Batty would fit this example). The other type of DV is 2 people who have anger-management problems - and they both biff - (this is more stereotyped as the 'working class' financial troubles, drink/drug etc type of violence).

    I'm off topic, I know. but I think it's always good to see a complex situation through a nuanced perspective, especially when there's really solid research into it.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    I like it that major characters die in these shows because it makes the suspense "real", it used to be that you knew the characters would be alright and the only question is how they would get out of whatever situation they were in, not whether.

    I'm probably numb to the violence since it doesn't really affect me beyond the moment.

  • @person said:
    I like it that major characters die in these shows because it makes the suspense "real", it used to be that you knew the characters would be alright and the only question is how they would get out of whatever situation they were in, not whether.

    I'm probably numb to the violence since it doesn't really affect me beyond the moment.

    People have different tolerances. My wife loved to watch horror movies, the more blood and screaming the better. She'd even fall asleep during the worst of them. She knew I wouldn't watch them with her. What was a fun roller coaster ride for her was painful for me to watch. Come to think of it, she loved roller coasters and I see no reason to scare myself silly on purpose.

    There's a concept in psychology called "sublimation" that says it's natural and healthy for us to find harmless substitutions for antisocial behavior and emotions.

    personKeromelobster
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited November 2016

    @Kerome said:
    I felt affected, tense, slightly disgusted, and also alert and stimulated. These are not positive signs.

    of course
    knowing that 'they are not positive signs' is a positive sign
    choose to act on positive sign is the next step

    @Shoshin said:

    May "we" clearly perceive all experiences to be as insubstantial as the "Dream Fabric Of The Night" and instantly awaken to perceive the pure wisdom displayed in the arising of every phenomenon !

    hang on
    there is the "Dream Fabric Of The Day" too
    =)

  • smarinosmarino florida Explorer
    edited November 2016

    I got rid of my TV decades ago due to the violence and the lowest common denominator intelligence, or lack of intelligence, of the shows. The reason why things are so crude and violent is called desensitization. In a society that is violent and takes violence as just part of the "normal" reality, media (especially films) have to keep ratcheting up the violence and crudeness to get through people's conditioning.

    Why are you watching it? It is just mindless crap, and has been that way for ages. I will watch old TV shows occasionally on the internet like Robin Hood, maybe The Avengers, Zorro, the original Star Trek....shows that had a moral message, great writing, and creative story lines. Or funny stuff like The Honeymooners or The Beverley Hillbillies. Well written comedies that made you feel good watching them. The original Upstairs, Downstairs was a favorite too.

    Those type of shows do not exist anymore to my knowledge. We should be careful and limit our exposure to negative and violent images. It goes right past the conscious and into the sub conscious.

    Media imagery is very powerful. When you think about it, even though we know it's not real, a funny show will make us laugh and a sad show will make us cry. So why wouldn't a violent and crude show make us that way too?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Kerome, are you sure you aren't just seeing what you want to see in the shows you like, and seeing the most negative aspects of the things you don't? I wouldn't say LOST is comparable with GoT, for example. But there were plenty of examples of not-good human beings on that show. Lots of lying, manipulation, greed, murder, and even sex and criminal acts. Why are those more palpable? Are the things that seem more realistic really any better for us? Or do they just make us closer to normalizing those experiences? GoT is easy to let go of because it's so much fantasy and so unrealistic for the world and time we live in. Same with Walking Dead. There is gratuitous violence but there's no problem in thinking it is normal or ok. But can the same be said for the greed, manipulation and other things that happen in the shows you just so happen to like?

  • @person said:
    I'm probably numb to the violence since it doesn't really affect me beyond the moment.

    I find the violence humorous. For example 'itchy and scratchy' a parody of violent 'Tom and Jerry' in the Simpsons. I watched the first series of the humorous blood gore, 'Ash and the Evil Dead' and loved the humour. Quite outrageous. :3 Not watching the second series.

    Sensibilities have changed. I feel there is a numbing effect but most of us differentiate between reality and video games and TV and real wars, aggression and cruelty etc.

    In wrathful Tantra practices, the anger, hatred, fear, anxiety etc are utilised and transformed. That can be skilfull and helpful.

    And now for some Tex Avery violent cartooning from 1943 ... (not suitable for vegetarians)

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited November 2016

    As long as we're discussing violent cartoons, take a gander at what Soviet Russia was showing it's kids in the early 70's, while American kids were watching cartoon characters banging each other over the head and running each other off of cliffs. Also notice the quality of the artwork. Here is "Hedgehog in the Fog", by Yuri Norstein. He produced a series of cartoons based loosely on traditional folklore characters.

  • Homer is very violent.
    The issue for me isn't that there's violence etc in stories but that it's very graphic and ubiquitous to the landscape these days.
    All that bullying on Facebook that takes place is pretty hairy stuff. I was teased lots at school (for about a decade) but when I left school, I left it behind.
    That's the issue for me. People watch a lot of telly. Morning, evening, weekend. If you ask someone who's 'too busy to do anything', ask them how many hours they watch the telly in one form or another.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited November 2016

    @federica said:

    @Shoshin said:...Plus it takes three positive thoughts to balance one negative thought...

    Could you cite a reference for this, please?
    Thanks.

    "Richard J. Davidson" (Professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison-he's also a member of the "Mind & Life Institute" ) mentioned this in one of his youtube talks, however he was quoting a fellow researcher/scientist (who name I've forget) who had been conducting research on thought patterns...

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited November 2016

    @karasti said:
    @Kerome, are you sure you aren't just seeing what you want to see in the shows you like, and seeing the most negative aspects of the things you don't? I wouldn't say LOST is comparable with GoT, for example. But there were plenty of examples of not-good human beings on that show. Lots of lying, manipulation, greed, murder, and even sex and criminal acts. Why are those more palpable? Are the things that seem more realistic really any better for us? Or do they just make us closer to normalizing those experiences? GoT is easy to let go of because it's so much fantasy and so unrealistic for the world and time we live in. Same with Walking Dead. There is gratuitous violence but there's no problem in thinking it is normal or ok. But can the same be said for the greed, manipulation and other things that happen in the shows you just so happen to like?

    There could be an element of that, although tv shows are with very few exceptions built on conflict, and so there are elements of deceit, lying, greed and other things. For tv shows it seems to be normal, and they are almost all divorced from reality which is a lot more straightforward and closer to the Buddhist ideal.

    Habituation to greed and lying already happens in kindergarten, so coming across these things in tv shows is not that unusual. Violence is something we could all encounter, and in a way is more neutral. But I feel the more overt items like torture and rape cross a line that is better left alone. It's a personal judgment, but just as I don't watch The Walking Dead, I think there is a point where I'm going to leave these shows behind. It will be interesting to notice if there is any resistance.

    Things have definitely gotten worse over the years. I don't think it's just a question of me having gotten more sensitive... a couple of decades ago I watched Deep Space Nine, Northern Exposure and Frasier. It makes me wonder what has changed to make these more overt elements desired or acceptable, why it's suddenly necessary to shock.

  • I think while people don't feel the pain, or are not directly involved, it's compelling to watch - even if some things make us go "Oooh, my god, I felt that!" and we wince and recoil...

    Indeed it is compelling, even compulsive, I would suggest addictive ... and therefore [lobster puts on Buddhist hat] ... attachment.

    It is possible to be mindful whilst doing mindless things - and entertaiment is mostly mindless entrancement - but it takes considerable skill and concentration.

    The question is do you want to be an inwardly ugly ape, cheering your favourite team tribe, political party, TV zombie killer, apprentice human etc or a golden lobster bodhisattva (my ideal) :3

    Maybe this Buddhist thing is a bit harder than we thought?

    Lonely_Traveller
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    Personally I don't have a problem with Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, but what does get to me emotionally are conflict based and shallow reality shows like the Housewife shows.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Shoshin said:... "Richard J. Davidson" (Professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison-he's also a member of the "Mind & Life Institute" ) mentioned this in one of his youtube talks, however he was quoting a fellow researcher/scientist (who name I've forget) who had been conducting research on thought patterns...

    Thank you for the information. :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Shoshin said:... "Richard J. Davidson" (Professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison-he's also a member of the "Mind & Life Institute" ) mentioned this in one of his youtube talks, however he was quoting a fellow researcher/scientist (who name I've forget) who had been conducting research on thought patterns...

    Thank you for the information. :)

    You're Welcome..... :) He went on the say that the 'three positive thoughts' don't completely eliminate the negative one, they only balance it out...I guess that's why from a Buddhist practitioner perspective, being mindful of ones thought patterns is so important ...

    federica
  • @Dakini said:

    Thank you for this one. Very very sweet - and creative too.

  • "News" agencies find that train wrecks sell while kindness does not in the way the "news" agencies want - profit. The "news" agencies/stations covered Trump as the ongoing train wreck, not because they liked him, but because he generated ratings (money) for them. They never covered the reality, just the illusion.

    Now we are all going to reap the results of illusion coverage.

    lobster
  • @Lionduck said:
    "News" agencies find that train wrecks sell while kindness does not in the way the "news" agencies want - profit. The "news" agencies/stations covered Trump as the ongoing train wreck, not because they liked him, but because he generated ratings (money) for them. They never covered the reality, just the illusion.

    Turns out that clickbait news is serious revenue: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/24/facebook-clickbait-political-news-sites-us-election-trump

  • It's one of the reasons i don't watch tv anymore (rarely).I remember how friends encouraged me to watch game of thrones.I watched one episode but it left me feeling nauseated.To be fair,maybe it was just that one episode.but still..that done and did it for me.

    i also notice a lack of sensitivity in violent movies.I remember my friend insisted we watch a horror movie.Now,i will spare you the title,i fear you'll look it up,think i'm kidding,watch it,and end up needing the services of a shrink.

    It was just the worst.

    It's a sad state.To be imagining such cruel things.The mind is the front runner.All our actions starts in the mind.I think it would be very skillfull to be mindful of the type of programs on tv.

    federicalobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I have a saved saying that goes:
    "You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with.
    Choose carefully to whom you give your time."

    I happen to think that prolonged, habitual and continual exposure to certain genres of programmes/films does the same, to the mind. it subtly alters certain thought patterns and processes.... People may not believe they are susceptible or affected. I would disagree, but therein lies debate....

    Akashalobster
  • Here is a list of my favoured companions

    • NewBuddhist (counts as one person, honest)
    • Buddha (I see dead people - iz hobby)
    • Animals (not just for eating)
    • Family and friends (mostly heretics, unbelievers and samsarians)
    • Lucifer (wot a gal!)
    Akasha
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited November 2016

    I knew a girl at school whose surname was Phère. She was French Guyanan, and her first name was Lucille. You can imagine how well she fitted in at a RC Convent School... I made friends with her on the basis of "Better the devil you know....".

    lobsterAkasha
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @federica said:
    I knew a girl at school whose surname was Phère. She was French Guyanan, and her first name was Lucille. You can imagine how well she fitted in at a RC Convent School... I made friends with her on the basis of "Better the devil you know....".

    Ups...another one over my head. shrug

    I'm proud and happy that some have shucked the old boob tube out - I did that when they went to digital - of course, I watch stuff on my computer, but at least it's not always ever-present 'choice'. I think it's ok to watch things that are a lot more good guy / bad guy - even though it's not strictly a Buddhist sort of thing, yet the Buddha was born into a powerful political fam and had to deal with the politics so it can be easy to critique his handling of things. Lately, I've been watching a couple of animated movies that help lighten things up in regards to your standard scary 'monsters' - Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2.

  • @Akasha said:
    I also notice a lack of sensitivity in violent movies. I remember my friend insisted we watch a horror movie. Now, I will spare you the title, I fear you'll look it up, think I'm kidding, watch it and end up needing the services of a shrink.

    It was just the worst.

    I like it already. o:)

    Apparantly there have been a lot of complaints about 'The Walking Dead' - New series 7. I watched the very first episode of series 1, it was clearly in part about drug addiction, very serious. No fun or humour, just shock and awful. So the fact that it is highly regarded is no compensation. If I want horror and shock, I go visit our rarely used outside toilet. :scream:

    When your mind is as clearly warped as mine and large sections of Brexitland, Trumpland and other zombie lands such as [insert present location] are infecting your pure Buddha brain ... what to do?

    Fill it with unappetising anti-zombie brain food. Iz zombie apocalypse antidote ...

    • mantra
    • dharma
    • thoughts of kittens, puppies and cuteness* wrathful tantric deities
    • Love, light and clarity

    *[Warning] new improved zombies are attracted to fluffy bunny brains

  • @smarino said:
    I got rid of my TV decades ago due to the violence and the lowest common denominator intelligence, or lack of intelligence, of the shows. The reason why things are so crude and violent is called desensitization. In a society that is violent and takes violence as just part of the "normal" reality, media (especially films) have to keep ratcheting up the violence and crudeness to get through people's conditioning.

    This doesn't explain why a society chooses to feature violence. Many foreigners visiting the US, or relocating here, comment on how shocking the level of violence on TV and in film is, and are bewildered as to why it's sexual content that's regulated and rated for parental discretion in exposing their kids to it, while the violence is over-the-top, and unregulated. How/why did American TV programming and film get on this path in the first place, and go to such an extreme?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Dakini said:....how shocking the level of violence on TV and in film is, and are bewildered as to why it's sexual content that's regulated and rated for parental discretion in exposing their kids to it, while the violence is over-the-top, and unregulated. How/why did American TV programming and film get on this path in the first place, and go to such an extreme?

    Absolutely, good question!
    Reminds me of the time a young starlet (I forget whom) was recounting how she was in a bedroom scene, when the door was to burst open and a group of renegades with guns was supposed to burst in and pepper the room with bullets... during the 'action!' she sat bolt upright in the bed and the sheet fell off her breasts, The Director immediately yelled "Cut! Honey, you can't let the sheet fall and expose you like that, we need a kid's rating!" to which she justifiably retorted "so the kids can watch us having simulated sex, watch us being mown down by a hail of bullets in a blood-bath - but they can't see my tits - ?!"

    Well, yes, apparently that's exactly right....

  • The US's influence on programming has changed what's viewed elsewhere. As a child in Australia, nudity was fine, but violence was not. It's the opposite now.

    It sure has developed a strange view on society. There are the weird scenes on American programmes which show a woman in a skimpy bikini while the man has to wear trousers to swim in the ocean because he can't wear Speedos as they're too revealing!

    I put it down to the puritanical origins of the US society. As an American friend said 'The forefathers were so conservative, not even the Dutch would have them'.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited December 2016

    It's a damning indictment of a sadly large proportion of the ' 'Murrican' Youth of Today' that when posed questions on the street, regarding Politics, Geography, History and English, a horrifyingly large number of them were unable to answer basic questions on each subject, but shown a slew of "Celebrittee" photos, they were able to identify all of them...

    I would hasten to add that I don't know of cases which have carried out similar exercises in the UK, but sadly, I'm pretty sure the trend would be much the same....

  • @federica, apparently the youf of today are better at American cultural references than the local. It will be interesting to see what happens with the rise of China and how it changes the social landscape as any empire does.

    I think it's time to learn Mandarin! Although English is the lingua franca today, I can't imagine it'll stay that way if 1 in 7 people born today are born in China, and that doesn't include the Chinese diaspora.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Well, it's probably going to stay that way a long time due to historical and 'power' differences. While more people on the planet speak Chinese (in all its dialects) than any other, more people on the planet speak English, as either a first or second language, than any other.

    It is the universal language of Air Traffic controllers, and technology is English (American variety) in origin. Even if instruction manuals for programmers and those involved in computer technology, might be written in that person's native language (I've had to do some translation in that field - NEVER AGAIN!!) , certain terms, such as 'Micro-switch' and 'Log on' will always be referenced and remain untranslated, as they are 'technologically' assumed universal.
    So I believe English will not lose its grip for a while yet, although the language itself is evolving (and not always in a good way).

    Tiddlywinds
  • @federica - yeah, I guess the technological part of English will dominate for as long as there's code. Hadn't thought of that aspect.

    I recently went to the opera in Milan and 2 people interacted in a not so friendly way - a French woman and a Bulgarian. Both immediately spoke English to broach the issue of seating arrangements and both left in a huff.

    It raises the question of how culture and language impact tv, movies etc. As far as I can figure out the shock value increases interest but also generates fear, disgust etc.

    I saw something somewhere the other day which said that the reason women on tv have to make so much effort about their appearance and show cleavage is because it's an easy way for men to watch tv - it's about the ratings. It's much harder to get men to watch tv than women (apparently).

    I wonder if more violence is also a way of getting more men to watch tv? Men watch more physical sport - perhaps they're linked? (hope I'm not being offensive with saying this).

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @Tiddlywinds said:
    . As a child in Australia, nudity was fine, but violence was not. It's the opposite now.

    No they're both acceptable - it's politics that we're getting jack of these days

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