Alan Moore on media, fascism and more

That might be a horrifying notion but I’m sure there are people who think of television as perhaps one of their most intimate friends. And if the TV tells them that things in the world are a certain way, even if the evidence of their senses asserts it is not true, they’ll probably believe the television set in the end. It’s an alarming thought but we brought it upon ourselves. I mean, I think that television is one of the most diabolical — in the very best sense of the word — inventions of the past century. It has probably done more to degrade the mind and intelligence of its audience, even if they happen to be drug addicts or alcoholics; I would think that watching television has done more to limit their horizons in the long run. And it has also distorted our culture.

Alan Moore is the writer of many excellent graphic novels, including V for Vendetta, From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In this excellent interview on Salon, he explains (among other things) his very bleak vision of what TV is doing to us, our culture and particularly to politics. President Springsteen, anyone? Via Boingboing.

I’m not sure my view of the effect of TV is quite so pessimistic, and at the very least you have to factor in all the good that having cheap, globally accessible mass media has brought. I have a deep conviction though, that the sheer amount of time spent in front of TV’s all over the world could be used for better purposes, and does on the whole not contribute much to our happiness.

3 thoughts on “Alan Moore on media, fascism and more”

  1. Stephen King calls TV the "glass tit" in his book On Writing.

    Have you read Neal Postman’s book, Amusing Ourselves to Death? It is an earlier analysis of TV that many have found worth the read.

  2. James Taylor has a great lyrics in the song, Shed A Little Light about TV: here is the lyric –

    Shed a Little Light
    Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King
    and recognize that there are ties between us, all men and women living on the Earth.
    Ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood, that we are bound together
    in our desire to see the world become a place in which our children can grow free and strong.
    We are bound together by the task that stands before us and the road that lies ahead.
    We are bound and we are bound.
    There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
    There is a hunger in the center of the chest
    There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
    And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest
    Shed a little light, oh Lord, so that we can see, just a little light, oh Lord.
    Wanna stand it on up, stand it on up, oh Lord,
    wanna walk it on down, shed a little light, oh Lord.
    Can’t get no light from the dollar bill, don’t give me no light from a TV screen.
    When I open my eyes I wanna drink my fill from the well on the hill,
    do you know what I mean?
    Shed a little light, oh Lord, so that we can see, just a little light, oh Lord.
    Wanna stand it on up, stand it on up, oh Lord,
    wanna walk it on down, shed a little light, oh Lord.
    There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist, there is a hunger in the center of the chest.
    There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
    and though the body sleeps the heart will never rest.
    Oh, Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King
    and recognize that there are ties between us.
    All men and women living on the Earth, ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood.

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