On Reading Graphic Novels discussion

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DON'T FORGET: NO TV WEEK NEXT MONDAY

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message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed | 6 comments Don't forget; we're going to try to go a week without tv starting Monday, Feb. 2nd (the day after the super bowl). No rules..you can dvr what you missed, etc. Try to journal how your week is going either here or at the group daily diary. Looking forward to it. :)

Ed


message 2: by Jesse (new)

Jesse | 7 comments I killed my tv when I was 17 years old. Did it as soon as I moved out on my own and it is one of the smartest things I have ever done. It's all crap on TV and I get so much more done. There is no way I could be a writer if I spent my nights watching Girls Next Store or whatever crap is on. I cant even stand watching it now, I find it mind numbing and its nothing but advertising.


message 3: by Ed (new)

Ed | 6 comments I wonder what it would be like to permanently get rid of the tv????


message 4: by Jesse (new)

Jesse | 7 comments The first couple of weeks sucks and you get bored a lot. Just read and be productive in other ways. Really, what benefit do you get from watching TV?


message 5: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong | 25 comments Before HBO and Showtime began thier R rated series, I would have to agree. However, Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Rome, Weeds, Entourage, Dexter, Californiacation, etc. These are such quality entertainment, with no commercials or bullshit attempts at being PC and family friendly. Although I must say that the network series, now canceled, Arrested Development, was amazing as well.


message 6: by Jesse (new)

Jesse | 7 comments All of those shows are available on dvd or even online if you MUST watch them. Though those shows are great, how much money are you spending a month to watch them? How much time are you sitting there being entertained? Lets say the average person watches an hour of TV a day, and I am being conservative, thats 7 hours a week. That's an extra book a week you could finish or a section of writing completed. And that 30 or 40 bucks you are spending on cable for that month could go towards your books or buying an HBO series on dvd. If you kill your TV you live a much more productive and fulfilling week.


message 7: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (jackthorn) | 24 comments Oh, come now... I generally agree with you that people watch too much TV and less would be better, but why is reading a book "more productive and fulfilling" than watching a really well-crafted visual story?

This anti-TV attitude is just the same old thing people have done with every new medium. When printed books started hitting the scene, soon there were people who were outraged about it, saying that books were turning the minds of young people into mush, that books were a curse on society.

And much more recently, when comic books became a phenomena, the same thing was said about them. They're a waste of time, why read them when you could be reading an actual book or doing just about anything else, you're wasting so much of your life sitting around reading comic books.

I have more than a thousand books in my library, and I've read nearly all of them, and am constantly increasing both numbers. Yet I still love Arrested Development, and Eli Stone, and Wonderfalls, and X-Files, and I have a collection of DVDs that is beginning to rival my collection of books.

We don't have cable, and just get the basic five or six channels, of which we mostly just watch PBS and maybe one or two of the network channels if there's a good show on, might catch the news or the weather too. When we tell people this, they look at us strange, they can't believe that we haven't had cable for more than ten years. We tell them how much time we used to waste just channel-surfing or watching whatever was on, how much noise we got rid of in our house.

But still, it's about moderation, not fanatical extremism. A little TV, carefully used, is not a bad thing, might even be a good thing -- you just have to avoid becoming enslaved to it (I'd imagine TIVO probably helps). Books and comic books, in moderation, can be a good thing rather than a negative -- if you avoid losing yourself in those other worlds, overspending, etc. Some might say that playing baseball or tag is a waste of time, that kids should be reading books and expanding their minds. Everything has its dangers and its benefits.

"Meden Agan."


message 8: by Jesse (new)

Jesse | 7 comments You really believe that watching Arrested Development is as productive and challenging as reading a book for half an hour? Besides the bombardment of advertising, 9 minutes for ever 30 not including product placement, most of the shows offer simplistic story lines and the most basic dialogue. Television networks have to dumb it down to appeal to a mass audience. This excludes most HBO and Show Time shows.

Television is one of the main reasons our culture is being dumbed down every generation and teens have the attention spans of goldfish.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2...

Watching in moderation is fine but the statement of it being beneficial holds little merit. Honestly what is learned from television that is useful in the real world? That's great that there are educational shows on PBS and channels like the History Channel and Discovery. However, most people don't watch TV to learn, they watch to unwind, relax and unplug.

As far as comic books go you have to remember that when they came out comics were not the medium that they are today. Thanks mostly to the CCA comics were dumbed down and were not written for the adult market. Most story lines before the 1970s were just terrible.


message 9: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Feb 08, 2009 01:55AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa Jesse, it's the message not the medium that's potentially dumb. Whether it's tv or books or comix or art. There are some (in my opinion) pish books out there, just because someone spends 4 hours reading one of them rather than watching TV doesn't necessarily mean they're being more productive or learning something. Also, sometimes doing something just for fun, wallowing in a guilty pleasure, is just what we need. The intellectual equivalent of junk food.
But all things in moderation folks.
It just happens to be more socially acceptable to overdose on TV or sports than books/comix/movies. I'm sure we all know folk that can quote sports stats at alarming length and folk that know the dimensions and engine size of the starship Enterprise...both uber geeky.
All of these media are escapist to some extent, I think we have to be careful not to leave behind actual reality to go and drown in whatever area of geekdom we prefer...whether TV or something else.


message 10: by Jesse (new)

Jesse | 7 comments Hey. I was just talking about the cca and their logo is your picture :) They are the devil.


message 11: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa I clutch my dark cloak and laugh as I twist my pantomime villain mustache, "Mwah-ha-ha-ha!"
Then slouch off into the Victorian pea souper to plot the downfall of all things comic like...
It's use as my icon is most assuredly ironic.
Seriously though, I remember the fuss over DC putting out the old Swamp Thing that Alan Moore did without the logo. A happy day.


message 12: by Jesse (new)

Jesse | 7 comments There are got to be some good books on the CCA story. I am going to look into it. Do you read Avatar comics at all? I am a huge fan and give those guys way too much money.


message 13: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa Aye, like a lot stuff by of Warren Ellis. Just picked up Aetheric Mechanics and will be reading it shortly.
Just watch some Sopranos first, see how Tony and the boys are doing...TV fast broken.


message 14: by Jesse (new)

Jesse | 7 comments Eh. I never really got into Aetheric Mechanics. I think I am going to buy a few of the first ones and give it a second shot. I just got done reading 3 of the Gravel comics by Ellis, by far one of the best comic series out there.


message 15: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong | 25 comments Warren Ellis is brilliant. I loved Transmet. I read at least one book per week. I watch about 7 hours of TV a week as well. I have read many books that were not as entrertaining, or well crafted, as the Arrested Development series was. If you have not watched it, Jesse, you should. The whole argument about "productivity" and entertainment, seems a rediculous one to me. I read because I love to read, not to be productive. I share a deep suspicion of the television media, and the motives of media coporations, but I am not an idiot. I get my information from multiple sources, and mainly watch television for entertainment. Book publishers are trying to sell their own widgits, and are just as profit motivated as any other corporation.

Go rent the first season of Arrested Developmant. Accept that just as 99% of the shows, movies, comix and books which are put out happen to be mind numbing crap, those which raise the medium and create a quality experience, deserve both their props and their pay check, whatever the medium.


message 16: by Matt (new)

Matt Burfield | 2 comments Nathan wrote: "Oh, come now... I generally agree with you that people watch too much TV and less would be better, but why is reading a book "more productive and fulfilling" than watching a really well-crafted vis..." You make some very strong points. It all boils down to people are afraid of change. Mediums of the past are now considered art, mediums now will most likely be considered art later on in history, or until a new medium introduces itself and becomes more of an outrage than the current medium.




message 17: by Matt (new)

Matt Burfield | 2 comments Ed wrote: "I wonder what it would be like to permanently get rid of the tv????"

I would love it. All my dad does is watch t.v. and alienates himself from the family. My girlfriend has a whole slew of shows she watches and I spend most of my day watching her shows with her. T.V is fun, but it shouldn't take over my life like it does.


message 18: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (jackthorn) | 24 comments Matt_sbd wrote: "Ed wrote: "I wonder what it would be like to permanently get rid of the tv????" I would love it. All my dad does is watch t.v. and alienates himself from the family. My girlfriend has a whole sl..."

Sounds unpleasant; sympathies to you. However, it's the same thing as we've been discussing -- it's not the medium that's at fault, it's the people not being strong enough to be in control.

It's like with drinking beer. When your dad does nothing but sit in the den drinking Pabst after Pabst, or when your girlfriend insists on getting fall-down drunk every time you hang out, then it's not the beer that's evil... it's the weakness, the addiction, etc.

I agree, though, it certainly shouldn't take over anyone's life -- nor should comics, or books. Nothing should, really.



message 19: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (jackthorn) | 24 comments Matt_sbd wrote: "Mediums of the past are now considered art, mediums now will most likely be considered art later on in history, or until a new medium introduces itself and becomes more of an outrage than the current medium..."

Good point about the changing of the mediums...



message 20: by Ed (new)

Ed | 6 comments The week went well for me...got more reading, piano playing, and exercise in. I made a point not to increase computer time to compensate for no tv time. :)


message 21: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa It was books and actual work for me...man, actual real job related work...I almost feel violated.
Also allowed (enabled?) me to finish a book I'd been slowly chipping away at.


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Aetheric Mechanics (other topics)

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Warren Ellis (other topics)