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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

I recently received a job from SBS Farms in New York. I am moving to Florida to work with some of the most talented individuals in the horse industry.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What's Up Primetime?

Watching prime time television has never really appealed to me because as a younger person I was never home for prime time and then would be in bed by 10:30, so I never became accustomed to sitting in front of the TV for hours. The last time I looked forward to primetime television was whenever I was about eight years old and would rush home from the barn to watch T.G.I.F. on ABC. That’s back in the day when Full House, Family Matters, and Step by Step made up my favorite part of the block. I also had strong feelings for the Cosby show, but that’s a whole other story there.
I decided that the best prime time that I could stand to watch would be Sunday night on FOX. Starting out with the Simpsons at 8:00, I watched Lisa make up her own heritage as a Native American and then watch it wackily spin out of control as she spins a web of lies and is asked to do a presentation on “her people” at city hall. Then, Bart is granted a driver’s license because of a heroic act and then is romanced by a character voiced by Natalie Portman. Hilarity ensues. Obviously, with the outrageous satire on the America family that FOX does with all of its cartoons such as King of the Hill, Family Guy, and American Dad, there is a touch of something true in everything that is commented on, but it pushes the issue so far that it becomes humorous.
Looking at this viewing experience from Jean Baudrillard’s perspective with the “hyper reality” it’s not so much applicable to cartoons. Whereas with the bad animation and the outrageous plots going on under my nose, I know that this experience is not real and basically will never happen to me. Whereas watching a show like CSI or House, a viewer watches situations like that and then it affects their real life. For instance, prosecutors are finding it harder and harder to convict criminals because of the “CSI Effect” which points out that people think that DNA evidence should be used in all cases and by not using some of the tactics seen on TV, it plants reasonable doubt into the juror’s minds and then they do not convict the guilty people.
Going along with that, in an interview with Joshua Meyrowitz conducted by Barbara Osbourn, Meyrowitz says that “TV takes public events and transforms them into dramas that are played out in the privacy of our living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.” This theory applies well to cartoons because social satires like South Park, The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. take on world issues and comment on them mockingly which subjects children who may not have even known about them before to giving them a point of view on the situation without all the facts. However, I must say that I usually agree with what is said in the cartoons because they look at it from a bigger picture and place it into a situation where we can see the irony in the situations. Meyrowitz goes on to say that “[p]arents used to be the channel through which children learned about the outside world. They could decide what to tell their children and when to tell it to them. Since children learn to read in stages, books provide a kind of natural screening process, where adults can decide what to tell and not tell children of different reading abilities. Television destroyed the system that segregated adult from child knowledge and separated information into year-by-year slices for children of different ages. Instead, it presents the same information directly to children of all ages, without going through adult filters.”
By presenting a lot of issues through adult cartoons, many children are more prone to being exposed to them seeing as how they have an early timeslot starting at 8pm. Although television programs now come with rating systems, I must comment on the lack of parenting that goes into


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