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An Argument for the Elimination of Television

Jerry Mander, in his book "Four Arguments For the Elimination of Television" explains the unnatural and negative effects of television on the human brain.

| July/August 1979

  • family tv watching
    Jerry Mander, in his book Four Arguments For the Elimination of Television explains the unnatural and negative effects of television on the human brain.
    PHOTO: FOTOLIA/APOPS

  • family tv watching

What's the matter with our modern, technologically based society anyway? Why isn't it more satisfying? Why do so many of us now feel that some vague something hounds us and diminishes us and makes us into something less than we should be? Most specifically of all, do we really use television — and so many other "benefits" and "tools" of our technological age or — does it use us? Jerry Mender speaks the unspeakable and asks the unaskable in his remarkable book " Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television".   

Effects of Television on the Human Being

Television technology produces neurophysiological responses in the people who watch it. It may create illness, it certainly produces confusion and submission to external imagery. Taken together, the effects amount to conditioning for autocratic control.

The Replacement of Human Images by Television

Television is the most important single source of images in the world today. If people are ingesting television images at the rate of four hours a day, then it is clear that whatever uses people have for the images they carry in their heads, television is now the source.

When you are watching television all categories of your own image-making capacities go dormant, submerged in the television image. TV effectively intervenes between you and your personal images, substituting itself.



When you are watching TV, you are not daydreaming, or reading, or looking out the window at the world. You have opened your mind, and someone else's daydreams have entered. The images come from distant places you have never been, depict events you can never experience, and are sent by people you don't know and have never met. Your mind is the screen for their microwave pictures. Once their images are inside you, they imprint upon your memory. They become yours. What's more, the images remain in you permanently. I can easily prove this to you.

Please bring to mind any of the following: John F. Kennedy, Milton Berle, Howdy Doody, the Bionic Man, Captain Kangaroo, Archie Bunker, Johnny Carson, Captain Kirk, Henry Kissinger.



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