Cats and Television

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Cats and Television

Steven Johnson wrote “Beneath the violence and the ethnic stereotypes, another trend appears: to keep up with entertainment like 24, you have to pay attention, make inferences, track shifting social relationships”(p. 214) in his article Watching Tv Makes You Smarter. So underneath all that violence and all that non pc like behavior in one of the highest rated television shows of my last ten years of living, I’m supposed to delve deeper, and see what’s really lying underneath all “that”. All the interlacing plotlines and developed characters will actually make me smarter. I don’t think so.

Mr. Johnson refers to the heavy plot lines and underlying, misunderstood “new force altering the mental development of young people…” (p. 215) as the sleeper curve. For us less informed on the sleeper curve, Mr. Johnson just said that television is the new force for developing young minds. Shows like 24 and The Sopranos are the best examples that we have offered here. These shows, with their complex plots, hardcore writing, fast paced speech, these shows will shape our young minds into more intelligent persons. I personally, think The Sopranos was in fact, the best television show in the history of television. I clearly saw all the intertwining plot lines, the moral predicaments, the questions of faith, the clear view of the new age gone wrong; but this in no way helped me figure out how to balance all my bills and spending money, well unless I wanted to take a bat to somebody’s knee caps.

Dana Stevens implies in her article that Johnson’s depiction of smart television is that of past television shows, probably groundbreaking at the time of their release. She also puts it, so bluntly, that his eagerness to prove that ...

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...ent, eyes wide in amazement. When there’s an action commercial on, he also watches, eyes wide in amazement. This same child will see a Mcdonald’s commercial come on and immediately demand a happy meal. This box and it’s little world inside of it in no way make young minds smarter, except only to the demand of consumerism and the road to overweight adulthood.

There is something that I also find “hilariously bogus” about Johnson’s take on the Sleeper Curve and the validity of television to the increase of human intelligence. My cat watches television with me. He doesn’t actually get what’s going on, he doesn’t understand the emotion or stupidity of whatever is on, he doesn’t have a preference of watching a drama, comedy, reality drama, cop show, or Dora The Explorer, he just likes the shapes moving around on the screen. This reminds me of when I watch television.

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