Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Burns and Thompson - Television Studies

Burns, Gary, and Robert J. Thompson. Television Studies: Textual Analysis. New York: Praeger, 1989.

Most of this collection of essays dealt with analysis of specific TV programs or types of programs. The more interesting articles were the first two (debating each other) and the last one, although it's not particularly brilliant (a bit of audience research). Let's quick hit essay...

Mike Budd and Clay Steinman - "Television, Cultural Studies, and the 'Blind Spot' Debate in Critical Communications Research
Rather Marxist. Criticizes television analysis that is purely cultural study which leaves out the political economic factors of television. The final sentences sum up the argument nicely: "When cultural studies, like film/TV studies, abstracts texts from the social and economic institutions of consumer capitalism, it imitates rather than critiques their decontextualizaion, their commodification of experience. Blinded to the socioeconomic, media studies all too easily slips into celebration, missing the urgent critique of domination's newest forms."

John Fiske - "Popular Television and Commercial Culture: Beyond Political Economy"
Post-Marxist. (One-upmanship!) Fiske (explicitly critiqued by Budd and Steinmen) counters with an accusation of a blind spot on their side: the audience. He begins with a simple yet intriguing chart that combines political economy (he calls it financial economy) with what he calls cultural economy.

The first circulation of TV's financial economy: (PRODUCER) Production Studio produces a (COMMODITY) Program which is sold to a (CONSUMER) distributor.

The second circulation of TV's financial economy: (PRODUCER) Program produces a (COMMODITY) audience which is sold to a (CONSUMER) advertiser .

[The Marxists, like Budd and Steinmen, would stop there. But Fiske insists on the importance of studying a second economy.]

The cultural economy: (PRODUCER) audience produces a (COMMODITY) meaning/pleasure which is sold to (CONSUMER) itself.

Here he sounds just like Frith (in Sound Effects), Stu and others, emphasizing that "the people are not cultural dupes and are not readily manipulable, either by the greedy barons of the industry or by benevolent paternalists who claim to have their interests at heart." (31)

Building his argument, Fiske uses Stuart Hall (Encoding/Decoding) and discusses polysemy - the capacity for signs (in this case, TV texts) to have multiple meanings depending on the audience. In fact, Fiske emphasizes, "Popular texts, then, in order to be popular, in order to meet the diverse needs of a diversity of audiences, have to be polysemic." (31) Fiske also complicates Hall's theories of dominant, negotiated, oppositional readings (expanding on this in a footnote on p.36) by suggesting that since people occupy different social positions from moment to moment (even within one session of viewing TV) their social alliances are constantly shifting. (26)

He ends with a swipe at the erosion of Marxism..."Those of us who wish the broaden and extend the range of cultural products in our society...have more to learn from the cultural industries..than we do from many traditional academic and economic theories whos ecentral position in academia is now being challenged." (35)

"Dallas" Refigured - Marsha Cassidy
refiguration - as the Dallas soap opera unfolds serially, the problems and the character development are subject to a constant transformation in the minds of the audience. This relies on the audience's memory of the story's history. The most dramatic example: Bobby's death turning out to be a dream, thus forces a refiguration of everything that happened on the show during that dream. The cliffhangers of the show make Dallas particularly notable as an example of refiguration. (I kept thinking of Lost as a more recent example, and one that plays with refiguration almost consciously.)

Cassidy also notes how refiguration allows characters to move from being good/sympathetic to evil/detested.

Flatulent Conceptions: "The Young Ones," Inoculation, and Emesis - Murray Smith
"The Young Ones" is a British sitcom that was (as I understand it) a borderline sketch comedy show because of its sharp, surrealistic plot turns. It was subversive because instead of confronting small doses of acknowledged evil and thus inoculating against it (Barthes) as most sitcoms would, TYO vomits (emesis) anarchistic behavior. This provides the intense pleasure of the show. Smith's larger aim is to complicate the sources of pleasure from TV from Fiske's suggestion that "pleasure always involves some form of resistance to (rather than complicity with) the ideological codes offered by any given cultural product." (72)

(American parallel...Perhaps...Sunny??)

Collective Blindness and American Television - THE Robert J. Thompson
Thompson marvels at the failure of audiences, even the most educated, to pick up on the subtle bathroom humor of Hill Street Blues (as well as St. Elsewhere). He compares it to "Three's Company," a critically panned show which similarly played with obscenity and filth just below the surface. He suggests audiences are just not used to watching/listening for the scatology etc. that Hill Street Blues revels in. BT suggests reasons: artistic (reflects the filth of the city), ratings (related to T&A TV), pleasure of an inside joke.

"He's Everything You're Not...": A Semiological Analysis of "Cheers" - Arthur Asa Berger
Cheers is a fairy tale: a story filled with signs containing multiple meanings (start with the names) built on semiological oppositions (elites v. middle class and lower).

And Justice for All: The Messages Behind "Real" Courtroom Dramas - Wende Vyborney Dumble
Court TV shows aren't realistic, and may dampen an audience's desire to use the justice system.

The Ratings "Sweeps" and How they Make News - Meg Moritz
During sweeps, local news coverage tends to become ratings-driven and horrible.

The Graphication and Personification of Television News - Herbert Zettl
The graphics of TV news tend to make the space look flat, and may the emphasize the anchor as more "personified" and "real."

Representations of Race in Network News Coverage of South Africa - Wendy Kozol
Simplified news reduces complexities to stereotypes. Representations of protesting blacks in South Africa is problematic, but it does give them an important voice on TV, thus enhancing their status towards a more equivalent position to whites.

Propaganda Techniques in Documentary Film and Television: AIM vs. PBS - Martin J. Medhurst
Emphasizes documentaries are NOT meant to be unbiased "documents" but rather reflect the perception and opinion of the author. Thus, a critic should analyze whether they are good or not by how well they act as propaganda.

TV's World of Sports: Presenting and Playing the Game - Jimmie L. Reeves
Sports tend to have conservative values, thus a crisis in the world of sports signals an "ideological rupture."

Invisible Fictions: Television Audiences, Paedocracy, Pleasure - John Hartley
Begins by addressing the comments of John Ellis (in his preface to Visible Fictions, first edition) that one nation's TV is incomprehensible to observers to other nations. Ellis says that "Broadcast TV is the private life of the nation-state." (quoted on 224) Ellis would later point out the value of approaching the unfamiliar, as demonstrated by Raymond William's famous observation of the "flow" nature of the TV medium.

From here, Hartley engages with Benedict Anderson, suggesting TV is one of the most powerful forces of national identity.

paedocracy - The TV industry imagines itself as a regime addressing its viewers as children, with childlike preoccupations and actions. Programs attempt to appeal to the "playful, imaginative, fantasy, irresponsible aspects of adult behavior." (234)

Hartley also clumsily uses Said, suggesting that the industry "orientalizes" the audience because it exists as an other "almost wholly within the imagination and rhetoric of those who speak on their behalf."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Frith - Sound Effects

Frith, Simon. Sound Effects: Youth, Leisure, and the Politics of Rock'n'roll. New York: Pantheon Books, 1981.


The essential argument here is (I think) post-Marxist. Frith rejects the arguments that have emphasized the role of the record industry in shaping the rock music market, and position the audience as a mostly powerless mass - rock (particularly pop rock) is designed to be mass market music for an audience whose tastes can be manipulated, as opposed to more niche categories such as classical, folk, and jazz whose audiences can be serviced but not manipulated. Inherent in this distinction is a hierarchical aesthetic classification by music critics. Frith emphasizes the role of the audience in shaping the rise of rock and pop, as well as the role of rock and pop stars as artists within the system.

Key Quote (Final sentence)
"[The history of rock], like the history of America itself, is a history of class struggle - the struggle for fun."

Other key tidbits...
On music...
Frith notes that it is particularly difficult to write about music because the lyrics are only a fraction of the experience. Related is Frith's point that the consumption of music is a very physical sensation (from tapping a toe to dancing in a club).

Critics often forget that music is fun (Frith emphasizes this several times, including in his final sentences). It arose as an industry as a feature of increasing leisure time in advancing industrialzed nations. In a way, rock stars epitomize leisure ideals - they live a life of constant leisure-time and pleasure.

On the music industry...
While rock is consumed by all demographics, its rise is particularly tied to the rise of youth culture, and it remains a youth-driven industry. It is the youth to which the record industry is marketing to and must respond to.

Pop music arose in the 1960s because the music industry began to market for the youth audience, whereas previously it had aimed for the family.

Rock Roots (Chapter 2) - Black music, Country, Folk. Elvis essentially blended black music with country.

On Mass Culture...
Two different approaches...Leavisite literary criticism and Marxist ideological criticism

Leavisite - comparing mass cultural objects by how they are produced and consumed. Concludes that mass music, because it is created to be sold, must be a corruption of the artistic process, is thus inauthentic, and is therefore aesthetically worthless. Rather than dealing with emotion, mass music exploits emotion to sell a product.

Marxism - similar, but emphasizes both the political and the economic processes of capitalism. The ruling class cherishes the use of pop as a means of social control. The culture industry creates and satisfies false needs.

Frith's response - both approaches assume a passivity on the part of the audience. 1960s - youth culture became self-conscious and politically assertive. Rock musicians belonged to this group, thus music was the counter-cultural voice of the movement. Problem then became the loss of authenticity when musicians achieved fame and fortune. By the 1970s, counter-cultural argument lost its force. Rock began to be explained in terms of art rather than community.

Problems for Rock as Art - 1. Rock relies on complex system of production. Critics thus established a rock version of auteur theory which celebrated the individual creator within the system (writer, singer, instrumentalist, band, record producer, or as the mechanical process got more complex the engineer). 2. Rock is entertainment - an easy art, rather than one that makes people work to appreciate it. Listeners began to explore the meanings in music in greater depth.

Meaning of Rock for Frith - Has come out of teenage/college counterculture to a popular culture of "sophisticated, individualistic, suburban and campus youth".

On Youth Culture...
Following Paul Fass (191-2), Frith differentiates between Youth culture of 20s and 60s. Both were centered at the college level. Both saw a sexual revolution. But 20s culture was based on competition, exclusion, conformity - precisely the values 60s purportedly opposed. Also, 1920s was an expression of generational difference NOT hostility. Finally, class relations were reversed; in the 1920s, college fashions influenced working class. In the 1960s, working class influenced college fashions.

The role of Folk music shifted (and reflects the revolutionary shift in youth culture in the 60s). In the 1930s, Woody Guthrie used Folk music to spread a political message - to bring the plight of rural poor to a middle-class audience. In the 1960s, youth culture embraced Folk as a part of their wider embrace of counter-culture, ie adopting working class dress. Folk-rock (Bob Dylan et al) became a means of the youth culture to proclaim their politics, setting themselves in opposition to the "elites"/mainstream adult class.

On Punk...
Highlights, perhaps because it was the most recent rock movement. Punk is realist music. Punk adapted reggae because it emphasized a freedom of musical choice in opposition to the thoughtlessness of rock n roll. Punk existed in the moment for the artist and audience, rather than expressed some prior moment which triggered the long process of creating a song (writing, recording, performing, etc.).

On girls and music...
In contrast to the "cock-rock" of harder bands such as Led Zeppelin which emphasize an explicit expression of male sexuality, female music (teeny-bop) is a more private discourse, meant to be enjoyed in the bedroom of teeny-bop girls (10-13-year-olds), which is their center of culture.

Because this was written in 1981, Frith doesn't foresee the rise of the music video/MTV as a critical form of marketing music, much less the rise of the Internet and related decline in albums.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Schatz - Hollywood Genres

Schatz, Thomas. Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981.

Part I consists of two theoretical chapters. Part II has six chapters on different genres: Western, gangster, hardboiled detective, screwball comedy, family melodrama.

"...a genre approach provides the most effective means for understanding, analyzing, and appreciating Hollywood cinema."(vii) [because...]
1. It assumes the commercial aspect of filmmaking that prefers formulas
2. It recognizes cinema's close contact with audience, and the effect their response has on the development of both story and production
3. It treats the cinema as a narrative medium that uses familiar stories based on ongoing cultural conflicts.
4. It allows for artistry to be evaluated in terms of how well a filmmaker re-invents established forms

Stresses in the conclusion that his theories apply only to the studio system of the 30s-1960. Genre theory will have to adjust for New Hollywood, as well as television.

Film Genre is...
"a range of expression for filmmakers and a range of experience for viewers." (22) Keyword: range

In de Saussure's terms, Film Genre is to la langue what genre films are to la parole. (19)

Constantly evolving. Internal factors (genres take on their own reality that has nothing to do with, for example, the historical West) and external factors (cultural) change the genre. Henri Focillon says that genres pass through the experimental stage, the classic stage, the refinement stage, and the baroque stage. The audience plays a key role in these changes. Exceptions include gangster genre (internal evolution disrupted by threats of censorship and religious boycott) and war genre (can't be subverted during wartime).

Patterns of industry censorship (Leading to the demise of the classic gangster genre 96-99)
National Board of Censorship 1908 until the rise of feature films
1922 - Censorship threatened, studios form Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA which became Motion Picture Association of America, MPAA, in 1945) This was run by Will H. Hays.
1930 Production Code: unlike previously vague warnings and don'ts, the code emphasized the moral responsibility of motion pictures. Wasn't closely enforced until after 1934
1934 - Production Code Administration (PCA) created under Joseph Breen. Became the Hays-Breen office. Stipulated "The treatment of crimes against the law must not: 1. Teach methods of crime. 2. Inspire potential criminals with a desire for imitation. 3. Make criminals seem heroic or justified."

Variations on gangster film: gangster-as-cop, cain-and-abel (counter-balanced with strong prosocial figure)

Key Terms
myth - a unique conceptual system that confronts and resolves immediate social and ideological conflicts. (262) Thus, Westerns are mythic.
generic icon - a symbol whose significance resonates through a genre. Ex. White horse and white hat in Westerns. Compare to the burning sled in Citizen Kane which only has significance because it has been constructed within that specific film.
determinate space - contested community where social order is valued (Western, gangster, detective)
indeterminate space - civilized community where social integration is valued (musical, screwball comedy, social melodrama)
film noir - (as dubbed by French critics, 113) "visually, these films were darker and compositionally more abstract than most Hollywood films; thematically, they were considerably more pessimistic and brutal in their presentation of contemporary American life than even the gangster films of the early 1930s had been."

Interesting Quotes
"...movies are made by filmmakers, whereas genres are 'made' by the collective response of the mass audience." (264)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Arnheim - Film as Art

Arnheim, Rudolf. Film As Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966.

"Film is a medium...that may, but need not, be used to produce artistic results." (8) Arnheim then proceeds to lay out the various ways this may be accomplished.

Basic Elements of Film (Chapter 1)
Projection of solids (3D) upon a plane (2D) surface - camera can show from various angles
Reduction of depth - make things bigger or smaller, crop an image...the limit of the audience's vision to what the camera chooses to examine
Lighting and absence of color - determines how much or how little is perceived
Delimitation of the image and distance from the object - framing, lens
Absence of the space-time continuum - editing
Absence of the non-visual world of the senses - possible for the mind to create sensory effects in absence, such as smell of incense from image of Catholic church service

Artistic Uses of these Elements (Chapter 2, selected examples)
Projections on plane (44-45)
  1. Unusual angle
  2. Striking artistic effect which draws new observations out of familiar
  3. Attention of the viewer to whether the object is normal or abnormal
  4. Camera interprets the object for the viewer (drawing attention)
Lighting and absence of color - limit of black and white is similar to limit of depth in that it gives artist more potential to create - symbols (light and dark), use of shadows.

Delimitation of picture and distance from object - similar to photography. Close-up. Control of audience's attention.

Absence of space-time - montage (94-98
  1. Cutting - shots, scenes, within a scene
  2. Time Relations - synchronism (simultaneous events), before/after
  3. Space relations - same place, different place
  4. Subject relations - similarity, contrast, combination of similarity and contrast
Absence of nonvisual senses - moving the camera, art of pantomime, power of silence,

Other capacities of film - mobile camera, backward motion (experimental), accelerated, slowed, still photos, fade in/out/dissolve, superimpositions & simultaneous montages, lenses, manipulation of focus, mirror images

Content of the Film (Chapter 3)
Acting - stylized to get point accross to action, but not excessively so
meaning & invention - much more than just language

Other stuff
Basic technical properties of film: 1.) reproduces objects faithfully, 2.) reproduces motion and events faithfully. It is the 2nd feature which has made it a fundamental break from photography. It shows changes in time (whereas the best photography can do is show bluriness.)

1935 essay on television - an improvement on radio as film is an improvement on photography

1938 essay on recorded dialogue - troubled by problems dialogue has introduced to art of film. Distraction from image, distraction from pace of the film.

Interesting Quotes
65 - "An audince demands the greatest possible likeness to reality in the movies and it therefore prefers three-dimensional film to flat colored to black-and-white, talkie to silent. Every step that brings film closer to real life creates a sensation. Each new sensation means full houses. Hence the avid interest f the film industry in these technological developments."
154 - "...sound film is not only destructive [of the forms that the film artists were using] but also offers artistic potentialities of its own." He goes on to ask, "What will the color film have to offer when it reaches technical perfection?"

Key Terms
"partial illusion" - the acceptance of "the screen world as being true to nature" (15) as how the audience is not put off by black and white film. It's only partial, because the camera can, to a varied extent, project reality.

The Morgan Memorial "Deja Vu - You've Seen this Before"
Mast refers to Arnheim and builds explicitly on his ideas throughout Film/Cinema/Movie.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lasch-Quinn - Race Experts

Lasch-Quinn, Elisabeth. Race Experts: How Racial Etiquette, Sensitivity Training, and New Age Therapy Hijacked the Civil Rights Revolution. New York: Norton, 2001.

The turn away from MLK et al.'s dream of an equal society towards black power coincided with the rise of the Therapeutic society in America to take American Civil Rights in the wrong direction. Racial etiquette and sensitivity training emphasize racial differences. New Age ideas coupled with therapeutic ideas to suggest that low self-esteem among blacks was the critical problem that had to be overcome, distracting from the real socio-economic issues that undermined black progress in America.

Other Ideas
The Encounter Group was a tool of group therapy designed to spark a revolution in black-white relations. Experts believed slavery had created a psychology of white supremacy among all whites, and a lack of self-respect among blacks. Experts designed a program for multiracial groups to confront whites with their inherent racism and simultaneously allow blacks a cathartic release of black rage towards whites.

Diversity training was broadly adapted by corporations in the 1990s as a means to fostering a positive work atmosphere in an increasingly racially diverse ethnic environment. But in emphasizing politeness and appreciation for racial identities, it merely emphasized differences, further underscoring racial identities.

The Morgan Memorial "Deja Vu - You've Seen this Before"
Lasch-Quinn applies to racial issues the problems in the Therapeutic culture explored by Lasch, Rieff, and others. The Therapeutic culture and narcissistic focus on the healing of the self has replaced a more traditional conception of morality which emphasized the individual's place and behavior within a community/towards a better community.

Gerald Mast - Film/Cinema/Movie

Mast, Gerald. Film/Cinema/Movie: A Theory of Experience. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

Mast begins with an assessment of prior film criticism literature, noting a divide between those who think the ideal form of film is that which strives to portray nature... (4-5)
Kracauer, Metz, Bazin, Cavell (most theoretical opinion)
...and those who think the ideal is that which explorers the medium to its full creative potential as an art.
Meliers, Arnheim, Eisenstein

Mast is sympathetic to the second group (he calls them the dissenters), but ultimately he acknowledges that films set out to do either/or, and thus a successful film is one that explorers the outer reaches of either side of film's inherent qualities.

Another key piece of Mast's argument is that sound has ALWAYS been a part of film. Before "talkies" films were accompanied by recorded music or a pit orchestra, or even a live narrator.

Key Terms
kinesis - the essential quality of cinematic movemet
mimesis - the photographic, filmic quality of mimicking reality and the human condition
kinesis/mimesis - film can do either, and is best when it explores either to its full extent

(Mast doesn't mind using film, cinema, and movie as synonyms, but he also spends time at the outset differentiating between them at their most literal forms.)
film/filmic: p.9 the spatiality and compositional values essential to the medium itself - the photographic nature, applied to movement. Neither time nor sound have anything to do with film.
cinema/cinematic: the unique process which uses film to produce movement in time. (10)
movie: a specific kind of cinematographe recording that usually fullfills certain conventions of length, narrative form, commercial production, audience expectation of entertainment.

Mast spends the 2nd half of the book discussing kinesis and mimesis, as well as the qualities of film, which he breaks into three categories: (239-242)
Succession (time): the literal (shot length, motion effects), imagistic (visual, rhythmic, transition effects), structural (narrative, kinesis of music, visual kinesis)
Image: filming (lens, filter, exposure film, cinematography, post-production), toning (lighting, colors), content (object, composition, action)
Sound: Music (background, special), words (sounds, meanings/dialogue, narration), noise (natural, tonal underscoring, narrative functions)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Seldes - The Public Arts

Seldes, Gilbert. The Public Arts. New Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A.: Transaction, 1994.

"Popular Culture can be both democratic and distinguished." - (Lynn Boyd Hinds, Reviewed work(s): The Lively Arts: Gilbert Seldes and the Transformation of Cultural Criticism by Michael Kammen Pennsylvania History Vol. 64, No. 1, Regional Perspectives On Early American History (Winter 1997), pp. 133-134)

Seldes's short, sweet chapters are best touched on one at a time:

Introduction: Arthur Asa Berger credits Seldes as one of the first scholars to take popular culture seriously. He also summarizes the two paradigms of cultural studies in Stuart Hall's aptly named "Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms." 1. Culturalism-does not see the economic system as fundamental but rather defines culture as encompassing "both the meanings and values which arise amongst distinctive social groups and classes" based on conditions and relationships, as well as the "lived traditions and practices through which those 'understandings' are expressed..." 2. Structuralism - Out of anthropologists like Claude Levi-Strauss, de Saussure, semioticians, and linguistics. Culture is read as a text with structures people were generally unaware of but which nonetheless shape their behavior.

1. The Revolution: Loosing defining the start of the revolution as late summer 1929 when Americans chose to listen to Amos n Andy for free on the radio. Thus public arts began to control and direct the actions and behavior of the people consuming it.
2. The Lovely Art: Movement: The lovely art is film. Movement was its first quality that amazed people.
3. The Lovely Art: Sound: writing ascends in importance, dialogue becomes critical.
4. The Lovely Art: Magic: He is primarily talking about the importance of animation, particularly Disney, in dazzling the audience.
5. The Lovely Art: Space: Larger movie theaters, 3D experimentation try to enhance the space within which the audience experiences a film.
6. The Useful Art: Radio. Differs from film in the way it can be a constant source of communication: information and/or entertainment.
7. Sounds and Echoes: Audience has a different, more intimate relationship with radio characters than the distant awe they feel towards move stars. For example, they have shown a propensity to respond to radio characters in writing. Also notes that both radio and TV suffer from the human instinct to appeal to a broader public through a lowering of artistic standards.
8. Personality Business: The struggle artists go through to remain true to their vision in the midst of a business that has numerous gatekeepers undermining their efforts based on preconceived notions of economic gain.
9. The Threshold of Entertainment: Case studies of panel shows (talk and game) that succeed and fail.
10. The Anatomy of Misery: The audience identifies with the contestant in game shows like $64,000 question, in victory and defeat.
11. Domestic Manners in the 49th State: People on TV (AK, HI not in yet!) Notes the different type of programming in daytime compared to night (prime-time programming/sitcoms)
12. "What a Work is Man!": Murrow as the pinnacle of host, delving both into the news AND into the life of famous guests (Person to Person).
13. The Incomparable Bing: Raves about Bing Crosby's success in radio and TV, which does not translate to film because of his more laid back personal style. (See Ch. 7)
14. The Prevalence of Comedy: Emphasizes the personality of the star comedian as the carrier of a very prevalent genre. "Comedy is the axis around which broadcasting revolves." (133)
15. The Good-Bad Berle: "Uncle Miltie" a.k.a. "Mr. Television" pushed the envelope of his popular show too far from rowdy to bawdy. He managed to dial it back and more or less regain his position at the top of the pack.
16. Ave, Vale, and Wait: Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, succeeding in sketch comedy.
17. Mr Benny: Jack - the professional comedic host
18. The Gleason Case: Jackie - the mass-appeal comedian. Broad experience and talents, but not a particular genius.
19. "Me and the Camera and the Folks...": Jimmy Durante - the most lovable comedic host.
20. "What'll we do for Laughs, Celeste?": Begins with a question (173) "Does the prevalence of comedy prevent us from having as much of other entertainment as we might be getting?" Yup. More potential for art and information than just comedy.
21. "The 52-Minute Hour": The ongoing decline of dramatic works, and the threat of Hollywood taking over production. (See: Boddy - Fifties Television)
22. The Consequences of Time: The importance of scheduling in TV
23. Blessed Necessity: The disconnect between the criticisms of the critics and the fulfillment of public need by TV networks who put on shows that the public does indeed watch. This is a prelude to the final section, which attempts to offer guidance for the future of TV
24. The Stiuations of Edward R. Murrow: Discussion of Murrow's role in McCarthyism, which is praises as important and good but cautions against the precedent of directly attacking someone without equal time.
25. A Primer of Problems: Notes economist Harold A. Innis's observation that "whenever you have a far-reaching change in the means of communication, a social change of equal consequence must occur." (230)
26. Rights and Duties I: Freedom of the Air: Balancing the right to broadcast with the duty to broadcast.
27. Rights and Duties II: The Right to Persuade: Editorials are OK.
28. Rights and Duties III: The Limitations of Freedom: Cautions against aggressive censorship of crime and violence.
29. Problems of Power I: The Politics of Color: The wranglings between NBC and CBS over when to mandate a change to color TV.
30. Problems of Power II: The Ultra-Highs: Balancing anti-monopoly efforts with the need for TV signals to reach certain places.
31. Problems of Power III: Programs for Pay: The dangers of charging the public for TV.
32. Problems of Power IV: The Educational Nexus: Should there be separate channels for educational programs.
33. A New Approach: Broadcasters must be open to public opinion, and be open with the public.
34. The Trinity of the Arts: Older forms of arts are all imports. Popular arts are American-made.
35. The Public Arts: The cultural institutions belong to its inhabitants.