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Politics of Hollywood Test 2


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Myths into sales pitches
idea put forth by Stewart Ewen, a left winger. In his argument, he cites two Spielberg movies, "ET and Strange Encounters of the Third Kind." In the latter, the kid gives alien a pack of oreos to the alien when it comes of its ship. He uses this image to convey the notion that Hollywood creates this myth of our first encounter with aliens and uses a combination of images as a device to sell things. Images in contemporary American society are most often designed to sell something and built to pursuade.
"Fat and Happy?"
2000 documentary hosted by the actor Allan Alda. The study showed watching TV adds to the obesity problems of children. When watching TV, kids are more likely to eat and no exercise causing them to become fatter. This has bad effects on the development of children because it makes then fat which causes bulimia and also causes more violence and schoolwork to go down. ImportanceTV effects children's health.
Seduced by Hollywood
idea by Dan Franklin. Franklin's one big argument is that what happens in Hollywood is driven by market forces, a business decision. Inferior social scientists are wrong to think its what artists want to put on screen. They are wrong because they have been seduced by the glamour of Hollywood. Franklin is more of an objective social scientist since he has never been to Hollywood
Law and Order
- an hour long, both police and lawyer show, that has been on since 1991. Every episode deals with some issue like racial biasness in the court system or whether very religious people should have the same laws applied to them, etc. The lawyer of the opposing side always gives an intelligent counter-argument. Dick Wolf, the producer, is anti-capital punishment. The people who don't agree with him, get a fair argument. Importance:-minded discussion of public policy on TV is not necessarily propaganda for one side or the other.
Stargate SG-1
(1997-2008) an anti-Star Trek TV show that ran from TV series about military adventurers travel to the far reaches of the universe fighting evil aliens and helping good aliens. Unlike ST, there is evil on earth just as there has always been. Point about SG-1 is that it is a counter-myth of the future, and is a negative vision of the future.
"Politically Incorrect"
a late night show hosted by Bill Maher on ABC. The point was to comment to current events in a provocative matter. In a presidential address, Bush called the terrorists cowards. Bill pointed this out and said we are the cowards for firing cruise missiles from 2000 miles away. His comment was skewed to attack the courage of the American soldiers. Spring of 2002, ABC cancelled the show after an aroused public voiced their opinion. An aroused public can have an affect on the content of TV.
"Birth of a Nation"
(1915) movie produced by DW Griffith. It was based upon a novel called the "Clansman" who was written Dixon, a racist. The point of the novel was white people need to pull together to push the blacks back down and keep them from taking over in the South. The hero of the Birth of a Nation is the KKK. NAACP and white liberals filed suit in local censorship boards. Eventually, it was show everywhere, and that resulted in riots. Griffith was the first one to argue that movies are art; therefore, it should be protected under the freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is the ultimate good.
the transcendent genre
is science fiction. It is transcendent in many ways: transcends media- 11 of 20 highest grossing films in 2003 were science fiction movies. It also allows our imaginations to transcend to the here and now in the present situation. SF allows us to as what if things were different, time travel, etc. SF allows the greatest freedom to imagination of any genre. One of the most important aspects of SF is it allows us to construct alternate visions of the future for ourselves
(1992) is a movie about the barbarian who comes out of the wilderness, destroys the civilization, and rides back into the wilderness. The hero is a psychopath who kills 8 people. Importance: The movie has the structure of a Western, but completely turns around moral assumptions because the civilization is not saved in the end.
Star Trek (1966-1969)
A TV series that portrays an optimistic vision of the future. In the world of ST, people have solved most of their major problems on Earth, no systematic injustice, poverty, racism. All of that stuff exists out in the galaxy. ST future is not only humane, but rational. We argue without violence.
"collective unconscious"
the term cultural anthropologists refer to as the shared desires and fears of that particular culture. Hollywood has a major influence in developing the collective unconscious by making a film that grosses a lot of money and reproducing the same idea. This idea resonates in people's heads and becomes a part of the collective unconscious. US collective unconscious has gone through a transition (rural to urban). Relation of how genres change over time to how the collective unconscious changes overtime. Importance: the collective unconscious can be measured through the study of the rise and falls of genres.
8,000 murders
According to the American Psychological Association, children have seen 100,000 acts of violence and seen 8,000 murders on TV before they graduate elementary school. In Jan 2007, parents council released a study of fall 2005 season, conducting study since 1998. Conclusion is the number of violent scenes has risen steadily since 1998. 49% of all episodes in primetime TV contain at least one instance of violence. Social scientists have two kinds of evidence: correlational and experimental.
- a cop show that ran from the 1970's-80's about a working class police lieutenant who solved murders committed by the rich and famous. Columbo was dramatized class conflict in which the successful people were the villains. Importance: say it was liberal propaganda.
a type of genre that brings to life the repressed unconscious, anti-social tendencies people have that can't be explained. Used to be pro-social but evolved into anti-social. Horror films allow us to surrender to this antisocial impulse we have without actually doing it. Evolved in two ways: greater graphic explicitness (used the be psychological) and the monster begins to win. Importance: This type of evolution is heading in an antisocial direction. Nowadays the audience for these films is antisocial boys.
Independents, Democrats, and Apolitical
Seduction of eloquence
idea by Neil Postman, he says that over the centuries we have developed defenses against by being developed by words. We haven't yet developed protections against the seduction of eloquence and images. Make argument our culture is being transformed where we aren't thinking in words, but in images. They don't like this.
stands for no children under 17 are allowed entry. Motion picture rating that replaced X in 1990. Significance: self-regulation to avoid outside censorship. X came in 1968, and TV ratings came in 1997
is the Office of War Information. It was a censorship bureau that censored all information including newspapers, radio broadcasts, and even incoming letters. Congress created the OWI after Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Its special bureau was called the Bureau of Motion Pictures added another layer of regulation. A script would go from Hays office to Bureau of Motion Pictures. When the government is strongly motivated, as in a time of war, it will impose censorship on Hollywood. First Amendment didn't matter during war. Shortly after WWII, Truman abolished the OWI.
Hays Office
, created in 1922, is a branch of the Trade Association. It is called this because Hays was in charge. It instituted self-censorship regime, but didn't enforce anything. 1933, the industry began to make more raunchier films because of the great depression. 1939, Catholic church created legion of decency- someone would watch movies and determine which movies could see the movies. The members of this legion pledged not to see the movies on the forbidden list. This was an outside censoring force which threatened the movie industry. 1934, they gave teeth to the Hays office. They wrote a code of behavior of what you could and couldn't do in movies. You could not show the sex organs of animals, no human burps, no kissing for more than 8 seconds, etc. Studios enforced the code because the studios distributed all of the movies. If the movies didn't pass the code, the movie wasn't distributed.
National TV Violence Study in 1995
- one part of this study was to review all of the studies about the effects of TV. Summary of all research as of 1995: no doubt that heavy viewers of violence have increased aggressive behavior. This correlationis very stable over time, place, and demographics. The more TV kids watch, the more violent they are later in life.
Seventh Heaven
TV show that ran from the late 1990's to 2007 about a closely-knit religious family who overcame problems together. Importance: example of a counter trend in a conservative argument of an attack on family, as it reinforces family values.
a type of pro-social genre where the setting is generally urban. The classical musical involves two story formulas: romantic story (man and woman start in hostility but fall in love), and the other is where a show is put on. Classical musicals are a very pro-social genre. Importance: Musicals declined in 20th century but have recently made a comeback, reinforcing this notion that pro-social genre is making a comeback.
"The Last Temptation of Christ"
(1988) Martin Scorceise makes a film based on the novel. The premise of this story is that Jesus is neurotic, fearful, and uncomfortable of being the son of G-d. He wishes he could be an ordinary guy. When this film was released there was an outcry from Christians all over the world. Christians made three critiqueshistorically inaccurate and offensive, story takes liberties with the story in the gospels (impossible to figure out message Jesus is preaching), and last half hour is a fantasy scene where Jesus is on the cross and he imagines life as an ordinary man. Universal releases the film and is hit with lawsuits.
bobo doll
also called the bop bag, is a plastic blow up toy with a weight on the bottom, so when you punch it, it comes back. Study: kids are shown a movie where an adult hits the bop bag are placed in a room with the bag. The kids hit the bop bag. Importance: an early demonstration that children can learn violent behavior by seeing it on the screen.
Correlational evidence
1993 study at PSU, elementary children with behavioral problems spent the most time in front of the TV.
Broadcast standards office
the self-regulation office within a network (like the Hays Office in the movies). In order to put a TV show on the air, it must pass the BSO. Broadcast standards have changed over time, as they have become much more lenient on profanity and violence.
(1953) western movie. The movie is about a lone individual, Alan Ladd, who rides out of the wilderness to stick up for a community that is being threatened by bad guys. He kills the bad guys and rides back into the wilderness. Importance: an example of the most common kind of Western story.
"The Reagans"
is a miniseries about Nancy and President Reagan scheduled by CBS to run in October 2003. It was generally favorable to the Reagans, but few scenes that conservatives questioned. One scene mentioned Reagan was slow to react to the AIDs epidemic because he believed AIDs was god's punishment for homosexuality, a sin. Conservatives objected to this scene, and it was brought before Congress. CBS cancelled the show. Organized interest group pressure can change the content of TV.
Science with an agenda
idea by Dan Franklin, a social scientist. People who come up with conclusions that are contrary to his own are wrong
17,000 hours
by the time the average person graduates high school, they have seen ______ of TV. More than any event in that person's life except for sleeping.
"Desperate Housewives"
is an example of a combination of genres into a TV show. It is a mixture of a comedy, soap opera, and mystery
was a cop show from 1992-2005. You could never show this in the 60's because they show partial nudity and have profanity. The point is the standards have evolved to become more lenient. As a result, the public in the 2000's have demanded more censorship.
is a movie genre prevalent in the 1920s-1960s set in the American west in which civilized people face barbarians threatening their existence. These people are tested both morally and physically. Westerners take this concept of testing and put it into conflicts of the Old West. It is the most important genre in the history of Hollywood. The western helped us deal with the transition from rural to urban. The western has grievously declined. The bottom line is that we don't need that genre anymore; it has served its purpose. Importance: The rise and fall of the west can account for the change in the American collective unconscious.
is one of the ratings imposed by the 1996 Communications Act (look at handout). The act imposes content rating on TV by government, TV reacted by self regulations, they adopted their own regulation system. These ratings are done to avoid FCC from censoring. V means violence and S means sex were additional rating systems imposed by networks to avoid censorship by FCC. People aren't really happy with the ratings system. A lot of interest groups have formed to try to impose censorship.
The white-single-urban-male-who-lives-alone
genre that dominates the cop/ detective/ private eye show. Conservative say that TV undermines the family by exalting the single life style; especially in shows that require villains, there are few married couples, tend to be a lot of single people. This type of person is usually the hero of the show, and conservatives say this convinces people wrongly that people can be happy as single, which is bad for American society. Liberal reply is that this type of show is a requirements for drama: dramatically convenient if the hero is single so he can meet a lot of women. Also, there are a lot of surrogate families.
a group of similar stories involving setting types of characters, types of conflict, broad themes, resolution to conflicts. Hollywood creates genres, and people accept the convention of how the story is told. True TV genre shows aren't good artistically because they tend to be very formulaic. For example, everybody knows what is going to happen in the Roadrunner cartoon. Most important genre in history of Hollywood is the Western. Importance: the collective unconscious can be measured through the study of the rise and falls of genres.
Dying genre
is the sitcom (short for situational comedy) on TV, and is the numerically most common TV genre. Generally, comic situation is created through misunderstanding or little depiction. Consequences of this are worked out humorously, as this reinforces viability of family. Sitcom is a pro-social genre that satisfies our yearning for a small group over an impersonal society. 2000's, sitcoms have declined. Quantitative evidence: fewer sitcoms on TV now than there were just a few years ago. Importance: Raises the question of what a dying genre say about the collective American conscience. If the sitcom is declining and is a pro-social genre that reinforces family, are people are now less interested in seeing pro-social genres?
TV as left-wing
argument made by conservatives that TV is liberal propaganda. Right wingers focus on programs, and they say prime time TV systematically casts representatives of our major institutions as villains or fools. Also, the argument consists of this idea that TV is critical of American values and institutions. Number one example is people who are in business. TV businessmen: Business people on TV shows are portrayed as villains; organized crime is a paradigm of business. In a crime or cop show, villains are menaced by some corporation. Importance: whatever you believe, you tend to think the screen is attacking your point-of-view.
"kingdom of heaven"
2005 movie about the Crusades that is set in 12th century Jerusalem. The movie is about the conflict between Islam and Christianity over Jerusalem. Christian scholars thought the movie was anti-Christian propaganda while the Muslims thought it was anti-Muslim propaganda. Importance: whatever you believe, you tend to think the screen is attacking your point-of-view.
Soap opera
is a genre that dominates day-time TV in which people talk about their emotions, a theme which is popular with women. The point of ________ woman are hungry to hear about human problems in relationships and life mistakes and how to deal with them. It is a pro-social genre because people make terrible mistakes and suffer, but the social group survives.
is the Action for Children Television. This is a political organization formed by a group of concerned mothers from Boston. Deal with two major concernsviolence and excessive commercialization. It had a variety of successes to convince Congress. 1970's FCC designated 7-8 pm as family viewing time, and you couldn't have violence in that hour. FCC did this because of the lobbying of ACT. ACT had influence on the policymaking. It came apart in 1992. Warning labels were passed in 1993 because congress was about to pass a law at the urging of the ACT. Point proves that organized group of citizens can have an effect on congressional policymaking.
Anthony Adverse
(1936) movie distributed by Warner Brothers. Based on the best selling book about a fondling child, named Anthony, in late 18th century Europe. The studio bought the rights to the novel and sent the script to Joseph Breen. He was the person in Hays Office that ran the self-regulation. He and his assistants read the script, and wrote a letter to the producer. Breen rejected the movie based on its immorality and violation of the production code. They redid the script, and made the movie. In order to satisfy Breen and the code, the characters just appeared and weren't of wedlock. The code was interested in moral issue according to the rules of the code.
Notel, Unitel, Multitel
- are three small towns on the border of Canada. In the 1970's, researchers did a study on Notel had no TV, Unitel had only one of the big three networks, and Multitel had all three channels. Researchers went in and gave the school age children achievement tests: was the highest and Multitel was the worst. All three networks come to all three towns: test scores of Notel and Unitel lowered to the same as Multitel.
surrogate families
a group of people who aren't biologically related but function like a family. An example of this is "Will and Grace," "Cheers," and "Friends." The message of these shows is that it endorses the surrogate family by building family relationships with people who aren't related to you. Importance: example of the counter-trend of the conservative argument that TV ruins family values.
TV businessmen
the actors who play businessmen on TV. In a 1980's report by Lichter, Lichter, and Rothman, they was stated that TV businessmen are seven times more likely to break the law than to contribute to society's well-being. Quantitative data that these three put together were undisputable; business people were villains on the screen. Conservatives make the argument that TV is liberal propaganda that is critical of American institutions and values. Response- business people making convincing villains because they are powerful. It has nothing to do with liberal propaganda, has to do with requirements of drama. Importance: whatever you believe, you tend to think the screen is attacking your point-of-view
Viti Levu
is an island province of Fiji. The researchers form Harvard learned that cable TV was going to be brought to the island. The first survey from 1998 was just as the TV was brought to the island. The cable programs the Fijians were watching were basically American shows as well as shows from other countries. The number of girls who admitted to being belemic or on a diet said they did this to look like the girls on TV. ImportanceTV effects children's health.

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