September 9, 2008

You don't have to be afraid of the TV. You shouldn't let poets lie to you.

Listen to Bjork. And look! It's like a little city in there.

19 comments:

Palladian said...

Be careful what you read in Danish books.

Issob Morocco said...

Classic! I think I saw my parent's house down that one street by the wires. I say let's embrace what the Danish tell us.

George said...

Not all poets lie, only the ones who stink like fish.

American poets tell the truth.

American poets smell of Wonder Bread and cheese slices, man.

Pundit Joe said...

Awww, does anyone else want to giver her a hug? lol

I don't know much about her, but that clip was rather cute.

Paul said...

Don't be poking your fingers into cathode ray tube tv's because they can hold a charge of thousands of volts long after they are unplugged. Looks like Bjork had tech assist dismantling and discharging this tv before recording this little statement.

Pogo said...

She's got the 'cute as a bug' thing still down pat, even with her facial expressions.

But I keep seeing her go off on that reporter in Bangkok, hair grabbing and pinching, and the magical effect is gone.

Poof!.
Not a pixie at all.

peter hoh said...

Was this video made to be aired on the Icelandic version of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood?

Skyler said...

I used to live in Iceland, long ago. I don't know what to think of this. It would be cute if she were ten years old, but she's a grown woman.

But at least she rejects the anti-intellectual nonsense that the poet told her. But that's part of what disturbs me. A poet is clearly taking license with reality to make a point about how people tend to be very passive absorbers of television and the media. Why did Bjork take the poet's observations so literally?

It seems to me that feeling a need to reject a poetic observation as not being real is a pretty pathetic response.

Unless – she's trying to make her own poetic observation. But she's not very good at it, and maybe I'm dense, but I can't figure out what her point might be. Except that poets lie. Could she really be that unsubtle?

That's the whole thing with Bjork. She acts like a moron but she's so moronic people assume that she's deep. I'm afraid that she really just isn't.

Or maybe I'm missing something. Can someone make things plainer for me?

peter hoh said...

Actually, I won't be surprised should early TV watching prove to be one of the contributing factors in the explosion of autism.

Pogo said...

She acts like a moron but she's so moronic people assume that she's deep. I'm afraid that she really just isn't.

Good call!
Bjork as Chauncey Gardner.

otcconan said...

I have no earthly explanation for this, but I was very turned on during that video.

I dislike her music, but I've always found her kind of mesmerizing, in the sense that I'd like to take her home and make sandwiches for her. Very much unlike my childhood love, Lynda Carter, who I would like to take home and make mad monkey love to.

peter hoh said...

sorry, left my previous comment hanging like a non sequitur.

Should there be a proven link between TV and autism, then perhaps we might judge the poet's assertion a little less harshly.

blake said...

Actually, I won't be surprised should early TV watching prove to be one of the contributing factors in the explosion of autism.

I would. If TV were a major contributor, we would have seen said "explosion" in the '60s, among the later Boomers. Certainly by the '70s the TV was considered an adequate babysitter (see "Electric Company, The" and "Sesame Street").

Unless there was an interaction with some other catalyst that was introduced in the '80s.

Like...

...NutraSweet.

(Heh.)

rhhardin said...

She left out where rays from your eyes go out and strike the TV screen, in order to see it. So the screen is really struck on both sides.

That's the ancient Greek theory of TV, as it happens.

It accounts very neatly for why, if you put your hand over your eyes, you can no longer see the TV, even though it's on. Your eye rays strike your hand instead.

peter hoh said...

Blake, in the 1960s, children's programming on TV had limited hours. The other issue is the incidence of kids 0-2 watching TV.

mockmook said...

I found the video utterly charming.

Yes, she is childlike, but that is one of the things we value in artists, the ability to stay in awe of the world.

And, I love that she also marries that artistic sensibility with a curiosity that leads her to research the scientific explanation.

Actually, I believe the poet is correct. All of the "pixels" on the CRT screen, are like individual color screens strobing in intensity. But, movies aren't that different; they are individual pictures strobed at 24 frames per second.

Perhaps all of that flashing does make us mad.

blake said...

Blake, in the 1960s, children's programming on TV had limited hours. The other issue is the incidence of kids 0-2 watching TV.

So kids watched non-children's TV, mostly reruns of old sitcoms.

The "explosion" in autism--which may not even be real, complicating discussions of it :-)--started in 1994.

If the incidence of kids 0-2 watching TV were part of the issue, i.e., if we assume that parents didn't immediately sit their children in front of the television starting in 1955, what could we assume about 1994 that made it so magical?

Wouldn't there be a gradual increase over the four decades in autism? Rather than an explosion? And wouldn't it have topped out a lot sooner than '94? The whole latchkey kid concept emerged when, the early '80s?

There's not really a lot of good data, unfortunately.

There's a meme that the Amish don't get vaccinated and don't get autism, for example. This is used by anti-vaccine types.

But, in fact, they do get vaccinated, which is then used by anti-anti-vaccine types.

But they also get autism, which I'm going to now use against your TV theory.

Heh.

peter hoh said...

Got links?

Here's mine:
http://www.slate.com/id/2151538/

blake said...

Ah, but said link underscores a couple of the serious problems with the theory:

They further found that in all the Western states, the more time toddlers spent in front of the television, the more likely they were to exhibit symptoms of autism disorders.

"Autism disorders" have grown to include "symptoms" like sucking on your shirt. Yeah, I exhibited that one, too.

The definition has been broadened, which is why it's hard to know if there's really been an explosion.

Studies suggest that American children now watch about four hours of television daily. Before 1980—the first kids-oriented channel, Nickelodeon, dates to 1979—the figure is believed to have been much lower.

"Believed" by people who are pushing this theory, perhaps?

In the '70s there were kids programming blocks in the morning, from after school through primetime, and then primetime. There was easily 12 hours of kid-friendly TV (in big cities).

There would be some interesting evidence: Prior to cable, autism rates would've been higher in cities. Looks like they looked at in terms of cable roll out.

But the "no autistic Amish" canard is repeated. Oh, those poor Amish folk, everybody loves to use them.