We want more than just "Chicken or Beef"!

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Nicole, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Earlier this year, I wrote to the big media moguls asking for more exposure to art in the mainstream. Specifically - to have prime time news, sport and also a few minutes on the latest in The Arts and Science. I received an instant, very short email response telling me sport was the tradition and there is no room for other stuff that people aren't interested in. Such short sighted views are inconceivable.

    The problem is (as my mother so eloquently said), if you stick a bunch of people on a remote island (such as Australia) and only feed them "chicken and beef", they'll either love chicken or beef - because they don't know anything else! This is what's happening to Australians through the Australian media. We need to be exposed to more variety (especially The Arts & Science), not just sport and sensationalised news. Yes, there is Art on TV and in society, but you have to know what you're looking for and go searching for it.

    Art and Science should be mainstream, to encourage more creative thinking, compassion and progress in society. Surely we can be more educated and intellectual than what the media determines us viewers want or need.

    Art is a creative language for the soul at any age - a language we can all easily learn to appreciate, understand and speak fluently. All this requires is exposure to art in our everyday environment, as a viewer or/and as a creator.

    I'll keep sending my letters, run photography workshops (including at primary schools), keep introducing arts festivals in schools and parks and now I'm busy curating a collaboration of collectable fine art photography at a big annual arts event in Perth, WA.

    So, the solution is easy: We can ALL do something about this. We can all write to the media, the government, our primary/high/tertiary schools, etc... telling them we want more exposure to The Arts and Science (if that's your cup of tea) - not just one reality tv show after the other, or repeats of the same (repeats) shows each year. Not just the news, sports and weather report day in and day out. The big guns need to "see and hear" that we no longer want just "Chicken or Beef"!

    --

    Extracted from my blog.
     
  2. Fireguy2002

    Fireguy2002 Member

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    I only wish it was so easy. It's like all the supporters of GLBT trying for equal rights. I think society/media/people change like eroding earth. They just move where they are told and where everyone else goes. I think writing letters only works for getting gift cards for poor service at your local Chili's.
    P.S. All the "I think"s were intended as such.
     
  3. marco.taje

    marco.taje Member

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    The problem is not limited to Australia, I am afraid. It is the whole western society, to guess the least. And I believe it is not a matter of pure choice. It is systematic calculation, systematic deletion of things which allow people to think autonomously. Remember stories where regnants would forbid writing because they did not want the truth to spread? We are not that far from that, me thinks.
    The media pushes chicken and beef because it is something that can be sold by Somebody else. They would quite never put on something you can't buy. Plus, art is something that makes people self-conscient.. Would that regnant allow such a thing?
     
  4. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Ahh, but there is a lot of money involved in art. I'm talking Art, not photography business.
    I heard from an arts professor recently: "Artists are some of the most generous people around". He is right!

    Well, someone has to get the ball rolling.... I'm doing my bit. What about you?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2009
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    The average media managers idea of art is a dogs playing poker poster. To them, it's another world, and any other world then their own is to them small, boring and unimportant, particularly if it can't be hyped and sold in volume to reality show zombies.
     
  6. marco.taje

    marco.taje Member

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    This+the "heavy metal reel"= You should be my Mentor, Jason. :smile:
     
  7. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    You might want to check out (some) Canadian media. CBC radio, and to a lesser extent, CBC television, present a wide range of culturally significant broadcasting. As public broadcasters, their budgets have been slashed brutally by successive governments for over 30 years, to the point on any given broadcasting day, much of the programming is given to repeats of earlier features.

    Nonetheless, arts and sciences are given a prominent and respected role in programming. One of my favourites, Ideas, has been on the air since 1965, and presents a veritable cornucopia of essays, documentaries and lectures on all manner of comtemporary thought.

    Rather than complaining about what is not there, a kind comment congratulating any coverage at all on arts-poor media might encourage broadcasters to increase the time they commit to arts programming. (for example... "I really liked your feature on the art of fence building, let's have more of this kind of programming." :D )
     
  8. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    If consumers (viewers) makes sufficient noise then the retailer/supplier will eventually get the message.

    Example: Telstra finally removed their fee for consumers to pay their bill (non-electronically).
     
  9. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Gawd, why are we even watching TV ?

    - yes I understand that maybe I'd watch more television (like 4 times a year maybe ?) if there were art related topics, but we now have the internet eg: http://www.apug.org/forums/video.php to keep our eyes square (or widescreen now I guess, doesn't have the same zing to it tho huh)

    As for national broadcasting - its pretty indicative of society, lowest common denominator rules - its eaten its own tail for decades now no matter how much people have lobbied for more balanced programming ...

    It has to make immediate or at least short term economic sense, no appeal to a greater or longer term significance to society will make a dent, even if there were someone 'on board' with any sway in the industry - noise is just... well, noise - it makes no impact whatsoever on the graph of programming topics vs. advertising profits.

    We need to be smarter - and yes, I understand I bring nothing to the table here ...

    But letter writing ???
     
  10. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Where's the "We Can Do It" camp?
     
  11. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Watching the Football
     
  12. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    :D Good one.

    Ok, now time for me to go find those interested in (promoting) the arts. Ciao.
     
  13. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Dont fall into a trap of sticking everything into a convenient box - TV - or one of expectation for that matter...

    - but ok, fair enough, I'll consider myself excluded for now. Sheesh.
     
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  15. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Nick, don't get me wrong, I love your sense of humour. You're sig had my DH and I in fits of laughter.
     
  16. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Nicole, I'm not familiar with Aussie media, but I'll repeat my earlier point about complimenting any positive coverage. If you can get your message from the "complainers" box to the "friends of ABC" pile, you might have more chance of being heard. If you see something you like, send a message of thanks. Give them a pat on the back. (and then ask for more... :D )

    Cheers, mate.
    (hm... message #700 for me. Took long enough... I've been slowing down. hehe)
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Funny, but I think this type of approach is a fantastic idea. For instance, say that you're watching a really good show on how photography was invented, or perhaps how the pyramids were built, it could be a good idea to BOTH send compliments to the programmer/broadcaster as well as a larger form of media that does not broadcast it. Just to show both those that are broadcasting it that you appreciate it as well as encourage those that don't program arts and science to at least see that somebody else is doing it and that people like it.

    I fully agree with Nicole that 'chicken or beef' just doesn't raise independently and critically thinking generations.
    I'm not sure how much I can do about it on my end, but I have offered to teach workshops at my son's school without success, even though I offered to pay for all the materials. That was a hard blow for me.
    So I have gone smaller scale, and I currently have two photography students who are now more awake to their surroundings, seeing the world in a different way, through the lens and camera and ultimately the pictures. I successfully yanked them away from the TV screen and its perceived appeal.
    Two is more than zero, I guess. I wish I had time for more.

    Good on ya, Nicole! Keep doing your thing. I'm proud of you.

    - Thomas
     
  18. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Heh heh - you might say I'm inconsonant :D:rolleyes:
     
  19. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess my reply is a bit bleak, but OTO I've worked in television my entire career. I make a point not to watch it as a result. The fact is that television, at least here in the US, is a vast wasteland, a veritable intellectual vacuum, and that is a reflection of the people who use it. It has more in common with crack than the arts and sciences. While TV should and could be used as a nearly divine gift for education and enlightenment, at its best it falls far short, because it is first and foremost an opiate for the masses. Changing it is like saying you are going to change the bread and circuses at the colosseum. In my mind the effort would be more powerful at a grass roots level, in schools and community. In order to change what TV delivers you have to change what people want, and as long as those people are the minority TV will continue to deliver the drivel that holds the masses attention long enough to show an advert. Television programming is the filler between the adverts. Most people never get this. TV is about TV commercials and nothing else.
     
  20. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    I'm not sure that we are really so ill served on this side of Australia; the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age in Melbourne do have daily arts pages, their press photographers often achieve results above the merely observational, ABC Radio National has a daily books and writers show and a fair whack on Sundays on all arts (even if the ABC Arts mob can be a little clubby sometimes). It IS difficult to ascertain content of arts broadcasts from published programmes, usually they supply only a few words, you have to guess what they might be all about.
    For example this weekend's ABC TV and SBS TV offerings:

    "Guerilla Art": Several lines, but it's about graffiti as art and trendy.
    "Deconstructing John Kelly" (John who?)
    "First Tuesday Book Club" (featuring what books?)
    "Sunday Arts" (?)
    "Toscanini" (Conducts? Life of? Influence on US music?)
    "Saving Jazz" (now which jazz is that? Old boys in straw hats playing Dixie? Or Cecil Taylor? It's a broad church)
    "A Technicolour Dream" (?)

    The area which is most deficient to my mind is music writing and broadcast. The SM Herald publishes at most 12 column inches a week on serious music and pages and pages on pop commercial music singers, including the important details of their tattoos.

    I'm interested to read reviews of performances which I have attended, but mostly they are ignored by the Herald and the ABC, even when they contain major new pieces by Australian Composers.

    The ABC Classical FM programme is stuck in the 19th Century, unless you hang in until 11 pm once a week for 21st century music. The ABC magazine, "Limelight" is obsessed with the Limburg Schlager Music exponent Andre Rieu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlager) and--for some reason--travel promotions.

    However maybe we're better off in arts media terms than the US, although the NPR material that makes its way down here is mostly very good.

    Very personally I'd like to see some sort of "late bloomer" promotion (I'm in the "late" contingent, still trying to bloom). Our state government makes a fuss about the annual "Seniors' Week" when they put on concerts with Gracie Fields vintage music. It would be great to see art works or any creative input from (ahem) mature folk who have achieved high levels of ability rather than the programmed sit on your bum and watch material.

    New and emerging young artists have their place, but can't be the only talent around, surely?

    (The eminent Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe recently celebrated his 80th birthday)

    Regards - Ross
     
  21. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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  22. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The entrenched problem in Australia is that many sectors of the Art world are seen as backward, romantic crap, and hardly warrant a passing mention (at least a skilled, professional, balanced mention) in media — print or web. Photography is out of favour in Art schools for the same reason: it's still not widely accepted as a legitimate art form and digital isn't doing the established doyens in traditional photography any favours! I take an active interest in the traditional arts (brush+canvas, drawing etc.)observing the huge amount of interest these fields get compared to photography. That the ABC cut its Sunday Arts program is typical of 'trimming fat' where it is not needed, presumably on the premise of "diminished relevance" or lack of interest? Well, that's one more timeslot I can put to good use behind a camera someplace...
     
  23. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    Artistes ruin it. Dorks, nerds and jocks ruin it. Fake, one dimensional people.
    Im not saying all are one dimensional but
    The grade, high schools and universities?
    If you can walk into a busy 4th grade class and immediately tell where the majority of those kids belong
    with any certainty
    writing letters to whomever you're writing them to is wasted effort

    You have a much bigger problem than what is on TV or even taught in schools
    In that one hour a day of "music class" ain't changing shT



    Most have HUGEEEEEEEE issues with the way I write
    Most would simply write me off as having nothing much worth listening to

    I'm just saying.


    I enjoy about everything under the sun and don't want anything cut in order to gain more of something else
    ..unless you can cut "news" completely out of the picture for me
    Why no news? ..not all that interested in how someone is fuc*ing up the world.
    I love sports ...all of em
    I paint
    I take photos
    made my own clay and kiln from resources off the property ..just because
    I listen to all kinds of music
    I love to laugh and take long walks on the beach at night
    I garden
    I'm like a cat whisperer lol
    I watch interior decorating shows
    I used to write poetry to piss off a HS english teacher who said we couldn't do so because she was trying to get better at it herself?
    I'm meticulous
    perfectionistic
    straight A student who could barely pass a subject because at some point doing homework meant more than a 95%
    I have a high IQ and will outwork anyone
    anyone
    I'm extremely competitive
    not a sore loser
    I will challenge anyone at just about anything just to get better at whatever -that- happens to be
    probably not car repair or anything mathmatical ..though I did always to try to find my own ways of solving problems
    and even found a few much simpler than whatever they were teaching at the time but wasn't allowed to do that so I just did that and for every 10 questions I'd fail miserably on 6 of em and squeak out a pass with an 85% on finals
    but probably will bog down with auto repair


    I'm just game
    So what?
    I think you need more gamers
    people who truly care
    Maybe I care crazily, I dunno ..probably
    Too many people in management -or in training- willing to just soak people and run
    telling them that they have no obligation
    Just dominate their slice of land, fortify it then "buy" everything else they "need" to survive from those slaving away to get their own even tinier slice
    and when they start losing money like Nicholas Cage demand that without a drop and/or rise in prices the system will go belly up but what really happens:rolleyes: is
    wal-mart
    crap television commercials
    labor day
    and grass root religions
    maybe drugs ..but perhaps drugs is just a speculative wal mart getting its product out
     
  24. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    Now Mr Sun of Sand, if you could just set that dissertation to music (I know nothing about rap, but it has that feeling) you could be onto something!

    Regards - Ross
     
  25. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Just watch the German-made (English language) "Euromax" newscasts on your local "Community TV" channel (Channel 31 in SA).:smile:
     
  26. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    While reading through this thread I was wondering when someone would state the truth about TV.

    Jason, your last statement said it all and should be the end of any discussion about TV. It was that way in the beginning and remains that way today, and there is no chance it will change in the future. Even the programing now mimics the commercials - lots of noise, colors, and fast action to hold your attention for the next advert., or string of adverts.

    I personally think TV is on its way out, anyway, as long as the current logic of adding more programs attracts more customers as if more is a better deal. Most people I know say "TV stinks". They spend more time looking (scrolling) for something interesting to watch than actually watching an entire program. What can be more boring than that? Maybe the answer is watching the adverts instead of getting burned out in the search..

    Watching the games in HD is now the big attractor. It sells the big screen TV.