A ‘Brave’ New World

 

Having just written America Needs a Renaissa, I was in no mood for Orwellian indignities. Traveling through three airports the other day, I had finally had it – not with the patdowns and security lines, but with the mandatory television.

I stopped into a store to grab a magazine, and there was CNN, unavoidable, blaring over my head. I went to my gate and there was CNN, staring at me, out-talking everyone trying to have a conversation, overriding anyone trying to read a book or use an iPhone. I arrived at my connecting airport, got to the gate to discover the flight was delayed and sat down in the only area available – under a particularly loud airing of CNN.

Of course, airports aren’t the only places where television is mandatory. Children’s clothing stores stupefy curious, energetic children with TV. Doctors offices subdue restless patients with TV. Office lobbies, takeout counters, hotel dining areas, even school and university “common spaces” keep things institutional (as opposed to personal) with TV.

But mandatory television watching in airports is political as well as institutional. On just my single travel day, CNN personalities highlighted the Patraeus sex scandal while having virtually ignored the Benghazi scandal; bemoaned the inadequate “local” response to Hurricane Sandy, despite having let the mayor of New Orleans completely off the hook in their rush to blame the response to Hurricane Katrina entirely on George W. Bush; and insinuated that the “fiscal cliff” could be avoided simply through higher taxes, having never emphasized the immutable problems created by reckless spending and borrowing.

And so, in the spirit of “America Needs a Renaissance,” I spoke out. But I hadn’t realized the irony when I ended that post by saying we needed to be more brave; at the airport, Brave New World came to mind. I asked the attendant at the gate to turn the TV off or down. You know the response. She “couldn’t.”聽

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Members have made 30 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Aodhan Inactive

    I sympathize with your double-plus-ungood experience.

    • #1
    • November 15, 2012 at 4:41 am
  2. Profile photo of HeartofAmerica Member

    CNN has contracts with airlines and airports to provide propaganda to the people. I doubt that they will be going anywhere anytime too soon.

    • #2
    • November 15, 2012 at 4:53 am
  3. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher

    CNN is for people who want to think they are current without the angst associated with actually understanding the present state of the world.

    • #3
    • November 15, 2012 at 4:53 am
  4. Profile photo of Brasidas Inactive

    Ouch, Anne! You’ve touched a nerve. I’ve long complained about CNN’s rule over the airport airwaves. The unrelenting liberal worldview is nearly unbearable. A sympathetic friend and I went so far as to purchase one of those universal remotes that are supposed to be able to turn off any TV anywhere with the hopes of using it surreptitiously in airport gates across the country. Didn’t work.

    Can you imagine the cultural impact if a voice with a slightly more conservative perspective were coming from those screens?

    • #4
    • November 15, 2012 at 4:53 am
  5. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    There is a coaxial cable feeding Minitrue into the telescreen. It is usually connected to the rear of the apparatus with a BNC or twist connector. Disconnect it, and you have peace and quiet, not to mention an absence of indoctrination at the gate. Is there a statute which forbids this?

    You can also easily take diagonal cutters through security. I leave it to your imagination.

    • #5
    • November 15, 2012 at 4:54 am
  6. Profile photo of Brasidas Inactive
    John Walker: There is a coaxial cable feeding Minitrue into the telescreen. It usually connected to the rear of the apparatus with a BNC or twist connector. Disconnect it, and you have peace and quiet, not to mention an absence of indoctrination at the gate. Is there a statute which forbids this?

    You can also easily take diagonal cutters through security. I leave it to your imagination. 路 in 0 minutes

    Good to know about the cables, but do you think anyone would notice the ladder? 馃槈

    • #6
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:16 am
  7. Profile photo of Omid Moghadam Member

    I have tried the argument at almost every airport and have been told by countless gate agents that they can not do any thing about it. They dont even have control over the volume.

    Now, maybe a bit of guerilla warfare is in order here. Each of us should travel with a universal remote and test whether we can reek havoc on the screens from the Ministry of Truth at airports.

    • #8
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:33 am
  8. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor
    Brasidas

    Good to know about the cables, but do you think anyone would notice the ladder? 馃槈

    Didn’t know they were so high there. In Europe, they’re mostly reachable from ground level. (Not that I would have had any experience with that, of course.)

    • #9
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:37 am
  9. Profile photo of Kervinlee Member

    I am gross and perverted

    I am obsessed and deranged

    I have existed for years

    but very little has changed

    I鈥檓 the tool of the government

    and industry too

    and I am destined to rule and regulate you

    I may be vile and pernicious

    but you can鈥檛 look away

    I make you think I鈥檓 delicious

    with the stuff that I say

    I鈥檓 the best you can get; have you guessed me yet?

    I鈥檓 the slime oozing out of your TV set

    Frank Zappa,聽I’m the The Slime

    • #10
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:40 am
  10. Profile photo of Edmund Alexander Inactive

    I’ve had many times when I used to enter a breakroom and the room would be empty while the TV was blaring. I’d turn off the TV so I could read. The result would be the next person to enter the breakroom would see the TV off and ask, “Is the TV broken?”

    The idea of shutting it off and shutting it out is incomprehensible to far too many people.

    • #11
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:42 am
  11. Profile photo of Anna M. Member

    Total agreement here.

    I haven’t had TV for over ten years, and going into almost any public聽space聽in the last few years聽makes me feel like I’m being punched in the face over and over again.

    Even university and college libraries have the ever-present flat-screens in their entryways and reference-desk areas. The聽volume is聽turned off, but CNN is still flashing away at you like an obscene traffic light.

    Sorry, I don’t care if the content is conservative 24/7 (not that it ever would be)–I just want the darn thing off!

    • #12
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:42 am
  12. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author
    Omid Moghadam: I have tried the argument at almost every airport and have been told by countless gate agents that they can not do any thing about it. They dont even have control over the volume.

    Now, maybe a bit of guerilla warfare is in order here. Each of us should travel with a universal remote and test whether we can reek havoc on the screens from the Ministry of Truth at airports. 路 9 minutes ago

    I’m sorry to hear it’s futile complaining at airports. As patients sit trying to read their magazines in Drs.’ offices, I’ve multiple times requested that the TV’s be turned down. Same response: We can’t.

    • #13
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:46 am
  13. Profile photo of Rachel Lu Contributor

    When possible, try demanding to see X sporting match. I’ve had success with that one, and airport personnel know that it’s risky to thwart a desperate sports fan.

    • #14
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:54 am
  14. Profile photo of FirstAmendment Inactive
    Brasidas: Ouch, Anne! You’ve touched a nerve. I’ve long complained about CNN’s rule over the airport airwaves. The unrelenting liberal worldview is nearly unbearable. A sympathetic friend and I went so far as to purchase one of those universal remotes that are supposed to be able to turn off any TV anywhere with the hopes of using it surreptitiously in airport gates across the country. Didn’t work.

    Can you imagine the cultural impact if a voice with a slightly more conservative perspective were coming from those screens? 路 55 minutes ago

    This is a great idea! Any techies out there know how to do this? If we could all carry secret “off” buttons it would probably take “the authorities” months to figure out what was going on!

    • #15
    • November 15, 2012 at 5:56 am
  15. Profile photo of ConservativeWanderer Inactive

    Anne, may I suggest you start carrying one of these?

    • Prank device allows you to control virtually any TV or digital camera
    • Works up to 400 feet away (a good ninja is never seen!)
    • Bomb button will cause a TV to change channels & volume at random for 5-15 minutes
    • Jam button blocks all other remotes from controlling the TV
    • Take control of all TV functions to watch what you want, wherever you are
    • Upgraded TV codes support virtually any TV, including new HDTVs
    • Powerful IR LEDs give this remote a huge range
    • #17
    • November 15, 2012 at 6:05 am
  16. Profile photo of Jim Brown Inactive

    Ease up on CNN. These are the only viewers they have. A guy’s got to eat.

    • #18
    • November 15, 2012 at 6:39 am
  17. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author

    Creative solutions, all! But, since I’m technologically very challenged, the only one I’d be capable of is throwing the burka over the TV. Think that would work?

    • #19
    • November 15, 2012 at 6:40 am
  18. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author
    Percival: CNN is for people who want to think they are current without the angst associated with actually understanding the present state of the world. 路 1 hour ago

    So true.

    • #20
    • November 15, 2012 at 6:49 am
  19. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author

    Profdlp, I have to agree that Cleveland State pumps in msnbc as a way of “lecturing” those going into business. I’ve been to two MBA graduation ceremonies where the universities chose commencement speakers who lectured grads on the negatives of the businesss world – and to general commencements for which universities couldn’t resist choosing speakers who would lecture students yet one more time on “social justice” methods and principles.

    Anna M., I also agree that our inundation with media is insidious regardless of whether or not it is political . We have become a media-induced society and people. and the media that induces us is inane, perverse, degrading, inhumane, violent.

    • #21
    • November 15, 2012 at 7:22 am
  20. Profile photo of Cutlass Inactive

    Some gas stations now have a TV on the pump that starts blaring at you when the nozzle is lifted. What could be more obnoxious?

    Now, if I pull in and see a screen I pull right back out and fill up elsewhere.

    • #22
    • November 15, 2012 at 8:29 am
  21. Profile photo of wilber forge Inactive
    Cutlass: Some gas stations now have a TV on the pump that starts blaring at you when the nozzle is lifted. What could be more obnoxious?

    Now, if I pull in and see a screen I pull right back out and fill up elsewhere. 路 2 minutes ago

    In what areas have you seen this ?

    • #23
    • November 15, 2012 at 8:43 am
  22. Profile photo of William Laing Member

    From “September 1st, 1939” by WH Auden…The lights must never go out,The music must always play . . .Lest we should see where we are,Lost in a haunted wood,Children afraid of the nightWho have never been happy or good.

    • #24
    • November 15, 2012 at 9:50 am
  23. Profile photo of Richard Stewart Inactive

    Oh, great. Can’t wait until we start having the “daily hate…”What’s that? Oh, that’s right, Chris Matthews already leads that on MSNBC, doesn’t he?

    • #25
    • November 15, 2012 at 11:35 am
  24. Profile photo of profdlp Coolidge
    wilber forge
    Cutlass: Some gas stations now have a TV on the pump that starts blaring at you when the nozzle is lifted. What could be more obnoxious?

    Now, if I pull in and see a screen I pull right back out and fill up elsewhere. 路 2 minutes ago

    In what areas have you seen this ? 路 3 hours ago

    They are all over the place here in the Cleveland area. They usually are hawking the latest new flavor of Doritos, conveniently available in the snack stand at the gas station.

    • #26
    • November 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm
  25. Profile photo of profdlp Coolidge
    Richard Stewart: Oh, great. Can’t wait until we start having the “daily hate…”What’s that? Oh, that’s right, Chris Matthews already leads that on MSNBC, doesn’t he? 路 50 minutes ago

    …which is what they pump nonstop into the School of Business building here at Cleveland State University. I think the wretched Liberal Arts crowd insisted on it as “balance” for all of us future capitalist one-percenters. It is widely and routinely ignored.

    • #27
    • November 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm
  26. Profile photo of Edward Smith Inactive

    The woman at the airport can’t change the station or lower the volume.

    It’s a pain in the tuchus, but maybe just use your iPad and Earbuds.

    • #28
    • November 16, 2012 at 3:37 am
  27. Profile photo of Frightened American Inactive
    I have a feeling this ill advised practice may not last too long – they have to be getting complaints.

    Won’t be long before Gov. Moonbeam mandates that the pumps show video of oil spills and deafen you with the moans of dying sea mammals. 路 4 hours ago

    When did complaints ever stop them? It emboldens them.

    • #29
    • November 16, 2012 at 4:29 am
  28. Profile photo of Cutlass Inactive
    wilber forge
    Cutlass: Some gas stations now have a TV on the pump that starts blaring at you when the nozzle is lifted. What could be more obnoxious?

    Now, if I pull in and see a screen I pull right back out and fill up elsewhere. 路 2 minutes ago

    In what areas have you seen this ?

    The San Francisco area. I now avoid the Shell station down the street from me because if this. I think it may have been MSNBC because I recall actually waiting to hear what they were going to say before pumping – Doritos ads are bad enough, but I wasn’t about to stand there and give them money while a screen blares at me that I’m evil.

    I think it ended up being just weather and stocks. Still, I was fed up after a few gallons because it was so damn loud. I haven’t been back since.

    I have a feeling this ill advised practice may not last too long – they have to be getting complaints.

    Won’t be long before Gov. Moonbeam mandates that the pumps show video of oil spills and deafen you with the moans of dying sea mammals.

    • #30
    • November 16, 2012 at 11:41 am