Sitcom Propaganda

Someone asked me to write a post analyzing “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS.  That show was so awful that I never bothered watching.  I can’t stand sitcoms that have a too-obvious laugh track.  I find the laugh track more and more annoying.

This blogger wrote some interesting bits.  His analysis seemed accurate.  I’m not going to waste time watching the show to verify that he’s right.

When watching mainstream TV, there are both explicit and hidden commercials.  For example, when the announcer says “Support our troops!” during a sporting event, that’s a hidden advertisement for war.  For another example, when a woman gets excited about a diamond engagement ring, that’s a hidden advertisement for the DeBeers diamond cartel.

For another example, many sitcoms and movies promote unhealthy attitudes about sex.  A movie or sitcom promotes “one-itis”.  The male is persistent and eventually the woman accepts him.  That isn’t the healthy way to meet women.  If a woman rejects you or isn’t receptive, you should move on to someone else.  Of course, that makes for a boring plot.  It also promotes unhealthy attitudes.

I also noticed a movie about bullying.  There also was a Dateline special on Sunday about bullying.  My mother was really into it.  I couldn’t figure out “Where’s the propaganda?”  How does promoting “Bullying is a problem!” also promote evil?  There should be an answer, but I couldn’t figure it out.  When you’re a student, you don’t have the option to refuse to interact with abusive people.  At my most recent job, my bosses were abusive, but there’s a solution; I can quit.

Mainstream TV, especially sitcoms, says “You should think and feel and act in certain ways.”  The hidden advertisements are more dangerous than explicit advertisements.

8 Responses to Sitcom Propaganda

  1. Like you and anybody who has figured out that State media broadcasts are only for selling products and behavior control, I always ask myself “What is the purpose of this noise?” and there has been a lot of it about bullying for some time now. First of all these “anti-bullying” laws will involve more government monitoring and control and will almost certainly include more taxes. You know there will be some “Bullying Supervisor” and other agents collecting a government paycheck. So that’s bad right off the bat. But there’s a more subtle but profound problem here and it’s like anything else when it comes to State power. If in fact there are more children bullying per capita then we have to look at the origins of these problems. Is it that kids are just becoming more mean-spirited, just because? How about emotional problems that have been caused by the broken homes and broken families, things that have happened precisely as a result of the State?? Now we run to the State for help so they can “fix” it? Anyone who thinks this is Libertarian “Conspiracy Theory” needs only look at FDR, the bankers ruling elite and when they enacted social welfare programs at the same time that they abolished the gold standard and ramped up central bank power. They knew their policies would cause poverty and suffering and thus the paradoxical revolving door ” State-caused poverty, State-run help” was created.

  2. Anonymous Coward April 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    > At my most recent job, my bosses were abusive, but there’s a solution; I can quit.

    Yes, you can quit! Have you found a decent job yet? The answer as we both know is no.

    Like you I quit multiple jobs as well, but I never found a truly decent one. Ironically I now work for myself and HAVE A VERY STABLE INCOME INDEED. My income is regardless of an idiot boss bullying me and firing me to hire a friend.

    In the UK you are only allowed to have so many different jobs in your lifetime. If you quit a job in under one year it is frowned upon. If you have two or three jobs that last around a year, that is frowned upon. So you can quit, but you are only allowed to quit about twice.

    Lots of people have the same attitude as you and me. If there are problems, you can quit. The trouble is that when everybody quits the shitty environment remains. Once in one job I stuck around and tried to fix the problems. Well in the end I found out rather hard, that the problems CANNOT BE FIXED. If you try to fix a problem you will get hit hard. If you lie and cheat and don’t fix the problems, you will be rewarded. There is a proverb – “No good deed goes unpunished”.

    • Maybe it’s “Be dependent on the government to stop bullying, rather than taking care of it yourself.”

      Schools create a bullying-friendly environment. Age-grouping and ability-grouping causes resentment.

  3. Government intimidation is itself one of the worst forms of bullying and the historical record does not indicate this power will be exercised fairly or even in the interest of workers.

    In all probability the net result of anti-bullying legislation and regulations will be more red tape and higher administrative costs for business. This will tend – all told- to lead to fewer employment options and thus fewer real world options for bullied workers to quit from or to quit to go to.

    From a private employer’s perspective, the added costs of anti-bullying programs and procedures are essentially a higher labor cost and a deterrent from hiring. There may even be an incentive to hire workers who are more compliant and conformist and not to take the risk on hiring those who ‘don’t fit in’ and who are more likely to be either the object of bullying or more likely to raise true or false bullying complaints.

    Any worker who has been abused – and this can happen in both private and public sector employment – even in organisations that have very explicit and very well organised mechanisms for responding to individual worker’s complaints. – knows that working through these complaint procedures etc can be arduous, time consuming and can often be gamed by canny and well connected players. Smart bullies will almost certainly learn to conduct their bullying without witnesses and to raise counter-claims undermining the credibility of the complainant. Sometimes just quitting is the quickest, easiest and most psychologically satisfying option to take. However the “just quit” route is not the politically correct option for the ‘anti-bullying’ lobby.

    The school case is more difficult as children have fewer options to quit and to decide for themselves. Even if they have parents onside the current system of compulsory schooling and taxpayer subsidised ‘free’ schooling has the effect of reducing the range and variety of school choices available. If quitting is the most effective way to deal with bullying then this option is severely constrained by the nature of the current public education system.

    I suspect the current bullying meme has very little to do with any real or imagined increase in the rate or quantity of ‘bullying’ in the workplace or the schoolyard. For the most part as people’s economic resources and options increase with economic growth, their ability to avoid bullying also increases – so the trend, over the long run, is probably downward.

    I suspect the promotion of the bullying meme has more to do with the career ambitions and professional demands of the various lobbyists for counsellors, psychologists and consultants. These professions have the same business motivations for expanding their trade, limiting access to their market and monopolising their field by self selected experts as do doctors, lawyers etc. Many of those traditional professions traded directly with the general public where many of these ‘new professions’ essentially need government or corporate employment either ‘in house’ or as contracted agencies employed by major corporations. In this effort nothing helps sales like government regulations and mandates. These are now large and well organised professions with the full array of conferences, committees, journals etc. This ‘professionalisation’ by ‘experts’ is something we have seen before and these groups are very capable in the sphere of lobbying, communication, the manufacture of pseudo-statistics and propaganda.

    • Complaining to HR about an abusive boss is one sure way to get yourself fired.

      Yes, I was somewhat bullied in my most recent job. The only answer is to move on. I’ve switched jobs enough times that I can handle the search.

  4. Anonymous Coward April 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Bullying on issues of race or sex is illegal.

    However bullying a competent worker on imaginary issues of competence is perfectly “legal”. Software is technical and complex. Lawyers aren’t going to know the difference between a complete mess up and a decent piece of work. So if a software developer is bullied over silly issues, it is just to risky to hope a court will support you.

    Even a BBC television documentary/drama (based on a real case) seemed to state that if you take your ex-employer to an Industrial Tribunal, you will never work in that field again.

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