Understanding Society, Culture, and Television

By Paul Monaco | Go to book overview

1
Storytelling and Television

I went to college in New York City during the early 1960s. One of my best friends was a fellow student named Scott. He was an English major who liked to write and fancied himself to be a sort of beatnik poet. After graduating with his bachelor's degree he entered the advertising business and succeeded on Madison Avenue. By his mid-thirties, Scott was the president of a major agency. He was living in a grand apartment on Manhattan's upper east side and dating glamorous women. He had a weekend condo in Sag Harbor on the Long Island shore and afforded himself the best of everything.

Then, in 1978, I heard that he had given it all up. He resigned his position at the ad agency, completed the paperwork to pass his apartment on to an old girlfriend, bought a small used car and headed west. He was "dropping out" big time, disappearing with nary a trace. Several years later, I heard that he had wound up in the most remote and isolated part of Nevada, in a tiny hamlet with a gas station, a bar, and a handful of adobe houses. For a number of months he was able to live there off the cash he had taken with him when he left New York City. But his former lifestyle had not enabled him to save all that much and, in dropping out, he had closed his bank accounts and destroyed his credit cards.

This remote part of Nevada proved to be healing for Scott. He loved the openness of the place, its clean air and tranquility. He went to sleep hearing coyotes wail and awoke to the sounds of hawks as they soared at dawn. Recognizing that he would need some income to continue living this idyllic and simple life, he was delighted to hear one day that a

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Understanding Society, Culture, and Television
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1- Storytelling and Television 1
  • Note 13
  • 2- Television and the Aesthetics Of Power, Virtuosity, and Repetition 15
  • Notes 25
  • 3- Common Contemporary Themes 27
  • Notes 35
  • 4- Agendas, Politics, and Television 37
  • Notes 45
  • 5- Globalization and Television 47
  • Notes 56
  • 6- Wellsprings of Our Discontent With Television 59
  • Notes 72
  • 7- Television and Advertising 75
  • Notes 85
  • 8- Television and Government 87
  • Notes 97
  • 9- Art for Whose Sake? 99
  • Notes 111
  • 10- What Everyone Must Know About Television 113
  • Notes 124
  • Afterword 127
  • Note 128
  • Bibliography 129
  • Index 137
  • About the Author 143
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