Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited

By Deirdre Boyle | Go to book overview

20.
Epilogue

As many have noted, our national memory is meager: if the Fifties and even Vietnam seem as remote as the Peloponnesian wars, it is partly because each American generation neglects to pass on its experience to the next; outside of the university, we don't respect our history, as Europeans do. Our talent is for living in the present: that elation is beguiling during spells of relative calm, but each new crisis sends us reeling--because it seems unprecedented, and because the past itself is suspect: arthritic as well as old.

-- Nora Sayre1

Guerrilla television's failure to create a viable alternative to commercial television was not due merely to the shortcomings of individuals. Larger forces operating in society influenced and ultimately prevented the dream from becoming reality. Born out of the counterculture's clash with establishment values and institutions, guerrilla television was subject to the counterculture's disillusionment and disintegration. Guerrilla television's future was also conditioned by its technology, by rapid developments in the recording and broadcast transmission of video that transformed the medium from an oddity to a novelty to a banality, altering its power to challenge the status quo almost overnight. And, perhaps most important, guerrilla television existed within the shifting landscape of American television: the boom-bust-boom of the U.S. cable industry; the contentious rise of public broadcasting and public funding for the media arts; the transformation of network television from a powerful tripartite monopoly industry to struggling competitors within a multichannel world; and changing federal policies toward broadcast regulation. Although guerrilla television was a player in determining the outcome of certain of these changes, it was only a pawn in a larger game.

-190-

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Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Introduction xiii
  • Contents xvii
  • I. Underground Video 3
  • 2. Subject to Change 14
  • 3. Guerrilla Versus Grassroots 26
  • 4. the World's Largest Tv Studio 36
  • 5. Mountain Guerrilla 48
  • 6. Four More Years 55
  • 7. Communitube 65
  • 8. Gaga Over Guru 72
  • 9. Prime Time Tvtv 89
  • 10. Broadside Tv 96
  • Ii. Impeaching Evidence 105
  • 12. Changing Channels 116
  • 13. Furor Over Fugitive 128
  • 14. Living Newsletter? 139
  • 15. the Good Times Are Killing Me 146
  • 16. Super Video 158
  • 17. Intermedia 165
  • 18. Hooray for Hollywood? 172
  • 19. the Big Chill 183
  • 20. Epilogue 190
  • Appendix Information on Apes by Broadside Tv, University Community Video, and Tvtv (top Value Television 209
  • Notes 223
  • Bibliography 259
  • Index 271
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