Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Together Alone

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Together Alone

Article excerpt

TELEVISION seems simple. It seems so direct. Our experience of watching television is so easy. Yet many of us have realized the experience brought to us by television is very complex.

For example, last night I watched a baseball game on television. The announcers told me if the New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez won the game, it would be his 200th career win. They also gave various statistics and standings. These let me know that the Mets had gotten off to a wonderful start in 2006 season, while the Atlanta Braves, the other team in this game, were suddenly behind the Mets. Although the season was only a couple of weeks old, it already seemed possible that the Braves could be beaten this year.

There were shots of groups of fans in various costumes, or holding signs urging Pedro on to win. When Pedro struck out a Brave batter, huge cheers went up. We got close-up shots of the faces of the batters, of the pitcher, of various people in the dugouts. It was a cold April evening in New York City, people were standing and cheering and also trying to stay warm.

I got caught up in the excitement of this game. I felt like I was sharing it. The television made me feel together with the large crowd. I knew I was not really in the stadium blowing on my hands to keep them warm. But I still felt a sense of together-ness, as though I was part of this event.

But I was not actually together with those thousands of people. I was alone, in an apartment far away. (Well, actually, since my wife was asleep upstairs, thankfully I was not completely alone.) But it struck me that this combination described my experience: together alone. …

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