Posted by R. Berg on June 27, 2001
In Reply to: English/Luddite posted by Patty on June 26, 2001
: : : : : but the trend is broader than that: it's a postcognitive trend. On a website devoted to the old radio comedy "Fibber McGee and Molly," I was looking at scripts and listening to tapes of the show from the 1940s and 1950s. They include the commercials, which differed strikingly from today's commercials in that they still appealed to reason. The announcer actually stated facts about the product.
: : : : Makes me wonder if the media in the 40s and 50s had a more "cognitive" audience, or rather felt they had a responsibility to edify that audience. There was often a socially conscious content in the old radio plays and movies, which would have given pause for reflection. There was a nod to morality and to love. Nowadays you can sell movies just with big car explosions, or with beautiful bodies and erotic situations. In other words, appealing to zones below the brain and heart (lol)! - Patty
: : : Or you can sell "Schindler's List" or "The Cider House Rules," just to name a couple with depth. Here's a difference: At the time you're talking about, there were A movies and B movies. (There was also trashy fiction.) Now theaters show one feature for one ticket, and we have an age-based rating system instead.
: : : I think these societal and cultural issues would fit better on a different forum. We're straying far from the Phrase Finder purpose. Sooner or later we'll get caught at it.
: : Something is definitely missing today. Nobody is looking out for the children but (if they are lucky) their parents. Most TV and movies are trash. A lot of the music is trash. I know from listening to music from the 20s and 30s, that there have always been dirty words and double meanings in music. But the difference, and this isn't an original thought, is that it's so mean-spirited now. All the more reason to go read a good book.
: Well, R., where can we communicate about cultural change, social questions, and the like.....as well as how it may all be bound up with language?? Know of any good forums? Please post the URL. I'll meet ya there! You too, ESC. - Patty
Only the Well (www.well.com) comes to mind. It isn't free, and when I looked at the part available to nonmembers, it didn't seem quite the thing for me. I'm pretty new to Internetting (less than a year). Maybe someone more Webwise with chat-room experience and so on can suggest something.