TeleValues

Talking Television and Values.

Archive for July, 2006

Whose Values?

Posted by Travis R Grant on July 30, 2006

Mine of course.

When talking about values, a speaker can only portray her values. While she may understand something of the values of the person she is talking to, ultimately, she cannot speak for the values of the other person.

This site will be approaching this value based discussion using the value system that the author feels most appropriate. We do not wish to make this a site that attempts to push our values on others. We hope that the values framework that we use will be a template for your understanding of this site, and not a template for your own values.

Values are a precious thing. While absolute truth exists, it cannot not be known by all absolutely. Thus, values become a personal matter for each individual. So, please don’t let our values framework be an offense to you, but rather let it be a guide for your understanding of this sites perspective.

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Values Framework

Posted by Travis R Grant on July 30, 2006

This is an outline of the values that will be addressed on this site and the general stance that this site will take for or against various issues. While, this isn’t meant to be an all inclusive framework of the values that will be discussed, it will help to establish a lens through which we will address values and television.

As stated in the “Whose Values” section, these are not meant to be a statement that these values are right or absolute. But rather, it is to provide the reader with a window into the thoughts and ideas of the author.

I. Family

A. Two-parent household

1. While the two-parent household isn’t always a reality in society, it is still an American ideal

2. Television should promote this ideal, while not ignoring the plight of single-parent families

3. Two-parent households should be married couples

4. Two-parent households should be heterosexual, monogamous husbands and wives

B. Parents should actively rear their children

1. Parents should be portrayed as the primary caregivers of their children

2. Parents should not be portrayed as ignoramuses where their children know more than themselves

3. Parenting should be portrayed in the healthiest light possible or at least conflicts around parental flaws should be resolved through the development of proper parenting skills

C. Children should show proper respect to parents.

1. Children should be disciplined for rude and inappropriate behavior towards either parent

2. While rules will be broken as part of plot development, children should rarely “get away” with rule violations, and appropriate discpline should be shown.

II. Sexuality

A. Marital Sexuality

1. Married couples should be shown to have a happy and healthy sex life.

2. Couples should be seen flirting and genuinely enjoying and loving each other.

3. Overtly sexual behavior should not be displayed on television.

B. Extramarital Sexuality

1. Extramarital sexual relationships should not be portrayed positively

2. Non-married sex should be portrayed as dangerous for all parties

3. Protection is not enough. Commitment through marriage should be the standard

C. Teen Sexuality

1. Teenagers should never be portrayed as having sex

2. Teen sexuality should be addressed with the main objective being marriage before sex

3. Teen pregnancy should be portrayed with all the negative aspects that are the reality

4. Dating should be portrayed as a happy and fun time for teenagers and doesn’t need to be clouded with sex

D. Modesty

1. Less skin, more cloth.

III. Language

A. Profanity

1. Television profanity has become more liberal over the years

2. Profanity should be extremely limited

B. Sexual Innuendo

1. Too much sexual content is hidden in language

2. Sexual innuendo is an opening to increased sexual content on television

IV. Country

A. American Heritage

1. More respect and portrayal of our history needs to be presented

2. A deep love of our country should abound in the characters

B. Current Events

1. Support for our country needs to be portrayed more

2. Political events need to be addressed from many political perspectives fairly

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Why Television?

Posted by Travis R Grant on July 30, 2006

Our values are under attack. It seems that no matter where we turn, we are seeing messages and images that entice us to forgo our value for something different. Often that something different is portrayed better than the value we must forsake by being more entertaining, more prestigious, or more valuable.

One arena that is at front of this battle on our values is the media. Movies, magazine, television, and the Internet are bombarding our families with messages that our values are old fashioned, unreasonable, and even damaging. With these messages coming at us from various media, some might wonder why this site targets television specifically.

Among the many reasons, the first must be that television has a greater presence in our lives than any other form of media. While many families, who are sick of the negative messages coming from the tube, are turning it off, there are still many who like the occasional diversion that a half-hour program may provide them on occasion.

According to a recent study, the average family watches 8 hours of television. Perhaps this is because there is an average of 2.4 television in the American home. These numbers indicate that more Americans are exposed to the images of television than they are to newspapers, movies, or radio.

Further, televisions messages are more important to criticize because TV has proven to be a great source for influencing consumers. Generally, this influence is in our willingness to buy. If TV ads don’t work, then they would go away, and we would all be required to pay a subscription in order to watch any TV in our homes.

If you don’t think that TV works think about the last time your kids told you they wanted a certain toy (especially around Christmas time) because they saw an ad during children’s programming on TV. Or remember the last time you had a craving for a restaurant was because you saw their latest menu item on TV.

If the television can cause us to want something that we might not have wanted without advertising, then it can have a similar influence on our values. Television executive are often heard to argue that they don’t influence values, but rather they just reflect values. However, it is interesting to me to see how the values on TV always seem to be one-step further away from the value standards of today.

Further, It is important to address televisions influence on our values, because no one is doing it. When we look at the TV critics out there today, they usually only discuss the directing, writing, and acting of the shows. This discussion is important and a good thing for television media, and they too will be discussed on this site. However, we should also critic TV according to the messages it sends.

Michael Medved has proven his importance as a movie critic with his values based criticisms. His insights have help many to be a more thoughtful consumer of movies. Medved, however, seldom addresses the most prominent media in our lives, television.

So, because if TV’s prominence in our lives, and its ability to influence our decision making, it is clear that we need address its counter-values messages to our homes. Thus, TeleValues will approach this important medium to hopefully influence it to more family friendly programming.

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Mission Statement

Posted by Travis R Grant on July 30, 2006

The main mission of TeleValues is to critically discuss television. The latest in television programming will be presented from a critical point of view for both the theatrical merit and the values perspective.

While the format hopes to provide an open forum for discussing television and its influence on societal values, it is first a critic of television, and not a discussion of values. Honest critiquing of the theatrical merits of a program will come first. However, the values oriented content of the programs reviewed will not be ignored, but rather integrated into the criticism of the program.

As values vary from person to person and no one set of values can be treated as the best, this site will present a framework of its value system so that readers can use that as a guide to help them discern the perspective of the author and the contents of this site. It is not intended to present these values as flawless, but rather as a guide to understanding the criticisms presented.

Honest respectful criticisms of the programs discussed are welcome and encouraged by the reader. However, the right is reserved to remove content that is derogatory towards other readers and the author. Also, the right is reserved to remove comments that use profane language as determined by the author.

The mission is to provide an entertaining and informative venue for all people to discuss television. It is also to provide a medium for people to discuss how television effects American values and if the current direction is good for society.

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About the Author

Posted by Travis R Grant on July 30, 2006

Travis Grant has been married to his lovely wife for 12 years. They are the parents of 5 children (ages 1 to 11). Travis lives in Utah, where he works as a stevedore for a major U.S.-owned merchant-vessel terminal operator. In his current position, he plans the loading and unloading of containers on and off of ocean merchant vessels.

Travis received a Master of Science from Kansas State University, where he studied Family Life Education and Consultation. He has spent most of his college studies focusing on fatherhood and adolescent development. His Master’s Thesis was on the parental involvement of post-deployment father’s after their return from Operation Desert Storm.

Travis has volunteered as a Scout Leader in the Boy Scouts of America for several years off and on, and really enjoys working with youth and their families. He is currently volunteering as a Webelos Den Leader with his wife in the Cub Scout program. He knows that the values taught in the Boy Scout program will only serve to benefit our country and future generations.

Travis is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served a 2-year volunteer proselytizing mission for the Church in Pusan, Korea. As a result he speaks Korean and loves to eat Kimchi. Travis has faith in Jesus Christ, his atonement, and the tenets if the LDS Church. He is actively involved in many Church related functions and enjoys his worship.

Travis has a keen love of television, but he understands that it is only a form of entertainment that needs to be managed. Some of his favorite shows, both past and present, are: The Amazing Race, Early Edition, The Cosby Show, Home Improvement, and Lost. For other forms of entertainment, Travis enjoys reading, blogging, and geocaching.

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