Anyone fed up with TV and movies and new programs?

My answer on another thread about recent news and the Church today was:

I’ve got to tell you at my Lord’s urging I have stepped away from the news, and entertainment and tv medium.

I find I have more time for prayer, study, rosary, adoration. I’m happier not knowing every evil and trouble in the world. Enough filters through friends, family, co-workers I know generally what is happening in the world, but I’ve just taken a step back from all of that. This is the direction I am currently in because of my preparation for Easter Vigil.

I work in a profession where I have to know horrible things that happen to people and innocent victims – evil stuff. So, I can pray about that, but to also know about all the evil and stuff going on in the world is more than I want to know. ANDDDDDDDDDDDDD…

I just got to the point if I heard “Ohhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyyy Gooooooooodddddddddd!” one more time on news or TV I was going to lose it. Now I stick to EWTN and good music.


It got me to thinking if any other posters have stopped watching so much TV’s and going to movies – the last movie I saw was “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. A Catholilc woman took me saying it was a chick flick a romantic comedy. I was sick in the movie it was so vile, and she was offended I didn’t like the movie. No more movies for this girl unless I check the USCCB site now. And that Catholicm woman never picks my movies now – she and I became a “share lunch buddies” only!

So what do you think?

Do you view television and film as art forms or as forms of entertainment? And if you believe both, are you able to see art where your moral sensibilities are being strained?

I have always been uninterested in mainstream entertainment, since I was young. I just thought it was so shallow, stupid and carnal. (I was kinda mature for my age)

After I entered college, I still felt the same, sickened that all people seemed to care about was sex, looks and money. Having these influences around me, I found myself assuming the same frame of mind. I disliked sexual movies and entertainment but lived the same morals portrayed in them. The mainstream mentality starts to sink in after a while and sadly some people never shake it.

Luckly, I had an experience where I felt the presence of God at a Latin Mass, long-story-short, I’m Catholic now and mainstream entertainment makes me sicker than ever.

Is it just me or does television seem to be getting more stupid, shallow and carnal by the month?

Realist:

My moral “sensibility” comes from Christ and His Church. It’s a personal choice. And, yes, I do appreciate art, but not art that profanes God, His Church, or humanity.

I actually believe a lot of the problems in our society stem from “life imitating art” (and bad art at that!). I appreciate art that upholds the best of the human spirit, and the best that God, Christ, the Holy Spirit want for us.

I see by your profile you “religious choice” is “reality.” That indicates to me you would not be in a position to agree with me, and that you have a different idea of what you find entertaining than I do. Your choices are fine with me. My choices are fine with me.

I should have made it more clear in my original post I am most interested in knowing the choices of my fellow Catholic Christians.

Oh, one more thing, be careful your “reality” does not include unbelief, disbelief, or misbelief, for Satan does not care which you pick as long as you pick one of them. My prayer for you is that you follow Christ, His Church, and that God’s Will be done in your life.

Peace be with you.

I think it might just be you, latingirl. What TV do you watch?

I was listening to Tom Sullivan on Fox News Radio yesterday and he was complaining about the Oscars, repeating things he had heard other people say about the nominated films. And then he admitted something I felt couldn’t have been more obvious: he hadn’t seen any of the films he was bashing.

Don’t be Tom Sullivan. Painting such a broad brush across all television is the act of the scared and ignorant. Give it a try. True artistic geniuses are writing, directing, and acting for the small screen these days, in numbers far greater than ever before. Just look at HBO. Shows like Deadwood, Six Feet Under, The Wire, John From Cincinnati, Big Love, etc. consistently exceed my expectations for this once flimsy medium.

TV is not getting worse. It’s getting better. But you need to turn it on to understand.

Callling someone “Painting such a broad brush across all television is the act of the scared and ignorant”, especially the “scared and ignorant” is rude of you. Pleaswe don’t talk that way on this thread.

It’s all just a matter of opinion. Latingirl has had believes tv to be shallow, stupid and carnal. For what I’ve seen of a lifetime of TV is she is quite right.

Besides it leaves time for more enlightening pursuits. Be careful using the terms you did online. We do have forum moderators that will warn and/or ban you for that type of attack.

Realist posted: “TV is not getting worse. It’s getting better. But you need to turn it on to understand.”

I find TV (aside from EWTN, and a few old shows like Mayberry, etc.,) to be an amoral abyss.

Why would I want to search for better programming. TV hit the slide into the abyss with the progression of “reality” shows.

My parents are Catholic and are in a similar rut with tv/film as you find yourself in, Junebug. They’ve even gone so far as to disconnect their cable and rely on their Netflix que for evening entertainment. It’s too bad. They’re missing out on a lot of good stuff.

I love film and I get to the theater as often as I can, but when my mom asks if I would recommend such and such a movie I’ve just seen and am raving about, I often have to say, “No, you probably wouldn’t like it.” Unfortunately, censorship is a big part of the Catholic community, and I wonder how they expect to understand their fellow brothers and sisters if they refuse to be part of the larger conversation. That’s what art is, by the way. It’s the conversation.

I’m glad to have shed my faith before becoming an artist. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to write honestly while suppressing so much. It’s been done, but, frankly, I’m not that talented. Not like the late Flannery O’Connor, who, if you’re looking for a good read, should check out immediately. She was one cool catholic.

I don’t believe in Satan so he’s not really influencing any decisions I make regarding my faith.

Perhaps you’ve noticed there are still other shows on television aside from reality TV. Once again, a broad brush is being applied. If I walked into Barnes and Nobel and grabbed the first book off the shelf–even the first ten books–and made my final pronouncement right there and then about all of literature, I would stop reading. Flinching at the first sign of moral reprehensibility will get you nowhere. You need to dig before you find what you’re after. Give TV another chance. Most of it is pulp, but that’s to be expected. Pulp makes money, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some genuinely good programs being produced.

Ahhhhhhhhh but be careful Satan exists whether you believe or not.

Your issues about the Catholic faith seem tied to a family situation. And you and your art have become most important. Family is very important. You may find with time and maturity your parents knew a lot more than you thought they did.

Obviously you are seeking something or you wouldn’t be on this website calling someone ignorant because they agree with your parents. And something tells me you also doubt your choices or you wouldn’t be cruisin’ for a bruisin’ on a thread that was essentially just asking for opinions from other Catholic believers who may be finding TV and the entertainment media profane and over the edge these days.

Again, I think you are seeking something more than the box of “art” you have put yourself into. God is the creator of all things. He even created ART – good art. With God and with following Christ, your art could be blessed and taken to realms you never dreamed. Have you considered that? God may be calling you because of your talent. This is something to pray about.

You are in my prayers. Oh and try to love your parents as they are – I have an 18 year old son who thinks more of sports than things of God right now, but we all love and accept each other as we are. And he does attend Mass with me to honor me. And I attend LOTS of tennis to honor him.

Junebug, I’m really not trying to offend you here. I just saw the thread while I was here creating another thread (“Convert Me”), so you’re right, I am looking for something else.

I love my parents and my decision to remain agnostic has nothing to do with them. I’m not sure why people feel the faithless have chosen that path to hurt someone else. I feel sorry for my parents, because I know it saddens them to think I will burn in hell forever while they kick back in heaven. But, frankly, the pains of hell have nothing on eternal nothingness. Catholics get off easy. No matter what, they believe you keep on keeping on no matter what choices you make. People like me, we believe there’s nothing after this, and what could be more terrifying?

Oh, I see, and I hear some sadness, almost desperation in your “voice.” What has saddened you in your life to bring you to agnosticism and to a Catholic website asking people to convert you?

To be blunt, a fear of death. I want to believe something out there will save me from eternal nothingness. But the prospects look grim.

And why are you worried about the prospect of death? You are so young to be worried about something so serious.

This is an interesting exchange with Realist.

I earned my Ph.D. in a field that included the study of popular media. I felt I was more culturally enlightened than most people around, including my parents, and I suppose I was correct. (Which is what I am hearing Realist imply with the comment about his feeling bad for his parents–I get that).

However, as I grew up I realized the TV screen, the radio, or whatever, was not the blank canvas . . . I was. I was the blank canvas. What I watched, what I observed, what I heard, was writing/composing/filming ME!

When you are young, maybe you need a bit of that to “discover” yourself. I finally spent alot of time divorcing myself from popular media (which is, as Realist and others seem to agree, is often fed to the population, not springing forth from the folk as it was before the invention of mass media). I had to turn off all the other voices in order to hear my own.

Now I am better able to seek out those things that challenge, edify, or in other ways better me. So this self imposed “censorship” that you feel your parents have may be a part of their maturity. Maybe they don’t need to “understand” every influence, idea, and mode of entertainment enjoyed by their brothers and sisters because they are comfortable simply understanding themselves and each other.

To answer Junebug, my perception of death colors everything in my life. It’s difficult to believe anything has any real meaning when you believe everything will one day end forever. I feel like even practicing my art is most likely a hollow act, even if I one day find success with it.

To sj2: I find it ironic that the non-religious need to keep searching to find the truth while the religious are encouraged to tune everything else out. Isolationism is never the answer. We can always learn from our brothers and sisters. That said, I appreciate your tone and don’t mean to offend you. You sound like a reasonable person. I’m curious what you did your PhD work in. I’m currently working on an MFA in fiction writing.

Also, I would argue nothing is a blank canvas. Not the page and not the mind. They influence each other and their influence has become so entangled that it has become impossible to separate them.

Now that does make quite a bit of sense – you say how it quiets the voices so you can hear your own – is that similar to interior design professionals who prepare their own homes in a very quiet color pallette so at home their mind can rest from color and excitement that when working they create for their clients. I write music – and now that I think of it, i separate myself from other music when I am in “music writing mode.”

Very interesting…

I do not think it is a matter of religious vs. non-religious persons. Trust me, like the religious, the non-religious are not immune to burying their heads in the sand. I never brought up religion. I think it has something to do with maturity–and please don’t think I’m conflating the term with some arbitrary age. I may be at a higher level of maturity in regards to one subject, you may be more mature in another. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day and we can only allocate so much of our daily time to so few different areas of our life/culture.

Point taken about the blank canvas. Perhaps I was too extreme. However, my canvas still has plenty of spots of “blankness.” It’s *my *mind that turns on the TV and like it or not, in some way, every thing I see starts a pen stroke. How much I influence the way that particular stroke will develop and color my existence, I am not sure. At times I feel in control, at other times I feel I have fooled myself and am surprised how vulnerable I am to outside influences–positive and negative. Surprisingly, the older I get the more I realize how little control I have.

I have reduced much in my life. I find much “pop” music to be vapid. I use my time for other things. I’ve already heard the spiel of the religious guys knocking at my door. I use my time for other things. Some people feel this way about TV and movies. They use their time for other things. I think it is good when you no longer care simply because “someone” (the media, peers, academia) told you that you should. And I think this is what many people have become in regards to TV and movies–mindless consumers. This doesn’t mean you personally (I myself can’t go 1 week without watching Lost or I start getting the shakes :o ). I think this thread was started in the spirit of the realization of, “I’m free! I don’t need to buy into this mass marketed stuff that does nothing for me.” I admire those that can throw out the TV. I really do.

And . . . my degree was Musicology with an emphasis in Cognitive Science and Sociology. Kind of a weird mixture, but it really threw me into all sorts of fascinating cultural studies. It also made me sensitive to the differences between what mass media tells us (or sells us) is reality, and what is, well, real.

Oh, and P.S.–

Realist: I wasn’t offended. Your reply to me was cordial and I think it was an honest attempt to clarify and understand. Hopefully my response corrected and clarified my position. Thus far I don’t see any evidence that our views are terribly far from each other. Perhaps we’ve come to different conclusions, but I certainly think we can each recognize the ‘hows’ and 'whys of our individual decisions.

Junebug: When I walk away from a television show, even one I enjoyed, I do not feel as accomplished, as fulfilled, as productive as when I complete a composition. I gave up TV last year for Lent. This year will be the computer. I don’t view it as running away fearfully from our culture (Edited to add: although there is certainly some stuff out there that is flee-worthy!) I feel it is clearing my work surface so that I can make a step towards my own inner development and creativity. Congratulations on this step. The world is so huge, our time here is so short.

I had to reply here because when I had my experience of coming home to the Lord and His church last year that was one of the first things to go, I no longer could watch tv it’s like the scales fell off and I could see all that was wrong with the programs I watched. I watched a lot of reality tv shows I was interested in how other people lived. I was hooked. I knew what they were doing on these shows was wrong I didn’t condone it but I let it entertain me or I should say numb me. I think that is the big problem besides taking our attention off the Lord and prayer, and scripture reading, It is demoralizing, through the media we are being led to believe that what is wrong is right and if you think otherwise you are crazy or a fanatic of some sort, good morals and virtues are no where in these shows even in kids programing like nick(when I was a kid my mom never let us watch nick) I can see it now It’s subtle sometimes but it’s there undertones of adults having no authority or being useless or they depict the parents as idiots. And shows intended for adults are being watched by kids and all these actors who are completely lost are who they look up to. I honestly couldn’t watch tv at first I was so aware of all that was wrong it was annoying to watch. This was Gods way of bringing me to scripture and more prayer. I watched only EWTN and a little bit of Bill Cosby for almost a year. I watch a little more now I will admit but I try not to watch to much and to be more careful what I’m watching. At first my husband was kind of annoyed he would rent movies and I would refuse to watch them. So I agree completely tv is going in the wrong direction as far as I am concerned, some channels do have good programing but even they are trying to keep up and in doing so they put junk shows on here and there to keep their viewers.
I think too many people think this is the way it is and the way it is supposed to be as far as how far we go these days in terms of right and wrong. If we continue to say it’s normal and go with the flow we may end up speeding on the wide open road because we’re to blinded to see that we need to slow down and take the exit. But that’s just my opinion. :slight_smile:

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