Fahrenheit 451 Essay #2
What's Wrong with TV?

"...Who has ever torn himself from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in the TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason. But with all my knowledge and skepticism I have never been able to argue with a one-hundred piece symphony orchestra, full color, three dimensions, and being in and part of those incredible parlors..."
(Faber, p. 84)

What's wrong with TV? It is virtually inescapable in our society. It is our lifeline and our window on the world as well as our primary form of entertainment. The average American watches more than 1000 hours of television per year. In the past fifty years, no other technological advance (with the possible exception of the personal computer...and they are quickly becoming interchangeable) has had such a profound effect on society as a whole. But the effect has not been all positive. Television has been blamed for everything from escalating rates of violence to obesity in children. And although it only becomes more popular as cable channels, DVD, Web TV, and Pay-Per-View flourish, television is also under constant attack from various medical, educational, and psychological experts. There's something "wrong" with television. What is it? Write an essay in which you address this question. Make sure that any generalization you make is supported by either a specific example or a statistic for which you cite the source.

There are many ways you could approach this essay. You might focus on the actual content of television and illustrate how certain programs are "dangerous." (But do not just say, "There's a lot of crap on TV, too many bad shows!" You have to define and give specific examples of the "crap" and the "bad" stuff...and you can't assume that everyone agrees with your definition of "bad.") Or, you might attack the act of viewing television and what it does to the viewer. Or...well, you get the idea. There is no single right way to do this.

Consider the following:

How many televisions are in your house?

How many hours of television do you watch daily?

What are your favorite programs?

How many hours a day is there a television on in your house (even if no one is watching)?

Do you "channel surf"?

Do you ever fight over the remote?

Essay #1 & Essay #3

Have you got the guts?

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