[lit-ideas] Re: Poetry and Madness

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 15:37:37 -0700

… the average amount of time that U.S. households spent reading and listening to poetry during the yearlong 2005-06 TV season that ended last week increased by three minutes, to a record of eight hours and 14 minutes.

Just for the sake of comparison (and - as I look into my troubled soul - no doubt, to ease a masochistic itch), could someone please post the *daily* average amount of time that U.S. households spent watching TV during that same season?

According to Nielsen (TV rating), the average American home watches 7 hours 40 minutes of TV per day.


8 hr 14 min. of poetry per year.
7 hrs 40 min per day X 365 days = 2920 hrs of TV per year.

Not even 1%.

More numbers:

Number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary 
school: 8,000
Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000
Percentage of Americans who believe TV violence helps precipitate real life 
mayhem: 79%

Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
Number of TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65: 2 million
Rank of food products/fast-food restaurants among TV advertisements to kids: 1

Percentage of local TV news broadcast time devoted to advertising: 30
Percentage devoted to stories about crime, disaster and war: 53.8
Percentage devoted to public service announcements: 0.7

Percentage of Americans who can name The Three Stooges: 59
Percentage who can name at least three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: 17

Millions of Americans are so hooked on television that they fit the criteria for substance abuse as defined in the psychiatric manual, according to Rutgers University psychologist and TV-Free America board member Robert Kubey. Heavy TV viewers exhibit five dependency symptoms--two more than necessary to arrive at a clinical diagnosis of substance abuse. These include:

1) using TV as a sedative;
2) indiscriminate viewing;
3) feeling loss of control while viewing;
4) feeling angry with oneself for watching too much;
5) inability to stop watching; and
6) feeling miserable when kept from watching.



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