The agony of TV


One father has written me a letter about TV advertising. Itís similar to many that I have received.
Iím publishing it because, in its simplicity, it confirms that advertising has taken the place of the TV product. It influences the product; it is itself the product. The TV environment is created by the companies and this is accepted. It is less accepted that they can do this at the RAI, the public company, that lives, that should live from the TV licence.

Abolishing advertising on RAI channels would allow them to be free, to disseminate news and culture that serves the citizen. I know that the term ďfreeĒ is really strong. Letís say it would make the RAI less of a slave, because there are also parties that govern and control it.

Employee Prodi, listen to me, do away with advertising on the RAI. That would be a beautiful gesture. Advertising in the last 15 years has created the Italy that is ill, crafty and a rascal. The leading Italian party is still Publitalia.

And then my balls have been broken by having to put up with loud volume advertising in the various gaps. We are creating a nation of deaf and angry people. Thereís a law that forbids this. Letís apply the law or revoke their licence.

ďDear friend,
I am a parent that has to live with the daily baby sitter: the TV. My son, and the children of my friends, are completely captured and enslaved by what is the frustration of us adults. Itís this unblessed invading box that causes unending arguments and stone faces from our children when we try to find a way to limit the daily invasion.

One agreement (or compromise) was to watch the cartoons on RAI 2 while we are at table together, at least once a day, in the evening.

Iíve been wondering and I still am: are there no rules that impose advertising in the hours that can be called protected? Iím personally very angry because following every cartoon thereís a sequence of advertising spots of every type: these youngsters are literally bombarded with messages about ice creams, toys, machines, detergents and so on! You canít get through 15 minutes without an advert. Thatís not talking about the private channels where the adverts are transmitted at a really high noise level. Itís enough to make you vomit.

Do we really have to be treated like this? Do we really have to accept their every incorrect action, still paying the licence fee and still staying silent?
A warm embrace.Ē Marcel.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:32 AM in | Comments (19)
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Una domanda semplice,
visto tutti i presupposti di oggi...
e` ancora legale il canone annuo per chi possiede il televisore?!

dato che anche la Rai affoga di pubblicita` i canali e si potrebbe benissimo sostenere da sola senza regalare migliardi alle star holiwoodiane che vengono ospiti e nei giochi milionari vari!!!!



Posted by: Giuseppe Grassi | July 24, 2007 05:44 PM

Maybe adding male barely dressed models dancing around?

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | May 30, 2006 06:58 PM

Like many others that have commented, my husband and I haven't switched on our tv in who knows how long. Mainly for lack of quality programs. As a "foreigner" in this country, I am personally appalled at some of the programming that is on. For example, game shows with barely dressed models dancing around, without an ounce of intelligence. What do they have to do with the game show, except to try to attract male viewers? Then there's the television "tax". Please, if there is going to be a "tax" for television, I want quality programming.

Posted by: Ann Borgers | May 27, 2006 01:02 PM

Yeah, right!

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | May 23, 2006 09:57 PM

panem et catechism? ;-)

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | May 23, 2006 09:12 PM


For me the ideal is Panem et "something else"..

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | May 23, 2006 06:16 PM

I think that must of the people is thinking that: if all the people is watching they have to do the same.
Fortunately, since I was a child, I took the habit to do the contrary, so I saved myself. Grillo,is insisting very much about the fact that he is banned from italian TV like he regrets not to be inside instead of being happy (See his sketches in this site). Now, if people will listen to him it could be that there will be no audience anymore and he will be more happy to stay outside:-)Unfortunately, must of italians(But they have not the monopole) are TV addict. Like an imperor said: Panem et circenses. I think now is food and TV.

Posted by: blisco jaio | May 23, 2006 04:37 PM


Posted by: Giovanni Principe | May 23, 2006 02:08 PM

There is an easy, cheap and fast solution against the advertising, the disinformation, the life style that the TV is proposing ( or imposing). SWITCH IT OFF! Whatever the product is (soap or news make no difference), You can just refuse to be used as a consumer. RGRDS


Posted by: Andrea Bonazzi | May 23, 2006 01:05 PM

Dear Beppe:
OK, I agree. However, has self protection vanished from human beings? It has not from my pointing dog. It has not from me too, as far as the problems you exposed are concerned. I never considered TV as a medium of communication, actually I never considered TV at all. May be I learned Pasolini's lesson, and I continue with short-waves BBC and FM RAI3. Also, I never attended a football game, so that what is happening sounds as a remote echo to my ears. Also, I never used any Microsoft or Apple product, although my work is largely digitized. Although I am not any kind of guru, and I am affected by bugs more than on the average, I like life, the day hours come too short for me. I'll let you know - if I remember - what I wrote (it is in press) in a scientific book review about boring into the Alps and setting bridges on straits. francesco pietra

Posted by: Francesco Pietra | May 22, 2006 10:15 PM

Ivan, nobody can delete a comment, only the staff.
Don't worry!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | May 22, 2006 09:01 PM

I am sorry for the previous post in Italian.
I posted it in the wrong discussion.
My apology,
Unfortunately, I am not able to delete it.


Posted by: Ivan Bettelli | May 22, 2006 07:57 PM

Il vero motivo per cui e' stata combattuta la guerra in Irak e' il petrolio, ma non nel senso che comunemente si intende cioe' per appropriarsi dei giacimenti, ma per bloccare qualunque tentativo di cambiare la moneta di pagamento. Prima il Venezuela e poi l'Irak imposero il pagamento del greggio in Euro. Se dai petroldollari si dovesse passare ai petroleuro significherebbe che i paesi importatori di petrolio dovrebbero svuotare le casse centrali di dollari e rimpiazzarli con gli euro. Essendo gli Stati Uniti uno dei paesi piu' indebitati al mondo che si mantiene grazie alle riserve in dollari degli altri stati, non potrebbe sopportare una vendita in massa di dollari che porterebbe ad una svalutazione senza precedenti. A rimetterci non sarebbero solo gli Stati Uniti, ma anche il Giappone ed a cascata molti altri paesi con un effetto domino.
tratto dalla prefazione di Fabio Serra
Libri da leggere, Duri e Puri: articles/duri_e_puri.xhtml
Buona lettura,

Posted by: Ivan Bettelli | May 22, 2006 07:54 PM

Prince, my answer is YES, I think so!
People are swimming in the mainstream, because it's easier than thinking for oneself. The media and about all TV, are driving the most people to remain in their ignorance and not growing up. So more and more people are getting out of the habit of free-thinking, and they are not able to form own opinions concerning the most important facts in life, they think life is like e soap opera, where all are rich, beautiful and famous. You said people can't make distiction between good and bad anymore. I add: because of this they can't take choises. That's one reason for the small margin of victory at the elections.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | May 22, 2006 06:51 PM

I stopped watching TV on a regular basis around 1990 because I became aware of this bad mechanism that makes us slaves of this thing.
Dn't ask me why I realized that, it's just instinct.
A couple of years later I moved to USA and because of the nature of my job and my hobbies, TV has been on in my house for 3 hours a week (when I'm home).
Every time I go to Italy I find people more schizoid and talking with a vocabulary that comes directly from TV and this makes me sad and scared.
Do you guys think this is also the reason for the scarce margin of victory at the elections?
I rephrase my question: Do you think that the people are slowly erasing their sense of direction by swimming in the mainstream and thus eliminating their sharp criticism which until a couple of years ago allowed us to make a net distinction between good and bad?

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | May 22, 2006 04:51 PM

I've not many opportunities to watch TV, whether because of my rich social life, either because when I stay at home I prefere surfing internet or reading a book. But even so I think that the public TV must change, because if we can allow ourselves not to watch TV at all, there are many people in the world who need TV, because they are alone, sick or old. Our cities are always less child-friendly, and many children are staying at home for a lot of time, while their parents are working. Because of this I agree with Marcel and his right request to have a public service without commercials.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | May 22, 2006 04:19 PM

Hi there.

I tried to e-mail this to the e-m address listed but it was returned as undeliverable.

We were hoping that you might be able to profile The Remembering Site, a relatively new online site and non-profit organization that makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to write, archive, share and publish their life story.

We have life stories from people around the US and the world - a 21 year-old blind woman, a 28 year-old man who wrote his story so his fiance would know more about him and say yes to marrying him; a 38 year-old woman serving in Iraq who was left at the step of a Mexican church at birth; a 38 year-old man in Cuba who has never driven a car; a 38 year-old woman who was raised in poverty but is now the author of 7 books; a 56 year-old British cancer survivor; an 86 year-old who grew up on the plains in Nebraska; and an 80 year-old woman in Uganda who witnessed the genocide are just a few of the biographies featured on
our site.

We're a non-profit organization and would be so appreciative if you could like to our site and also mention it in one of your columns.

Sarah McCue
The Remembering Site

Posted by: Sarah McCue | May 22, 2006 02:01 PM

I have stopped watching TV completely and taken up the saxophone. I think it would be good to organise an international boycott of SKYMURDOCHMEDIASET Pay TV. You have to PAY to watch their advertising. How daft can you get!

Posted by: Maureen Lister | May 22, 2006 01:56 PM

i totally agree. why is it that the bbc can have advert free television? the licence fee needs to be more enforced so everyone pays and we get a fair service for our money.

they also need to axe domenica in. i cant believe any one actually watches that trash!!

Posted by: patrick kerr | May 22, 2006 12:40 PM

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