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"Don Quixote would be sick today of TV trash".


Published in

Diario de Navarra, Diario Montañés and El Día

Gerardo Castillo Ceballos

School of Education and Psychology of the University of Navarra

Salman Rushdie, in his novel Don Quixote, uses the figure of the nobleman of La Mancha to describe our times. The protagonist, Ismail Smile, has not fallen ill from reading books of chivalry, but from something more typical of the present, television trash. He conceived the idea of crossing the United States to meet his particular Dulcinea, a Hollywood actress. Salman Rushdie has declared that this quest is not only a journey from the West to New York; it is above all a spiritual journey.

Telebasura was defined by the RAE as "a set of television programs with vulgar and vulgar contents". Its initially colloquial use and later a reason for sociological research applies to a way of conceiving television defined by the use of sensationalism, shocking events and an absolute lack of cultural content.

I agree with Pedro Arenk that the impact of garbage on the ecosystem is equivalent to the impact of TV trash on culture. The latter has an added drawback: it is not recycled. As a result, more and more degraded content, foul language and fictitious characters accumulate and become elements of negative reference letter . The topic of trash TV is a vein for the professionals of graphic humor. In a comic vignette, a doctor is seen examining an X-ray with a garbage TV tumor while he says to his patient: you are worse than I thought.

The producers of trash TV talk about authenticity and hyperrealism with no other basis than to look for people who show themselves as they are on the set, vulgar.

Television stations justify this subject of programs in the name of freedom of expression and satisfying audience demand. Broadcasting ethically harmful content for all subject audiences is neither acceptable nor manager, even if it is demanded by certain viewers. It seems to me a very weak argument to claim that people watch it because it is what they like. What people watch on television is what they find on many channels when they turn on the set, the trash programs. And if they don't want to think about anything else, they eat that garbage. But that doesn't mean they like it.

Television entertainment, being open to a huge and diversified audience, should not be an instrument for the degradation of tastes and habits, with the consequent risk of mimicry and imitation by the receivers.

Numerous programs of study have shown that children are particularly affected by television content, and it is common for them to imitate the models they see on the small screen on a daily basis. Children may have identity and socialization problems. In many cases, television becomes the children's only company while their parents are at work, and they can watch it without parental control.

Some Spanish channels have established restrictive criteria by signing a code relating only to schedule for children. This is a step forward, but there should be a code of ethics for all times and ages. In any case, it is up to parents to educate their children in the proper use of television, leading by example. There are parents who condemn trash TV, but watch it on the sly. This behavior is a logical contradiction, but also a moral one: "I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want," says St. Paul in the Letter to the Romans.

I do not think that the question should be seen as a "yes or no to television". The part (trash TV) should not be taken for the whole. Television is an instrument that can be used well or badly. The easy thing to do is to throw it out of the window, but the difficult, but not impossible, thing is to take advantage of its great possibilities for information, entertainment and education. This requires criteria to know how to select the programs. It is a whole challenge educational .