Posts Tagged ‘ television ’

2 Days to Exegeting A City

I write this from a café in London. I arrived in this amazing city less than 24 hours ago, and am going to be getting on a train out of town in just a couple hours. Not a lot of time for all things touristy, which is fine by me, because I’m a terrible tourist (and proud of that). Good tourists, though, use an array of guidebooks that can take you on a tour of any given city according to their favorite criteria – “London on $5 a Day!” or “Top Ten Restaurant Experiences in New York” or “The Two Day Guide to Copenhagen.” I haven’t ever read those guides, but I’m sure they’re fun ways of learning a city if you on a limited time frame and/or budget. As a blue collar missiologist/theologian, I’m much more interested in the process of “reading” a city than I am in seeing […]



How to Watch TV (and other media), part 3

In what has become a series of posts, I’ve been trying to introduce some thought processes when it comes to consuming interacting with media in our lives. If you haven’t seen how I’m approaching this, and the questions I’m using, you can check out my first post here, and my second post here. I’m basically suggesting some ways of approaching media that don’t give our attention away in a passive, cavalier manner. In my second post, I discussed narratives that are advanced through media – some on the surface, but many below the surface. Today’s question builds on that concept. Question 3: What systems of power are at work? It may sound a little conspiracy theory-ish for me to presuppose that systems of power are present when I sit down to watch Wipeout or House or Deadliest Catch, but in most cases they are. I’m pleased with how the internet […]



How to Watch TV (and other media), part 2

Yesterday, I began to frame up an approach to interacting with media in our lives . . . notice that I said “interacting with” and not “consuming.” There’s a big difference. I’ll admit that there are definitely times when I consume media – I sit down in front of a television or computer screen with nothing in mind other than to have nothing in mind, and be entertained. But more often, I’m interacting with media, in the sense that I’m asking questions that go below the surface of the story that’s being told on screen – like yesterday’s question – “Who’s paying for this show?” To put things another way, while sometimes I do watch television, most of the time I “read” television. In an effort to further define things, here’s another good question for you to ask: Question 2 – What narrative is being advanced? One of the hardest […]



How to Watch TV (and other media)

Following on my recent commentary responding to a survey in which 70% of Christian women indicated that media does not influence their decisions, it occurred to me that I could suggest some frameworks for how to view media, and live with the tension of its influence on our lives. Watching television doesn’t sound like something that should require skill . . . but if you pay attention – even a little – you’ll see what kind of effort is being put into influencing you. While a good bit of what I will offer here applies most directly to television viewing, you can certainly generalize the questions I ask to include movies, radio, internet, music, and news outlets. This is a bit of a lesson in semiotics, or a way of understanding signs and symbols. Trust me, it’s not as intimidating as it might sound. You can arrive at some healthy […]