The 90’s, episode 215: The Video Revolution

Episode 215 of the award winning series, The 90's. This episode is called "THE VIDEO REVOLUTION" and features the following segments:

90’s Cold Opening featuring an excerpt from the 1972 video “Four More Years” by TVTV. In this clip Walter Cronkite is being interviewed. Cronkite: “Introspection is not good for a journalist. I’ll tell you that you’d be much better off if you didn’t pay any attention to it at all.”

02:32Copy video clip URL “Beat of an Urban Drum” by The Lies Brothers. Native Americans discuss the difficulty in maintaining their heritage and traditional ideals. “We’re individuals, and that’s what’s wrong with American society. You have to pretend. You have to be plastic. You have to be what someone wants you to be.” One man comments on the difficulty maintaining the heritage taught on the reservation upon entering the outside world – “You walk two paths. You get so you don’t trust people. You get so that you try to hide that you’re a Native American.” An anecdote: “I did see a white man when I was ten. I found him drifting on a beach. He said he hadn’t had anything to eat for a week. So I said, ‘There’s food all over, why don’t you eat?’ He said he didn’t know how to find it, so I made him a great meal from all over the forest. He gave me a ten dollar bill which I carried around for about three years, because I had no use for it”. Concluding poem, “Ruined”: “You have ruined me white man/You really don’t want me in your world and/You have made me unfit to live in the red man’s world.”

09:05Copy video clip URL “Video is Television” by Antonio Muntadas. A cerebral piece that comments on television as an illusionary image. The statement is accomplished through close-up of the television’s screen, revealing the fragmented dots that make up the picture.

10:26Copy video clip URL “New York Cabbie” by Skip Blumberg. Robert Demella, a NYC cab driver, rants about various subjects. On how to avoid getting scammed: “You don’t pick up drunks, teenagers or seedy types.” On TV: “Only good for news…I’d like to take a sledgehammer and smash the TV…The TV set is the downfall of Western Civilization…People don’t read anymore, people don’t talk anymore, people don’t think anymore…Our generation that grew up on TV is the STUPIDEST generation to come down the pike.”

12:21Copy video clip URL Excerpt from “Did They Buy It? Nicaragua 1990 Election” by Committee for Labor Access. An excerpt from the documentary about the 1990 presidential elections in Nicaragua. It is unique because it focuses more on the foreign (i.e. U.S.) media coverage than on the events themselves. In this excerpt we watch reporter Ed Rabel of NBC News practice his lines. Rabel realizes the impact his coverage has: “The only thing any of us reporters has is his integrity and his accuracy which he brings to bear”… A journalist quotes Bernard Cohen: “The press doesn’t tell us what to think, it tells us what to think about.” The piece ends with a portion of the broadcast seen on Nightly News.

17:00Copy video clip URL More from “New York Cabbie.” Demella continues: “I hate sound bytes. I hate 30 second political commercials. It makes me want to take a sledgehammer to the people hoisting it on us…I can smell a fraud from a mile away. That’s my business…When I get a passenger and they’re just too friendly, I go, ‘You got any money?'”

18:35Copy video clip URL “Taiwan Demonstration” by Green Team. Based on the premise that different ideologies produce different coverage of the same events, we look at two broadcasts concerning protests in Taipei. The Green Team’s coverage portrays the farmers and the students as the victims of police brutality, while the government controlled report suggest that the people “totally lost their heads” and were the instigators of the violence.

22:44Copy video clip URL “Mountain Vision “by Susan Wehling. Anne Johnson, a TV producer from Appalshop in Kentucky, comments on the importance of television as a tool in representing people who are otherwise denied a voice. We see short clips of people featured on her show, from Minnie ‘s Gourd Museum to Everett Akers (“They have taken our rights. They have taken our freedom” — on strip mining in Kentucky). Johnson says that changing the way people perceive things is the root of societal change.

26:48Copy video clip URL “Les Brown” by Kathie Robertson. Brown, a motivational speaker, comments on TV ‘s violent nature and its ability to desensitize people. He criticizes the media for emphasizing the negative and not being committed to positive change.

28:01Copy video clip URL “Free Speech” by Skip Blumberg. On the streets of New York City, a spokesman attracts a crowd with his advice to blacks and Latinos to avoid assimilation and support only black and Latino businesses. A white policeman tries to disperse the crowd but is denounced: “The man has a right to voice his opinions, and we have a right to listen!”

33:45Copy video clip URL “It’s Our Pleasure To Serve You” PSA by Laurie Anderson. Satirical look at nationalist songs in which Anderson analyzes the absurdity of the lyrics of our National Anthem as well as its “B-side,” “Yankee Doodle” — “truly a surrealist masterpiece… If you can understand this song you can understand anything that happens in the art world today.”

35:33Copy video clip URL Electronic Visualization Lab Demo. A look at the visualization of mathematical objects through the aid of computers, with Dan Sandin. At the University of Illinois at Chicago they “explore logarithms so complicated that if computed on a standard PC your grandchildren would still be waiting to see the results.”

38:07Copy video clip URL “Japanese TV Commercial.” A chorus of singers in outrageous costumes hail the praises of a Sony CD player.

38:36Copy video clip URL “Cuba Vision” from the Cuban television show “When I Grow Up.” A child’s fantasy profession, in this case painting, is explored and glorified. Syrupy classical music sets the tone as a child is initiated into the world of house painters.

40:22Copy video clip URL “ASTN Sales Meeting” A satellite-delivered series broadcast to car dealers across the country, complete with a news anchor and co-hosts, dealing with issues such as “how to conduct interpersonal relationships within a sale.”

41:01Copy video clip URL Dee Davis commentary. “Maybe we could make television a little better if we thought of it not as a way to sell things, but as a way to change people’s lives, a way to give them new enthusiasm, a way to energize them, to cure the sick and make the lame walk.”

41:24Copy video clip URL “Deep Dish TV” by Dee Dee Halleck. Halleck fixes a pie while discussing the importance of public access television in the exercising of First Amendment rights. “It’s participating actively in communications.”

42:00Copy video clip URL “Taiwan TV” by Green TV. From the “Green TV” station in Taiwan, a covert broadcast operation. Students are shown tossing televisions in protest of the government takeover of the media. “TV media is the tool for the public. The government now controls the media. Today we break through this monopoly with practical action.”

43 :19 “Todd Alcott “by Skip Blumberg. 90’s regular, Todd Alcott rants: [Speaking as a TV] “Look at me. Don’t look over there. There is nothing to look at over there. Look at me…Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not trying to run your life. You need to go to the bathroom. Go to the bathroom. Come back. Look at me…So we have a deal. You will do what you absolutely have to do, then you will come back and look at me. Don’t worry about your schedule, I am here for you 110% of the time…People tell you I am bad…You tell them I’ve been here for your entire life…People say I’m bad. You know what that sounds like to me? — sour grapes. I’ve got some stuff coming up for you…Crime, thrills, sex, death, comedy – all here in the next 8 minutes…”

45:15Copy video clip URL Excerpt from “The Invasion in Panama: The U.S. Media Along for the Ride” by Barbara Trent and The Empowerment Project. Excerpt from a documentary examining the media coverage of the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama. The piece asserts that the media was closely managed and manipulated by the U.S. Military, and as such, did not provide accurate or objective reporting.

53:23Copy video clip URL Excerpt from “Radio Faces” by Tom Weinberg. Excerpt from the TV show that examines the professional and private lives of Chicago radio personalities. In this excerpt we meet Tom Joyner, a DJ at WCGI. He is interviewed in a limo as he makes his way to O ‘Hare Airport. He discusses his influences. “I don’t really consider what I do work. I play music and have fun twice a day. I’m not an air traffic controller. That’s a job…I see us, Black radio, killing ourselves…without personality we’re just another station on the dial.”

57:36Copy video clip URL “Don Cherry” by Starr Sutherland. A musician at the Victoria Theater in San Francisco plays a 3 in 1 instrument: a kazoo, a “Jew’s harp” and a clicker.

57:52Copy video clip URL End credits.

59:44Copy video clip URL Promo for The 90’s.



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