TV or jail?
March 11, 2001 12:13 PM   Subscribe

TV or jail? Adbusters broke this story this month about a pair of teens sent to jail in Ohio in October for refusing to watch Channel One at school. While there's lots of great reasons to dislike Channel One, one of the anti-media groups cited by Adbusters -- Obligation Inc -- is anti-Channel One because they don't promote abstinence and because they advertise a site that links to Eminem. Strange bedfellows? Does it matter?
posted by jessamyn (21 comments total)
I saw the story on the NoLogo site which didn't mention the God squad connection, funnily enough. But no, I don't think it does matter. The British anti-roads movement sometimes included fox-hunters and hunt sabs on the same demos.
posted by ceiriog at 12:30 PM on March 11, 2001

i don't think it matters, either. man, i would have had to go to jail, too -- in high school, i refused to say the pledge or watch channel one, either. it must be a testament to my homeroom teachers (invariably athletic coaches who didn't give a shit what i did) more than any stand i was trying to make, however.

good for those kids.
posted by sugarfish at 2:01 PM on March 11, 2001

I didn't like channel one in school because it was vapid, dumbed-down pseudo news that only helped to widen the stupidity rate by making people think they knew what was going on simply because they watched it.

Teachers were authorized to give channel one quizzes, which I always passed despite the fact that I was usually finishing up the homework that was due that period instead of watching. Channel one single-handedly saved my Algebra II grade.

There was a short-lived Lisa Ling fan club, too...
posted by billybunny at 2:05 PM on March 11, 2001

Channel One is a lame excuse to sell Clearisil.
posted by dagnyscott at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2001

"Behind Winston's back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away about pig iron and the overfulfillment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan...Winston kept his back to the telescreen. It was safer..."
posted by chrismc at 2:31 PM on March 11, 2001

When I was a freshman, they played Smashing Pumpkins, and that was cool. They should have had Kurt Loder as the host of the show, that would have been cool, cause Kurt Loder is cool, and so is MTV (they're cool too cause they know what cool is). Everyone just turned around to look at the kid with zits....we were all thinking, he should buy Clearisil. Anyway, I'll never forget when one of the tapes was replaced with a porno :>
posted by samsara at 2:36 PM on March 11, 2001

I think replacing the Channel 1 tape with a porno is an Urban Legend, discussed a few times at my school.

We actually had school increased 10 minutes this year to fit Channel 1 in at the beginning of the day. I think what Channel 1 does could easily be achieved by the teacher taking 5 minutes in the morning and just talking and discussing recent events. I think knowing what's going on in the world is important, but 4 minutes of news and 4 minutes of Pepsi commercials isn't the way to go. Being forced to watch ads every morning just bothers me.
posted by Mark at 5:59 PM on March 11, 2001

I think replacing the Channel 1 tape with a porno is an Urban Legend, discussed a few times at my school.

Replacing Channel 1 with pornography would increase the educational merit.

Channel 1 is insulting to people who watch real news on their own time.

The main reason most schools show it is that the Channel 1 people give them free TV's. Which they can then use to show lame videos made by Zondervan, only editing out the religious parts to make them mean something else entirely.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:27 PM on March 11, 2001

At this rate, I'm sure it'll be illegal to turn off a TV set about twenty minutes into the future.
posted by harmful at 8:03 PM on March 11, 2001

my mother's school district (in an impoverished area of virginia) did indeed subscribe simply for the equipment. seems most of the teachers would turn down the volume and brightness during broadcasts and go about their morning as usual.

when this whole thing started, the media thought then-owners whittle communications were brilliant...and then had the gall to be surprised/offended when neither students nor teachers approved.
posted by patricking at 8:35 PM on March 11, 2001

I think replacing the Channel 1 tape with a porno is an Urban Legend, discussed a few times at my school.Sure was...although to my recollection the shows were broadcasted via sattellite and taped on regular VHS. One of the trusted helpers used a dubbing machine to copy part of an old 70's porn flic to the very end of the broadcast. Being the premise is within a votech school, it seems very likely that it could have happened. (I thought about it so often, I sometimes dreamt that I actually did it).patricking: That was a point/link. We often had the volume muted in the mornings due to it's grating effect on our brains first thing Monday morning. Maybe Marylin Manson's to blame.
posted by samsara at 8:56 PM on March 11, 2001

I don't care who's holding the stick, so long as she's using it to beat on Channel One.
posted by straight at 8:38 AM on March 12, 2001

I hated, hated, hated Channel One in high school. Hated it. Hated the ads, hated the dumbed-down news, hated the fact that we had to watch this crap.

Except in Mr. Cou's class. He always turned the tube off. Or just pulled the cable.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:01 AM on March 12, 2001

Question: Did anyone ever ask a teacher why they're watching this crap?

Okay, another question: Did anyone's teacher ever talk about the news after the broadcast? It seems to me that even dumbed-down news can spur some intelligent discourse.

I'm not accusing anyone of not taking action or being sheeple or anything, I'm genuinely curious if either the above happened (outside this instance, obvously :-) and what the reaction of the local authority figures was.
posted by cCranium at 11:05 AM on March 12, 2001

The common response I received after asking "Why do we have to watch this?" was that most students know nothing about what's going on in the world, and won't know anything unless they're forced to watch it.

I remember discussing stories back in Jr. High, and once the teacher (who's sort of the hippie musician turned science teacher) asked how we felt being forced to watch ads.

Also I get "Channel 1 does a decent enough job and has some interesting stories and features, and it's free!".
posted by Mark at 7:06 PM on March 12, 2001

"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

-- Thomas Jefferson
posted by muppetboy at 8:39 PM on March 12, 2001

Muppetboy: isn't that some time ago? Haven't things changed in some ways just a little bit?
General question: What the fuck is channel one? Sorry, I'm English. I have no idea what this is about.
Tell me!
posted by davidgentle at 9:56 PM on March 12, 2001

I'm so old, when I was in school, we watched Channel One on filmstrips. (ba dum-dum)
posted by Optamystic at 11:49 PM on March 12, 2001

davidgentle, things never change.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:56 AM on March 13, 2001

I'm so old we watched Channel One on the magic lantern.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:43 AM on March 13, 2001

Check this out:
It turns out that the children's parents are separated, and although their mother supports their decision to leave class any time a TV is on, their father insisted to the school administration that they be forced to stay. And it turns out that their father has been granted authority over his children's education by a court order.
This whole ruckus is part of a separation battle -- Mom didn't get as much control over the kids as she wanted, and so she is trying to circumvent a court decision by gaining the support of an unaware public.
Another article originally from the Toledo Blade, scroll a little more than halfway down to find it.

posted by SergeM at 10:07 PM on March 15, 2001

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