TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT September 1989

REMOTE CONTROL

Television

TV IS A TOOL. But unlike computers and chain saws, there are no directions as to its use; no howtos, no recipes. You never forget how to use TV because you never have to learn how. Like any other relationship, it seems you just sort of “get along” with this chatty appliance; you “do” it, it “does” you. We “do” TV by letting its juices flow. Not flesh-and-blood juices, of course, but continuously acrid signals, impulses that flow from its artificial circuitry to our own. Like humans, television is sensitive to our touch. We flick a knob on its chassis and it performs for us. We know how to push its buttons. We know how to turn it on. We are clasped in a relentless tango of remote controllings. TV “does” us by holding us within its gravitational force field while at the same time letting us be. It simulates an “open” relationship, offering us a menu of seemingly multiple choices and encouraging

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