Great racy read too, “How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization”. 1994, as used in my slide show for students, also features Pulp Fiction (the age of smart-dumb cum Honey Bunny) and that pre-Kardashian, Wonderbra ad ‘Hello Boy’s which tripped a generation of yoof’s amygdala.

Reflections tend to yield interpretations we may have unconsciously missed or intentionally avoided the first time. If you want to know the temperature of the water don’t ask a fish. Imagine saying how terrible Friends was back then?

I’m almost certain there exists dissertation papers exulting Friends for its light-hearted relief in a world in which a nuclear accord between the super powers was being signed; Republicans with Newt Gingrich controlled both houses; OJ was running for his life and South Africa (SA) has just ended legalised racism. I was a freelance radio/ tv reporter in SA then, so Friends saved on VHS video cassette (oh dear!) was a requisite.

Looking back on Joey and his mates the subliminal/overt signs towards a cultural slide look fairly obvious compared with today’s more overt apocalyptic ‘stoopidity’. In 2050, what might a generation say about today when a need to be rational and find common ground is being thwarted by a concerted play on emotions e.g. fear and US networks putting finance above rationale .

Not so much a programme of moronity, but a century of it, according to Adam Curtis’ Century of Self. If you’ve not watched it, do so now, you’re in for a learning treat ( 1 minute snippet here.)

Personally, I blame that affable presenter Phil Donahue and the talk show format that inadvertently encouraged a new gen. that TV was the place for confession and win national attention at the same time. Did Joey say Amen to that?

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Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.

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