Obligatorisk opgave 5 Engelsk B e-learning René Rubion (6-800 ord i alt) 1.

Write a summary of I Read the News Today (200 words). Ross, a disc-jockey who single-handedly runs the all-night program on a local radio station, gets held hostage at gunpoint by Ronny, who was arrested for vandalizing a warehouse and escaped police custody after being sentenced to prison. The angry, naïve and disturbed young man - wants to publicly announce that the manufacturer of an electronic gadget is lying about its virtues, that he actually did society a favour by smashing up a bunch of those gadgets and that the court unjustly refused to even consider this righteous justification of his action. Ross, having broadcast commercials for the gadget, is considered part of a conspiracy to cheat Ronny and other consumers. Unknown to Ronny and against his orders, the commotion and threats he made upon entering the studio was broadcast by Ross. The police get alarm calls from listeners and tune in. First they shrug it off as a radio play, but later they realize that it is for real and enter the studio. Ronny demands a plane out of the country but the policemen recognize the gun for the replica it is and overpower him. Next morning he gets remanded for psychiatric reports and Ross is back on the air.

2. What is Kosinky’s opinion about TV in A Nation of Videots? In the interview, Kosinski expresses the rather commonplace opinion about TV that it is more or less the root of all evil in modern society: It is making people passive, immobilized and detached from society, real life and each other. They get used to simple views of the world and simple problems that have easy, neat and definite solutions, unlike most of those problems the real world presents. It makes them impatient, lazy and an easy non-critical prey for commercialism and consumerism. It makes (especially young) people’s attention span very short, destroys their ability to concentrate and read and makes them easily bored and generally unfocused to the “here and now” around them. Kosinski’s opinion about TV is clear-cut and he blames it for a lot of phenomena in the modern (American) world. He never nuances his points of views to regard TV as a mere symptom of modern industrialized and urbanized life. In his mind it is the cause of the many problems he so brilliantly points out. As an example of how detached from the real world we have become, he uses an example with a staged assault on himself in a classroom full of seven- to ten-year-old children who pay more attention to the monitor screens than to the actual assault right in front of them and do not react or become involved. It does, however, not seem to have occurred to him that the children might actually have seen the staged acting for what it in fact was, regardless whether they told him so or not. Neither do Kosinski elaborate on to what degree he would think it natural for such young children to interfere or involve themselves in an actual assault on an adult by another adult. He is making some good points on the way people has been degraded to onlookers to life around them by the massive influence of the TV entertainment industry, and how they no longer like to be singled out from a group and express meanings of their own. Then he points out how almost paradoxically easy this can be turned on its head: how eagerly people are participating in TV shows where they publicly share their most intimate and private secrets with the world.

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Obligatorisk opgave 5 Engelsk B e-learning René Rubion (6-800 ord i alt) 3. Characterize Mr. and Mrs. Spouse in the poem TEEVEE. The poem makes a ridiculously ironic depiction of Mr. and Mrs. Spouse as a married couple*) who are always watching TV when they are together. So they never notice each other, talk to each other, know each other and they are not even aware of each others presence in the house. Their minds are so totally absorbed by the TV that only when it one day breaks down they start introducing themselves, just to stop in midsentence as the TV comes to life again. *) I will exclude any other possible scenarios that could open up a few possible alternative interpretations of the poem,
such as Mr. Spouse and Mrs. Spouse being - or having been - married, as their titles imply, but not to each other. For instance, they could be widowed or divorced siblings who share ownership of an inherited house.

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