Thursday, February 15, 2007

Television (by Helen)

When I first got here I watched a lot of telelvision. I didn´t watch anything in particular, just spent time vegging and staring at the few english channels. I know I have touched on tv before, so indulge me as I repeat myself. English CNN here is mostly segments called CNN Asia and CNN Africa.
I had no idea that Nicole Smith died until Ken saw it on an expat e-mail. The bruha about Biden and his comments about Obama being ¨clean and well spoken¨ was barely a blurb in the local english newspaper. And I have to assume that was pretty well covered at home. Of course we hear about Israel and Iraq - all the damn time - but US news is not a priority.
There is a local Argentina channel that has soap operas and movies. It is pretty interesting to try and mimic the lilt used when speaking the local spanish. And as I said before, you can watch Little House on the Prairie in spanish about 10 times a day. There are basically 5 english channels. (I will save Argentine channels for another blog). One is a lot of old, or cancelled ABC shows, one is WB, with all the old cancelled sci-fi stuff, and then the third one that I can´t describe, has comedys, like the Adventures of Old Christine (plays 3 times a day), old Frasiers (2 times a day), Friends (2 times a day), Seinfeld (maybe the same episode even 3 times a day). There is also VH1 where they play re-runs of Flavo-Flav giving clocks to women if they win his affection, and a movie channel that plays ¨They Came to Talk Movies¨. Some of these movies are pretty good, fairly recent, and unknown in the US even tho they have some big name stars. There is a BBC channel, but it is mostly news (Asia and Africa), no shows like Are You Being Served.
This past week we decided to watch the new episode of Lost on the internet. We got the lawn chairs from the terrace, put pillows on them, and set them up in front of the computer. We got beverages, and were all content to settle into watching a little Lost. We clicked on play - and guess what!? - unless you are located in North America, you are unable to watch these episodes. Bummer.
The F word is readily spoken on the tube here, and after 1am there can be some pretty explicit sex. Full frontal nudity of males and females can be viewed by all. Now that´s something to line the lawn chairs up for!


Chas said...

Now hold on just a minute. You mean to tell me the death of Anna Nicole Smith did NOT dominate the headlines in Argentina? They were NOT all abuzz when Joe Biden had the unmitigated temerity to refer to a man as "articulate?" Are they really devoting their air time to things like Israel and Iraq? All this AND nudity on TV. My, what a primitive society.

Kat Acosta said...

Hi honey! You have no idea how blessed you are to be spared from the whole Anna Nicole crap. It is inescapable! *All* the news channels have been covering it pretty much constantly since she died. I swear, it is enough to make you crazy! It is everywhere! You'd think there was no "real" news. Sigh.

love reading your blogs...
xoxo to you two

Ken and Helen said...

Yup, the Beckham story here sounds like the Anna Nicole story there

emilyeffinconrad said...

yeah man she is D E A D.
I knew there were more reasons I should move to one knows about Anna Nicole, porn and the f word on tv, nice and warm in comparison to this weather that I CAN'T EVEN GET MY CAR OUT OF!

Mia said...

Hi Helen,

I found your blog just a couple of days ago. Been reading the older posts and would like to comment on most, but I have to ask: Did you set up your blogger account to email you the comments? (Wouldn't make much sense to write stuff you'll never get to see).

Kat, try turning the TV on only to watch what you want. It works, believe me. :)

Mia, and Argentine living in North America (first Canada then the USA) since 1986.

Ken and Helen said...

Sorry, but people were spamming the blog and others were posting harsh criticisms anonymously. I don´t mind being criticized, but I want to be able to face my accuser.

So . . .the additional steps are necessary.



Mia said...

Hi Ken and Helen,

I don't think you understood my previous comment. Take two:

I would like to comment on some of your older posts (I can provide advice you might find useful), but I want to know, before I take the time, if you are notified when you have comments on older posts. Do you check all posts for comments, daily?

You see, if you set up your Blogger account to email you every time you get a comment on any of your posts, then you don't have to check all posts manually to see if you've got new comments on old posts. Get it?

Mia said...

Ken, I just clicked. You are moderating comments, of course you get to see all comments daily even if they are from old posts.

Re: using moderation to stop spam and anonymous harsh criticism. I don't know.

Before this trip, were you a blogger? Were you in the habit of reading blogs?

I started reading blogs from people around the globe a few years ago. I even kept my own blog for a while, but since I enjoy reading a lot more than I do writing, I decided to end it.

I like to comment when I have something relevant to say. I may criticise, but I am never disrespectful. I have read many vile anonymous comments but comment moderation is so akin to censure, you know. Why not just delete the offending anonymous comments and/or the few spams you may get every now and then? Dunno, reading that "your comment will be published after blog owners approval" is so disheartening.

Anyway, it is your blog and you get to set the rules but, please, do think about what I just told you. Censorship can never be good. And about wanting to "be able to face your accuser", how? How does a screen name make criticism more valid? Have you ever considered that there are many, many blog readers that don't have and don't want to have a Blogger account? By not allowing anonymous comments you are not allowing many readers to share their thoughts, advice, ideas with you.

Getting off your hair now. Sorry if my long-winded comments inconvenienced you in any way. You have my permission to delete every one of them, if you wish.

Suerte to you too.


Ken and Helen said...

Yes, I am notified when a comment is posted. I welcome your insight and advice. Thanks for reading.

Chas said...


I feel inclined to jump to my man's defense, as he is probably disinclined to appear defensive.

Clearly, if everyone only commented when they had something relevant to say, and always remained respectful, there would never be a need for comment moderation. When this blog first started, every comment was instantly posted. I believe it was a phishing scheme of some sort that initially forced Ken into controlling what did and did not appear in the comments section. My understanding was that it was done, actually, for the protection of the readers. (By the way, I also mocked him about "censorship" at the time, which is how I found out about the phishing stuff that was going on.)

But I'm not sure I agree that "censorship can never be good." In a world where so many people are unwilling or simply lack the good judgement to censor themselves, censorship can be very good. I prefer not to have to scroll through a string of hateful, or irrelevant, or puerile comments, and I suspect that having to go to the miniscule extra trouble of setting up an account in order to post a comment filters out a substantial amount of pointless vandalism that would otherwise occur. I don't anticipate that any of your comments will be deleted, as they seem thoughtful, and they meet the very simple requirement of being attributable to someone.

Mia said...


You've made me rethink the whole blog moderation/censorship thing. In the end, even if one chooses not to enable moderation, having to delete spam/hateful comments is a form of censorship that one is forced to practice because others can't or will not use common sense. I think you are right, sometimes censorship is necessary and can be positive.

Chas said...

Mia --

What? You think I'm right? Well then, you are obviously a highly intelligent and insightful person! I believe my work is done here.


Chas said...

Mia --
What? You think I'm right? Well, then, you are obviously a highly intelligent and insightful person! I believe my work is done here.

Ken and Helen said...

John Suler, a psychologist at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., suggested that several psychological factors lead to online disinhibition: the anonymity of a Web pseudonym; invisibility to others; the time lag between sending an e-mail message and getting feedback; the exaggerated sense of self from
being alone; and the lack of any online authority figure. Dr. Suler notes that disinhibition can be either benign - when a shy person feels free to open up online - or toxic, as in flaming.

The emerging field of social neuroscience, the study of what goes on in the brains and bodies of two interacting people, offers clues into the neural mechanics behind flaming.

Constructive criticism is one thing. But if I get flamed, I´ll delete it. This blog is for my friends, students, and family. Others are welcome to read and comment, but I won´t subject the people I know and love to that juvenile nonsense.

leslie said...

Hi Helen & Ken --
Just reading your blog (via Deby's site) -- if you are going to be here for any length of time you will have to take advantage of online TV -- ie CNN posts many videos, as does ABC and CBS. Also if you miss the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Colbert, go to the Comedy Central website.

Otherwise for all the entertainment type news it does get full coverage on the Spanish channels (if you can keep up, they do speak really fast I know) or else on E! (channel 49) they show the entertainment news on there a few times a day, with and without subtitles.

TN is a very good 24 hour news channel in Spanish here, or if you want more salacious coverage try Cronica.

Pretty much every channel above 22 is in English, and most shows are only a few months behind the States (your season starts in Sept/Oct, here it starts in Feb/March -- ie both start at the beginning of the Fall season). Project Runway is a season behind, as is Nip/Tuck and America's Next Top Model and most other reality shows (Top Chef etc... my friends and I have a whole roster we are addicted to).

American Idol appears to be only a couple of weeks behind because I read all about some controversies on it and then the other night when I flicked on the telly it was the episode they had been talking about.

The most annoying thing to watch are the Award Shows -- I've pretty much given up -- it seems they used to do subtitling for them, but now they do simultaneous vocal translation, but they keep the volume of the english at almost the same level, so I find I miss everything -- this is one of those cases where I think it would be to my advantage to not be able to understand english, as then I'd just be able to focus on the Spanish... anyway, I'm not sure which channel the Oscars will be on -- either TNT or Sony I believe -- you can look on to find out -- they have TV listings in their entertainment section.

Oh, also, I don't have an American CC so I can't do this, but I'm assuming you two do -- this means that you can go onto iTunes and purchase episodes of Lost, Project Runway, etc etc for 1.95 a show, or something like $20 for the whole season. You need an American CC and billing address to be able to do it.

Jos said...

Believe it or not, I watched a bit of tv while on vacay. I noticed the rather explicit content after hours. lol!!!