Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog

ENTERTAINMENT

 

ENTERTAINMENT:

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Prologue:

Most of us have, at some point, become so immersed in a book or game or movie that the activity temporarily assumes a profound significance and the importance of the outside world begins to fade. Although we are likely to enjoy these experiences in the realm of entertainment, we rarely stop and think about what effect they might be having on us. But maybe we should. For all that has been written about individual pop icons, movie stars, sport stars and sitcoms, and the liberating or oppressive power of popular culture, basic questions remain unanswered. What do we know about the overall effect of living in a society in which entertainment is so central? What do we know about how entertainment affects society and the people who participate in it? Why entertainment activities are so important to us, yet frequently dismissed as being unworthy of serious reflection? Is entertainment indispensable for humans? American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching television. Indian audience watch television 14 to 21 hours per week less than the U.S. because in smaller towns where capability to watch television exists, the quality and supply of electrical power becomes a big issue.What do they get in return? Besides entertainment; nothing. I quote a favorite quote. Art is moral passion married to entertainment, moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television. As entertainment becomes a trillion dollar per year industry worldwide, as our modern era increasingly lives up to its label of the “entertainment age,” and as economists begin to recognize that entertainment has become the driving force of the new world economy, it is safe to say that scholars are beginning to take entertainment seriously.

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History of entertainment:

Before the rise of human civilization, there was little time for anything but survival. All time and energy went to providing food, water and shelter for yourself and dependents. The primitive population had little time for art or entertainment or, more generally, diversions to distract them from their toilsome existence. Artifacts show that at least one of the activities cavemen enjoyed during their precious free time was cave painting. No one knows why these paintings were created, though theories abound. Speculation can easily conjure images of a gregarious caveman describing a particularly exciting hunt to his clan as he draws the events on the cave wall illuminated by a flickering fire. It was probably a lightning strike upon a tree 200,000 years ago in Africa that caused the first fire to be seen by prehistoric humans. It may be few thousands of years later our ancestors realized power of fire to be used for warmth, light, cooking, security and… entertainment. Humans sat around fire for thousands of years and even today, in some part of developing world, engage in singing and dancing after finishing a day work of cooking, hunting and gathering firewood. At some point in prehistoric time, a storyteller was born who used imagination verbally to tell stories or songs, and visually to paint a picture. The aesthetic nature and sophisticated composition of the pre-historic paintings indicate that they were not for utilitarian purposes. They could only have been diversions from the drudgery of daily life, thus cave painting marks the twin birth of art and entertainment forever memorialized on stone. Only once agriculture rooted itself as the primary means of sustenance did large enough populations congregate to facilitate role specialization. The artist and the entertainer were born out of the new free time afforded by specialization and, most likely, as a mixture of the two. Throughout centuries, audience have watched, clapped and cheered various types of performances right from listening to music, to display of dancing, drama or athleticism. As technologies developed, buildings were constructed as theaters or stadiums to witness, hear and experience such spectacles. The development of written words into books led audiences into mentally escapes in another world as their minds process words into images. Invention, innovation and commodification in the industrial world (North America and Europe) have seen creation of devices that have specifically designed to captivate audiences. Music, cinema, radio, television and telephone have flourished due to continued cycle of reinvention, innovation and creativity. Societal changes led to disposable income, leisure time, changing fashion and continued consumer demand to be kept entertained led to development of entertainment industry with one common goal; to captivate audience and to be paid for doing so. As business flourishes, large corporation were created for broadcasting, print media, radio, television and cinema. Amusement parks and museums were created to attract visitors and tourists. In last 20 years, computers and internet invaded many houses providing entertainment at home.

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Boredom:

No discussion on entertainment can start without mentioning boredom. I remember a young woman pilot Akshi Gupta who came to see me for treatment of medical illness. She told me that she is bored. As a pilot working in coast-guard far away from her home with no friends, she was free whole day with no useful activities except flying for few hours. The picture below shows that even babies get bored.


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Boredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and is not interested in their surroundings. Boredom has been defined by C. D. Fisher in terms of its central psychological processes: “an unpleasant, transient affective state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity”.  Though we have hundreds of entertainment options today–video games, the Internet, CD and MP3 players, home entertainment centers, sporting events, megamalls, movie theaters, and even robotic toys–our culture is battling an insidious disease. It’s an epidemic of boredom. There are three types of boredom, all of which involve problems of engagement of attention. These include times when we are prevented from engaging in some wanted activity, when we are forced to engage in some unwanted activity, or when we are simply unable, for no apparent reason, to maintain engagement in any activity or spectacle. Boredom is a condition characterized by perception of one’s environment as dull, tedious, and lacking in stimulation. This can result from leisure and a lack of aesthetic interests. People ranked low on a boredom-proneness scale were found to have better performance in a wide variety of aspects of their lives, including career, education, and autonomy. Boredom can be a symptom of clinical depression. In a learning environment, a common cause of boredom is lack of understanding; for instance, if one is not following or connecting to the material in a class or lecture, it will usually seem boring. However, the opposite can also be true; something that is too easily understood, simple or transparent, can also be boring. Boredom is often inversely related to learning, and in school it may be a sign that a student is not challenged enough, or too challenged. An activity that is predictable to the students is likely to bore them. Boredom has been studied as being related to drug abuse among teens. Boredom has been proposed as a cause of pathological gambling behavior. 

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Boredom is so endemic to our culture, particularly among youth, that we imagine it to be a near-universal default state of human existence. In the absence of outside stimuli we are bored. However, Bedouins can sit for hours in the desert, feeling the ripples of time, without being bored. Apparently, boredom was not even a concept before the word was invented around 1760, along with the word “interesting”. The tide of boredom that has risen ever since coincides with the progress of the Industrial Revolution, hinting at a reason why it has, until recently, been an exclusively Western phenomenon. The reality that the factory system created was a mass-produced reality, a generic reality of standardized products, standardized roles, standardized tasks, and standardized lives. The more we came to live in that artificial reality, the more separate we became from the inherently fascinating realm of nature and community. Today, in a familiar pattern, we apply further technology to relieve the boredom that results from our immersion in a world of technology. We call it entertainment. Have you ever thought about that word? To entertain a guest means to bring him into your house; to entertain a thought means to bring it into your mind. Nowadays to be entertained means to be brought into the television, the game and the movie. It means to be removed from yourself and the real world. When a television show does this successfully, we applaud it as entertaining. Our craving for entertainment points to the impoverishment of our reality. Getting entertained to relieve boredom means to applaud fantasy. Aside from the impoverishment of our reality, we are uncomfortable doing nothing because of the relentless anxiety that dominates modern life. We desire constant stimulation and entertainment because in their absence, we are left alone with ourselves doing nothing meaningful. So cricket, movies and soaps bring meaning to our bored life. Also, technology contributes directly to boredom by bombarding us with a constant barrage of intense stimuli, habituating our brains to a high level of stimulation. When it is removed, we suffer withdrawal. We are addicted to the artificial human realm we have created with technology. Now we are condemned to maintain it. Have a hangover? Take an aspirin. Have a runny nose? Take a cold medicine. Depressed? Have a drink. Bored? Entertain yourself. In other words, absence of entertainment means boredom. So we have a new definition of boredom.

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Do you want to know what to do when you’re bored?

 Well, there are a lot of interesting things that you can do to pass your time. Some people may love to read novels, play computer games, cook, read, etc. It is up to you when it comes to what to do when you are bored. Many of us like to view blogs and read books that are interesting and knowledgeable. There are many social networking sites that connect people from all parts of the world. You can easily make friends and chat with them and spend hours in communication. The best way to do something useful when you are bored is to sit at your computer and run a complete computer scan. This is necessary but mostly we ignore it and later, our computers are full of viruses and unwanted data. There are a lot of videos that are uploaded by so many people. Some contain funny videos, stories, movies, news, scenes captured from day to day lives, and so on. All are a good source of providing entertainment to bored people. If you like movies, then you can watch latest movies and write comments. It is very interesting to get to comment on the stuff that is posted. You can upload your photos/videos and have people comment on it. Computer Games are full on entertainment for kids and now even for the youngsters. It may be racing car or bike games, pokers, Sudoku and others, everyone loves to play and score. It is actually good and you can have the fun of that of play station. If you are studious and like learning on subjects related to studies then you can make the use of tutorials as a part of the learning material. You may get a lot of tutorials online on different topics like computers, mathematics, science, history and so on. It is a great way to learn things like this. It is a modern way that is adopted in most colleges because it facilitates learning by sitting wherever you want. You can invite a few friends over for a themed informal potluck dinner and ask them to bring a dish to your home. If you’re still wondering what to do when you’re bored, take a drive to another city that’s not far from where you live. If you just heard about a new mall that opened up in a nearby city, spend the whole day there.

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Leisure:

Leisure, or free time, is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. It is also the periods of time before or after necessary activities such as eating, sleeping and, where it is compulsory, education. Leisure is a place for even the busiest people to take a break. You can learn to play cards, check out your horoscope, bet on your favorite game or find out more about arcades. The distinction between leisure and unavoidable activities is loosely applied, i.e. people sometimes do work-oriented tasks for pleasure as well as for long-term utility. A distinction may also be drawn between free time and leisure. For example, Situationist International maintains that free time is illusory and rarely free; economic and social forces appropriate free time from the individual and sell it back to them as the commodity known as “leisure. Time for leisure varies from one society to the next, although anthropologists have found that hunter-gatherers tend to have significantly more leisure time than people in more complex societies. As a result, band societies such as the Shoshone of the Great Basin came across as extraordinarily lazy to European colonialists. Workaholics are those who work compulsively at the expense of other activities. They prefer to work rather than spend time socializing and engaging in other leisure activities. Men generally have more leisure time than women. In Europe and the United States, adult men usually have between one and nine hours more leisure time than women do each week. Free time has potential for youth development, which is influenced by parental attitudes of interest and control, mediated by adolescent motivational style.

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Entertainment, recreation and leisure:

The English word “‍entertainment‍” comes from the Latin inter (among or across) and tenere (hold or keep). Entertainment is that which holds the interest and attention. The English word “‍recreation‍” is also from the Latin: re (again) and creare (make or beget). Recreation is that which renews and revitalizes us. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines recreation as “refreshment of strength and spirits after work.” However, entertainment is defined as “amusement or diversion provided especially by performers.” Both are diversionary; they take our minds off of work. But while recreation is the purposeful attempt to restore or refresh creative energy, too much entertainment tends to be mind numbing failing to rekindle mental energy. In fact, television can actually prevent people from falling asleep, while reading (though it involves mental processing) prepares the body and mind for more restful sleep. I think we need to start by remembering that some recreation is essential. Working constantly is at best foolish and inefficient, leading to burnout. There are advantages to recreating alone but excessive solitary recreation can become an outlet for selfish indulgence and the abdication of responsibilities towards others. Cultivating refreshing pastimes that also allow connecting with others is a useful way to kill two birds with one stone. Going on a walk with a spouse, friend, or child, visiting a museum, or taking in the Christmas lights downtown with your family all yield refreshment while providing uninterrupted time for developing relationships. There seems to be a de-facto acceptance in American society that entertainment is recreation. It’s gone so far that phrases like “‍recreational drug use‍” mean the exact opposite of what the word means. Even fairly innocuous entertainment is often not recreational, being instead a holding-pattern or escapism. We spend hours in entertainment without any noticeable renewal. While recreation may be defined as those activities which an individual is not compelled to do, but rather which are chosen based upon the establishment of their value as being enjoyable, satisfying, interesting, diverting, or otherwise capable of sustaining pleasure for that individual, the exact method or application of recreation varies greatly from individual to individual. That is, two individuals may agree that the best thing to do on a Sunday or after work is to engage in recreation, but the first will consider an afternoon at the art museum recreation, while the second may consider sports as a much more accurate expression of his or her recreative pleasure. The key or core elements being that the activity is beneficial by way of being amusing, stimulating, refreshing, or relaxing in some form, either physical, mental, or the combination of the two. Leisure can be accurately defined as some measure of time from which a person is released from those responsibilities which normally or routinely pertain to the duties they are compelled to perform. This is most often used as an expression referring to the periods of time in which a person is freed from paid work at a job. However, leisure can also include times one is temporarily released from other compulsory, but unpaid duties, such as child care, home or other maintenance, or personal obligations and matters. Recreation and leisure definitions, then, are at once established as containing the element of choice — either an activity or non-activity which deviates from the normal or routine structure of compulsory activity — and the element of satisfaction, by way of some attribute which the individual finds positive or pleasing.

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The figure below shows connections between recreation, leisure, entertainment and routine daily compulsory activities.


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Definition of entertainment:

Entertainment is an action, event or activity that aims to entertain, amuse and interest a public (“public” can consist of one person). Entertainment can be passive entertainment such as watching TV and active entertainment like participating in sports. Entertainment needs audience, without it entertainment cannot exist. Entertainment attracts an audience and influence their actions and thoughts. The audience can have a passive role, as in the case of a play, a show on a TV or a movie; or active as in the case of a video game. Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment may also provide fun, enjoyment and laughter. Over the years entertainment has come to refer to a constructed product designed to stimulate a mass audience in an agreeable way in exchange for money. Entertainment is created on purpose by someone for someone else. Entertainment is easily located, accessed and consumed. And of course, entertainment is also attractive, stimulating, sensory, emotional, social and moral to a mass audience. Entertainment may exist as a product, service or experience. The industry that provides entertainment is called the entertainment industry. There are many forms of entertainment for example: cinema, theatre, sports, games and social dance. Puppets, clowns, pantomimes and cartoons tend to appeal to children, though many adults may also find them enjoyable. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation. Activities such as personal reading or practicing a musical instrument are considered to be hobbies or pastimes. Novelty is an important aspect of entertainment. In other words, something which is never experienced commonly, so when it does occur, diverts attention of those who experience it, hence becomes audience of that novelty. Novelty is also a measure by which audience measures quality of entertainment. Entertainment also means something affording pleasure, diversion, or amusement, especially a performance of some kind: The highlight of the ball was an elaborate entertainment. An act of entertaining is an agreeable occupation for the mind: Solving the daily crossword puzzle is an entertainment for many. Entertainment could also be a divertingly adventurous, comic, or picaresque novel.

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What is not entertainment?

Entertainment is not

1. Art; although it may aspire to and attain the level of art at times (vide infra).

2. Ordinary life; it has a difficult feel, time, and emotional association with it.

3. Truth; because it uses whatever will be more stimulating and whatever will make for a better experience.

4. Intelligent thought; rather it is more like simple and familiar thought with a touch of surprise.

5. Moral; because entertainment won’t be judged as good or bad for people, just entertaining.

The holidays, reading and viewing works of art are not generally considered entertainment, but rather as a pastime. The entertainment generally requires that the supplier of the show is visible to the viewer, with the exception of video games.

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Entertainment is any activity that makes people happy and relaxed during their free time. People are always tired with their daily routines, jobs and household works; and feel relaxed and happy when they have some entertainment. It diverts the people from their job tension and tiredness. There are many types of entertainment and each one’s interest on this will vary from person to person. This is because different people have various types of interests. Entertainment can be anything like a movie show, a concert, dance show, comedy show etc. A life without entertainment will be very dull and boring. Nowadays there are many ways to get entertained in your busy life. Televisions, radios, iPods, laptops are some of the electronic items that keeps you entertained. Watching favorite’s shows in the televisions or any comedy programs will bring a small smile in everybody’s lips and it also releases your stress. Most of the people are interested in music and many studies have also proved that music is a good medicine to release your tensions. For some people singing or playing musical instruments makes their mind cool and relax. Some people love to read books and get relaxed and diverted from their tensions. These are some common examples that people do in order to get entertained and hence to get relaxed. Apart from the above mentioned, other sorts of entertainment that people adopt are spending time with family, chatting with friends or going out for a picnic or going for a walk in the sea side or in park or playing some sports. This will keep their mind fresh and relaxed. In hotels, hospitals and shopping malls you can find televisions kept and playing some channels. This is just to keep the people minds divert from the boredom or tension they have.

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Entertainment environment:

The entertainment environment is a location where people interact with entertainment provided by entertainment industry.


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Entertainment or engagement vis-à-vis students:

The general perception is that nowadays students need constant entertainment to draw their attention. So the terms “entertain” and “engage” are being used synonymously. Is there a difference between entertaining and engaging a learner? How do you make the distinction?  There are important distinctions.

1. Entertainment’s primary purpose is to create an enjoyable experience; engagement’s primary purpose is to focus attention so learning occurs.

2. Entertainment is ephemeral, often frivolous; engagement creates long-lasting results and deals with important issues.

3. Entertainment needs have little relevance to the reader/watcher/listener; engagement experiences most often relate directly to the learner.

4. Entertainment is an escape from problems; engagement involves solving problems.

5. Entertainment results through the creativity of others; engagement asks for creativity on the part of the learner.

6. Perhaps the greatest distinction is that entertain is often passive, whereas engagement is active or interactive.

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It’s fairly easy to see the difference- its passive v/s active. If I look to entertain you with technology, I’m looking for flashy websites, videos that tell you how to do something, and tools that get you to pay attention but honestly don’t require you to do much. It’s fun, it’s easy for you as a student, you’ll probably behave better for a while and it is a lot of work for me because I have to keep updating the ante. When I engage you, it’s still lots of work for me, but it requires something from you as the student. So how do I as a teacher make the leap? It comes from taking a hard look at what I want students to know, and more importantly, why I want them to know it. Is it because it is a foundation skill for future learning? Is it connected to decisions they will have to make later in life? Is it preparing them for ways to approach problem solving? I need to be clear before I begin to engage my students. The transition from entertainment to engagement is transition from passivity to activity.

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‘The new entertainment culture’ is seen in the picture below.  

 

The main take-away is that all forms of entertainment are having levels of interactivity added to them – from the advent of reality television allowing people to affect the outcome of programs, to theatre that you can walk around, to socially created literature, to film and TV drama that adds layers beyond the superficial fiction, through guerilla campaigns on and offline. At the same time social media is allowing us to create profiles of ourselves that help to create fiction around our lives – portraying the best, the most exciting, the most dramatic aspects (many people even editing away the bits they don’t like that others have added). And games are becoming watchable in their own right as the cameras capturing the play become more sophisticated, and they are starting to be used to tell stories rather than merely displaying destruction or slick moves. Finally there is a space in the middle where they all meet.

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Entertainment and culture:

Entertainment has been a part of all cultures, from the Chauvet cave paintings to the iPad. For Rothman, it is “the storehouse of national values”. Perhaps nowhere is that observation more apt than in the United States, a nation that Gabler terms a “republic of entertainment”. Many Americans seem to feel entitled to high-quality entertainment, and more and more entertainment jostles for their attention. Zillmann goes so far as to predict that entertainment “will define, more than ever before, the civilizations to come”. Despite the centrality of entertainment to society, however, academia has treated the subject in a disjointed, scattershot, sometimes condescending fashion, for a variety of reasons. To start with, the earliest communication theorists chose to study the mass media in terms of persuasion rather than entertainment. Furthermore, many scholars look on entertainment as too trivial for study (Shusterman 291). They believe that entertainment amounts principally “to taking up large amounts of the daily time of individuals, but not representing an important force for human behavior changes” (Singhal and Rogers 120). In addition, different disciplines have asserted dominance over different aspects of the topic.

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Shakespeare was writing for the audience. Not for the Queen. (Ben Jonson was writing masques for the Queen, and none of them are still put on. Look what happens to “cultural” programming.) That’s why you have the moments of high drama and the detours for silliness. A cultural event is only cultural because it affects the culture of the place it occurs. That means people have to see it. If a play is not entertaining, no one sees it. If no one sees it, it does not have an impact on the culture. It neither preserves nor disturbs the culture. Various shows on TV especially soaps reflect culture of population. The Academy Awards are a cultural event. Entertainment is cultural. What we see on TV and in the movies and hear on the radio affects how we perceive ourselves and the society we live in. Cop shows tell us what the laws are and what is supposed to happen when they are broken. Doctor shows help us deal with our fear of illness. However, to equate “culture” with entertainment diminishes it. It makes it sound discretionary. Like something you might check out once the hard work of building a society is over for the day. Culture might embrace entertainment but culture is much more fundamental to social development than the industry of entertainment. I would say that entertainment is one part of culture, but not the only part. Culture also includes the way we drive out cars, how much we tip waiters and the way we queue at the bank. Culture also includes how we treat our parents, our neighbors and the strangers.

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Culture of entertainment:

There are some people, actually lots of them, who are so besotted with the Harry Potter books that they come to idolize people whose only accomplishment is that they are public and visible Harry Potter fans. “Wizard rock,” is a genre of music about the Harry Potter series. And the wizard rock musicians depicted in the movie are, for the most part, utterly incompetent. Most of them cannot sing and seem to have been playing their instruments for a few weeks at best. All this sounds very appealing, right? But here’s the fascinating part: People flock to wizard rock concerts, idolize the bands, etc. The fans of wizard rock are willing to endure hours of listening to bands that should never get out of the basement. Any reference to the stories and characters is so exciting that the musical part doesn’t matter. In other words, a person can become a celebrity simply by getting up on a stage and referring to the series, he or she needs have no other talent whatsoever. What does this tell us about fans? It hints at a little secret that we all already know: Presumably we admire celebrities for their talent, but there are many celebrities who don’t actually have any talent. (Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, etc.) The one thing that underlies all fan behavior is popularity. We get excited about something because other people are excited about it. Usually, something becomes popular because it is appealing in some way—catchy music, an attractive face, a dominant sports performance—but sometimes there is no apparent reason for popularity. However, once something starts to catch on, more people want to join in. An important part of the appeal of wizard rock, like anything else, is that others are getting excited by it; that excitement is itself exciting. The music doesn’t have to be any good. In the early 1970s, renowned anthropologist Clifford Geertz published his most influential book, The Interpretation of Cultures. The book was widely read throughout the social sciences and humanities, and influenced intellectual agendas in these realms for decades. Geertz points out that human beings have evolved to be dependent upon culture to help them adapt to different environments. This flexibility allows human beings to exist on almost every corner of the planet, but it also implies that humans have had to give up instinctual, “wired-in” behavior patterns. Contemporary neuroscientific research has shown that significant aspects of human behavior are in fact wired into our make-up. We do have instincts, plenty of them. But human communities also have powerful ways of promoting preferred behaviors, of making people behave in certain sorts of ways. These technologies of cultural learning are in fact so powerful that they can overwhelm humans’ natural tendencies. Human beings are quite capable of ecstatic emotional states, emotions that are so powerful that they provoke the sense of a presence that comes from beyond the everyday world. This is what happens when people become possessed by spirits, or are overwhelmed by the powerful currents in a crowd. Or, to return to the example I have focused on, it happens when the powerful and stimulating feelings of entertainment come to be associated with particular persons or products or ideas. Thus, for example, we develop the faith that the people in entertainment—celebrities—are special sorts of beings, fascinating creatures whose every action is worthy of our attention. It’s our culture of entertainment that creates this feeling, not some universal part of human nature. But it’s our universal human nature that makes it so easy for our cultures to shape us in ways over which we have little control. In India, cricket has become a religion because every TV channel talks about cricket in prime time and so people’s minds are bombarded with cricket emotions which overwhelm hardwired instincts and cricket stars become gods.

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Korean wave as an example of spread of culture of entertainment:

The Korean Wave refers to the spread of South Korean culture around the world. The term was coined in China in mid-1999 by Beijing journalists surprised by the fast growing popularity of Korean entertainment and culture in China. The Korean wave is responsible for the $4.2 billion dollars of revenue in 2011 for South Korea through cultural exports. In 1999, reports of an emerging “Korean Wave” in Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and other Asian countries started to come out. Korean dramas continued to spread throughout Asia, achieving mainstream success in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia, as well as carving niche markets in Europe and North America. Korean pop music, referred to as K-pop, has become a large part of the Korean Wave. In recent years, Korean entertainment companies have started to recognize YouTube as a key component to the international spread of Korean culture. According to Bernie Cho, president of a Seoul-based agency specializing in the marketing of international K-pop acts, the entertainment companies are “aggressively steering their efforts to go international via the Internet”. The Korean wave also reflects the spread of other aspects of Korean culture, including food, clothing, video games, and the language.   

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Teenagers and entertainment: 


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Most teenagers nowadays are very interested in entertainment. Based on recent survey, most teenagers in America spend their time blogging, surfing internets, social networking, watching movies, playing guitar, and even making fun of foreigners. Most teenagers in the world spend their time by listening to music, watching movies and dramas, surfing internets, shopping and fantasizing about their idols. I believe that their daily activities are mostly related to entertainment. Talking about entertainment, television plays a main role in determining a teenager’s lifestyle. Movies and dramas (soaps) are popular among teenagers. They watched dramas episode by episode without fail. An average time of a movie is about 2 hours. That is long enough needed to read through a chapter of one biology topic. When they spend too much time watching movies or dramas, they will not have much time to study or do other important activities with their families. It is generally agreed today that music is part of a teenager’s life. Without music they will probably go insane. Most teenagers enjoy studying while listening to music. Some believe this can increase their concentration level. It is not unusual to see students studying in a quiet library wearing earphones- this shows that they are listening to music. Studying for them should not be boring. A silent and quiet atmosphere while studying is not the best way for some to enjoy their studies. When they cannot enjoy it, then they will lose concentrations and will not understand what have been read. Music and teenagers should not be kept apart. Even though people might think studying while listening to music is not good, but for them learning can be done in many ways. If music gives them comfort, then this will benefit them more rather than gives them more harm. However, they have to make sure that they are concentrating on their studies and not on the music. Teenagers also like to keep up with entertainment news. They fascinated by the appearance of their idols. They want to be like their idols and they like to imitate the way their idols dress up, talk or walk. Being knowledgeable about what’s happening in the entertainment world helps boost one’s self esteem and confidence level. Teenagers with the latest entertainment information can communicate well with other people around them because other people like to listen to the entertainment news. However, they cannot be too occupied with it and spend too much time reading about entertainment news. They also have to think about their studies and other important things. Entertainment should not become hindrance for them for studying.

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Home entertainment center:


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A home entertainment center is a piece of furniture seen in many homes in North America, which houses major electronic items, such as a television set, a VCR and/or DVD player, stereo components (such as an AM/FM tuner, multi-disc Compact Disc changer, record player, one or more cassette players and graphic equalizer), and cable or satellite television receivers. In many homes, an entertainment center is often placed in the living room, family room or recreation room. The term home entertainment center was widely used in the 1980s. It is being replaced by home theater system for large rooms.

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Digital entertainment center:

A digital entertainment center houses all the digital equipment in one unit. It allows users to access their music, movies, home videos and photos from a single device via a remote control. Users can purchase a digital entertainment center that doubles as a media center for their TV or projector and have access to all the media functions at one place. Any device such as a DVI, component video, VGA, S-Video or composite video can be used to make this connection. With a digital entertainment center, it is possible to perform a number of operations from a single device. A user can pause, replay and record any TV program from cable, digital cable, digital satellite or over-the-air TV with the help of a personal video recorder, and transfer photos from a camera. Some entertainment centers allow a person to perform various functions simultaneously. For instance, it is possible to simultaneously watch TV or a video in one room and play music in another. It is also possible to record a favorite program and write them on DVDs. The best part about digital entertainment centers is that they allow a user to perform so many different tasks at once. The quality of its media output is also enhanced. As they are not bulky and do not occupy as much space as the traditional entertainment centers, it is possible to merge them into the décor of a home irrespective of its size. 

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Pleasure:

Pleasure describes the broad class of mental states that humans and other animals experience as positive, enjoyable, or worth seeking. It includes more specific mental states such as happiness, entertainment, enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria. In psychology, the pleasure principle describes pleasure as a positive feedback mechanism, motivating the organism to recreate in the future the situation which it has just found pleasurable. According to this theory, organisms are similarly motivated to avoid situations that have caused pain in the past. Many pleasurable experiences are associated with satisfying basic biological drives, such as eating, exercise or sex. Other pleasurable experiences are associated with social experiences and social drives, such as the experiences of accomplishment, recognition, and service. The appreciation of cultural artifacts and activities such as art, music, and literature is often pleasurable. In recent years, significant progress has been made in understanding the brain mechanisms underlying pleasure showing that pleasure is not a unitary experience. Rather, pleasure consists of multiple brain processes including liking, wanting and learning subserved by distinct yet partially overlapping brain networks. Recreational drug use can be pleasurable: some drugs, illicit and otherwise, directly create euphoria in the human brain when ingested. The mind’s natural tendency to seek out more of this feeling (as described by the pleasure principle) can lead to dependence and addiction. The addiction results from drugs hijacking the ‘wanting’ system through a sensitization of the mesolimbic dopamine system.  Certain chemicals are known to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. These include dopamine and various endorphins. It has been specifically stated that physical exertion can release endorphins in what is called the runner’s high; and equally it has been found that chocolate and certain spices can release or cause to be released similar psychoactive chemicals to those released during sexual acts. There has been debate as to whether pleasure is experienced by other animals rather than being an exclusive property of humankind. Animals do experience emotions, though these are not necessarily the same as human emotions.

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We need to distinguish entertainment from other intrinsic motivation activities that give pleasure like eating, sleeping and sexual activities. When you are hungry, you enjoy eating. Eating gives nourishment to body for survival. Such pleasure is pleasure of satisfaction of biological need which is not entertainment. These biological needs are hardwired genetically in us and evolutionary guided for our survival. What is puzzling about entertainment is that it appears to fail to deliver the real thing, and to fail by design. So the key feature of entertainment is pretense.  

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Is entertainment always pleasurable?

There is a popular misconception that entertainment is something which has to be funny or pleasing- it simply is not the case. In broadcast media, light entertainment means to be amusing, non-offensive like comedy, music, soap opera etc. invoking mostly positive emotions. All these fuels the theory that entertainment should provide fun but there is great deal of entertainment that provokes negative emotions including anger, grief and fear. Not every film that is produced result in fun, comedy or “feel good” provoking pleasing emotions, but in fact most of them do just the opposite yet entertaining the audience. The quality of entertainment is often measured by audience to the degree that it invokes emotional response, greater the emotional response, the better is the performance. However, the emotional response need not be pleasurable but could be sad and tragic.

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Forms of entertainment:

I will briefly discuss various forms/types of entertainment.

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Animation:


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Animation is a form of entertainment which appeals especially to younger audiences. Animation involves the display of rapid movement in any kind of artwork. Animation is the technique in which each frame of a film is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model unit, and then photographing the result with a special animation camera. When the frames are strung together and the resulting film is viewed at a speed of 16 or more frames per second, there is an illusion of continuous movement (due to the persistence of vision). Generating such a film is very labor intensive and tedious, though the development of computer animation has greatly sped up the process. 

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Comics:

Comics contain text and drawings which convey an entertaining narrative. Comic strip, series of adjacent drawn images, usually arranged horizontally, that are designed to be read as a narrative or a chronological sequence. The story is usually original in this form. Words may be introduced within or near each image, or they may be dispensed with altogether. If words functionally dominate the image, it then becomes merely illustration to a text. The comic strip is essentially a mass medium, printed in a magazine, a newspaper, or a book. A comic book is a bound collection of strips, each of which typically tells a single story or a gag (joke) in a few panels or else a segment of a continuous story. Most of the more popular newspaper comic strips eventually are collected over a varying period of time and published in book form. Several famous comics revolve around super heroes such as Superman and Batman. Marvel Comics and DC Comics are two publishers of comic books.

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Caricature:

Caricature is a representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject’s distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect. Caricature is a graphical entertainment. The purpose may vary from merely putting smile on the viewers’ face, to raising social awareness, to highlighting the moral vices of a person being caricatured. 

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Comedy:

Comedy provides laughter and amusement. The audience is taken by surprise, by the parody or satire of an unexpected effect or an opposite expectations of their cultural beliefs. Slapstick film, one-liner joke and observational humor are forms of comedy which have developed since the early days of jesters and traveling minstrels.

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Games:

Games have been played for thousands of years and are common to all cultures. Throughout history and around the world, people have used sticks to draw simple game boards on the ground, making up rules that incorporate stones or other common objects as playing pieces.  Games are governed by sets of rules. People engage in games for recreation and to develop mental or physical skills. Games come in many varieties. They may have any number of players and can be played competitively or cooperatively. Some games, such as chess test players’ analytic skills. Other games, such as darts and electronic games require hand-eye coordination. Some games are also considered sports, especially when they involve physical skill. Games may be classified in several ways. These include the number of players required (as in solitaire games), the purpose of playing (as in gambling games), the object of the game (as in race games, to finish first), the people who play them (as in children’s games), or the place they are played (as in lawn games). Many games fall into more than one of these categories, so the most common way of classifying games is by the equipment that is required to play them. Equipment may be necessary to play the game such as a deck of cards for card games, or a board and markers for board games such as Monopoly, or backgammon. This can include ball games, Blind man’s bluff, board games, card games, children’s games, croquet, Frisbee, hide and seek, number games, paintball and video games. Games provide relaxation and diversion. Games may be played for entertainment, achievement or money such as gambling or bingo. Racing, chess or checkers may develop physical or mental prowess.

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Live entertainment:

It is often set on (or within) a purpose-built area where a pre-determined story and/or routine is recited, acted or performed. Most live entertainment expects or requires an audience to be passive. Live entertainment include watching live performance such as circus, plays, musicals, concerts, farces, monologues and sports. Staged story and variety can be divided into 5 main sub-sectors and each of this itself comprises of many performances as depicted in the figure below.


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Types of live entertainment include Circus and zoos, Musical theatre, Performance art, Comedy, Sports, Concerts, Amusement parks, Funfairs, Themed retail and Trade show. The benefits of attending live performances are complex but include engagement, distraction, escapism, inspiration, education, wonder, awe and humor.

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Concert:

A concert is a live performance (typically of music) before an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band. Concerts are held in a wide variety and size of settings, from private houses and small nightclubs, dedicated concert halls, entertainment centers and parks to large multipurpose buildings, and even sports stadiums. A concert tour is a series of concerts by an artist or group of artists in different cities or locations. Revenue from ticket sales typically goes to the performing artists, producers, venue and organizers. In the case of benefit concerts, a portion of profits will often go towards a charitable organization.

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Amusement park:

Amusement and theme parks are terms for a group of entertainment attractions, rides and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people. An amusement park is more elaborate than a simple city park or playground, usually providing attractions meant to cater specifically to certain age groups, as well as some that are aimed towards all ages. Most amusement parks have a fixed location, as compared to traveling funfairs and carnivals. Walt Disney is often credited with having originated the concept of a themed amusement park.

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Family entertainment center (FEC):

A family entertainment center, often abbreviated FEC in the entertainment industry, is a small amusement park marketed towards families with small children to teenagers, and often entirely indoors or associated with a larger operation such as a theme park. They usually cater to sub-regional markets of larger metropolitan areas. FECs are generally small compared to full-scale amusement parks, with fewer attractions, a lower per-person per-hour cost to consumers than a traditional amusement park, and not usually major tourist attractions, but sustained by an area customer base. Many are locally owned and operated, although there are a number of chains and franchises in the field. FECs are sometimes called family amusement centers, family fun centers or simply fun centers.

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Sports:


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Sports are all forms of competitive physical activity which through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities also claim recognition as sports. The International Olympic Committee recognizes both chess and bridge as bona fide sports. Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Sports are a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sports drawing large crowds to venues, and reaching wider audiences through sports broadcasting. Sports can be described as an exercise (physical and/or mental), entertainment and recreation. 

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Different Types of Sports:

Have a look at the different types of sports with examples.
1.Physical sports – Under physical sports, there is archery, air sports like hand gliding, parachuting, ballooning, bowling, mountain climbing, rope climbing, relay, marathon, hurdles, fast walking, jumping like long jump, high jump, discus throwing, javelin shot put, weightlifting etc.

2.Cycle and motor sports – This is inclusive of formula racing, kart racing, dirt track racing cycling like BMX freestyle, BMX racing, road bicycle racing, grand prix motorcycle racing etc.

3. Water sports – Wakeboarding, surfing, snowboarding, kayaking, canoeing, boat racing, rafting, rowing, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, water polo, swimming which includes freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly stroke.

4. Combat sports – Under combat sports, there is sumo wrestling, judo and wrestling. Combat sports with weapons include fencing, kung fu and sword fighting. Striking sports includes boxing, kickboxing, taekwondo and karate.

5. Cue sports – Carom, billiards, snooker and pool games all come under cue sports.

6. Dance – Dance forms are also considered sports. This includes ballroom, salsa, tango, flamenco, lyrical hip-hop, jazz and the likes.

7. Animal sports – This includes horse racing, fishing, horse polo and elephant polo. Under animal sports, there is cock fighting, bull fighting, dog racing etc.

8.Ball games – This includes football, soccer, rugby, handball, water polo, hockey which also includes ice hockey, basketball, cricket, baseball, netball, volleyball etc.

9. Gymnastics – Vaulting, bar gymnastics, group gymnastics, trampoline jumping are all different forms of gymnastics.

10. Other games – Other games include kho-kho, kabaddi, hide and seek, sac race, lemon and spoon race.

11. Racquet sports – This includes table tennis, squash, tennis and badminton.

12. Mind sports – Card games like rummy, bridge, board games like mahjong, Chinese checkers, snakes & ladders and chess are all mind games.

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There are several forms of each type of sport. For e.g. in cricket, you have the T20, one-day international and the test format.

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Table below highlights some of the best examples of sportertainment and demonstrates how they are connected to other types of staged story and variety.



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Theatre:

It is characterized by storytelling using gestures and spoken words. Today, there are different types of theatres characterized by different manifestations as depicted in table below.



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Mass media (vide infra):

Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies that are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media (also known as electronic media) transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles. Alternatively, print media uses a physical object as a means of sending their information, such as a newspaper, magazines, brochures, newsletters, books, leaflets and pamphlets. Photography can also be included under this subheading as it is a medium which communicated through visual representations. The term also refers to the organizations which control these technologies, such as television stations or publishing companies. “Mass media” is sometimes used as a synonym for “mainstream media”, which is distinguished from alternative media by the content and point of view. Alternative media are also “mass media” outlets in the sense of using technology capable of reaching many people, even if the audience is often smaller than the mainstream. In common usage, the term “mass” denotes not that a given number of individuals receives the products, but rather that the products are available in principle to a plurality of recipients.

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New-age media (digital media):

Mobile phones, computers and Internet are sometimes referred to as New-age Media. Internet media is able to achieve mass media status in its own right, due to the many mass media services it provides, such as email, websites, blogging, Internet and TV.

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Cinema:

A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects. The process of filmmaking has developed into an art form and industry. Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating – or indoctrinating – citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a universal power of communication.  Although the words “film” and “movie” are sometimes used interchangeably, “film” is more often used when considering artistic, theoretical, or technical aspects, as studies in a university class and “movies” more often refers to entertainment or commercial aspects. The Indian film industry is the largest in the world, churning out up to 1000 films each year that are watched by 3.5 million people every day.

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Radio:

Radio programming is the broadcast programming of a radio format or content that is organized for commercial broadcasting and public broadcasting radio stations. In the early 1950s, television programming eroded the popularity of radio comedy, drama and variety shows. By the late 1950s, radio broadcasting took on much the form it has today — strongly focused on music, talk, news and sports, though drama can still be heard, especially on the BBC. 

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Television (vide infra):

Television is one of the things which human beings have not abandoned when newer technologies have come forward. Of course, the type of technologies used to make the television have changed significantly in the past few years. You will not find the cathode ray tube these days, in the age of LED and LCD televisions. In fact, the CRT televisions are something which is bound to reach the museums within a few years; such is development of the television technology in the world. It has become impossible to imagine a life without spending at least a few hours in front of the idiot box. From movies to soaps and from news to sports, everybody watch television. So what exactly is the attraction to this gadget? Perhaps everybody is more interested to know about the lives of other people because it is well hidden from the world on how they live and go about in life. Or maybe, it is because it is an inherent human nature to be curious and relish in the life situations of others, be it good or bad. There is nothing more interesting than celebrity gossip, or as heartbreaking as a celebrity breakup. People are obsessed with the lives of celebrities. The most popular TV show in the world is “The Bold and the Beautiful,” with 500 million viewers in 98 countries. 

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Magic:

Magic is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means. These feats are called magic tricks, effects, or illusions. One who performs such illusions is called a magician. As a form of entertainment, magic easily moved from theatrical venues to television specials, which opened up new opportunities for deceptions, and brought stage magic to huge audiences. Most TV magicians perform before a live audience, who provide the remote viewer with a reassurance that the illusions are not obtained with post-production visual effects. Magic has been misused by:

1. Fraudulent mediums have long capitalized on the popular belief in paranormal phenomena to prey on the bereaved for financial gain.

2. Fraudulent faith healers have also been shown to employ sleight of hand to give the appearance of removing chicken-giblet “tumors” from patients’ abdomens.

3. Con men and grifters may use techniques of conjuring for fraudulent goals. Cheating at card games is an obvious example.

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Storytelling:

Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view. For many multi-media communication complex institutions, communicating by using fiction storytelling techniques can be a more compelling and effective route than using only dry facts. Storytelling is increasingly used in advertising today in order to build customer loyalty. I was a popular storyteller when I was studying in school. I remember, when there was a free period in school (sixth standard), I used to tell stories to fellow students to pass time and entertain. None of the stories were preconceived. I used to tell stories on the spur of the moment using my imagination. I believe that in order to be excellent storyteller, you ought to be highly imaginative.

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Street performance:

Street performance or busking is the practice of performing in public places, for gratuities, which are generally in the form of money and edibles. People engaging in this practice are called street performers, buskers, street musicians, minstrels, or troubadours. Street performance dates back to antiquity, and occurs all over the world. This art form was the most common means of employment for entertainers before the advent of recording and personal electronics. Performances can be just about anything that people find entertaining. Performers may do acrobatics, animal tricks, balloon twisting, card tricks, caricatures, clowning, comedy, contortions and escapes, dance, singing, fire eating, fire breathing, fortune-telling, juggling, magic, mime and a mime variation where the artist performs as a living statue, musical performance, puppeteering, snake charming, storytelling or recite poetry or prose as a bard, street art (sketching and painting, etc.), street theatre, sword swallowing, and even put on a flea circus.

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Literature:

Literature is the art of written work, and is not confined to published sources (although, under some circumstances, unpublished sources can also be exempt). The word literature literally means “acquaintance with letters” and the pars pro toto term “letters” is sometimes used to signify “literature,” as in the figures of speech “arts and letters” and “man of letters.” The four major classifications of literature are poetry, prose, fiction, and non-fiction. Literature may comprise of texts based on factual information (journalistic or non-fiction), as well as on original imagination, such as polemical works as well as autobiography, and reflective essays as well as belles-lettres. A play or drama offers another classical literary form that has continued to evolve over the years. It generally comprises chiefly dialogue between characters, and usually aims at dramatic / theatrical performance rather than at reading. Many works of drama have been adapted for film or television. Conversely, television, film, and radio literature have been adapted to printed or electronic media. Even in closed societies such as Iran, bookstores are filled with Persian translations of novels by John Grisham, Danielle Steele and Sidney Sheldon. 

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Adult entertainment:

Adult entertainment are of a sufficiently high sexual or erotic nature not considered suitable for minors; and the laws of many jurisdictions prohibit minors of a certain age to be present at a venue where such entertainment is taking place. The examples include pornography, blue films, live sex shows, sex comedies etc.

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Media and entertainment:

Definition of mass media is already discussed above. Now I will discuss media vis-à-vis entertainment.

Let me start with classification of communication:

Communication classification is tabulated below.

One-to-Many One-to-One
Mediated Mass Media Internet Chatting

Telephone Talking

 

Unmediated Speech Interpersonal

Conversation

 

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The Media Stimulation Curve:


The media stimulation curve is a graduated curve of media stimulation as seen in the figure above. The x-axis reflects the various ages of humankind. The y-axis could contain any one of three stimulation-related exposure variables: amount, types, and variation. The nature of the relationship curve will be similar in all cases. That is over time, the amount of stimulation, the types of stimulation, and the variation in stimulation that the human race has been exposed to has increased dramatically at an exponential rate. This is an intuitive notion, and one can easily surmise that the angle of the curve has dramatically angled upward over time. This change in the angle has become most pronounced during the 20th century. From Guttenberg’s introduction of the printing press in 1455, to radio and moving pictures (i.e., movies) in early 1900, to television in 1940, to internet in 1990, media entertainment has moved. Today, with multiple types of media, we are bombarded by various forms, changing formats, and increased variation of stimulation, the vast majority of which we now take for granted or tune out; one can imagine the impact that today’s amount and variation of stimuli would have had on a human being 100 years ago, let alone a person living a thousand years ago or earlier. This evolutionary change in the rate of exposure to the amount, types, and variation of stimulation has also brought about changes in how humans process this stimulation. While one might logically argue that such stimulation has increased our potential exposure to diversity, and it clearly has, the graduated curve also suggests that if we were able to process most of this stimulation, at best it would be at a very shallow level, or subliminally, and we would likely filter most of it out very quickly. However, what is more likely is that we select (either intentionally or unintentionally) to ignore much of the stimuli that we are exposed to today. It is clear that never before in history has so much entertainment been so readily accessible to so many people for so much of their leisure time. 

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Mass media enjoys a very prominent role in our lives. There are various effects of mass media on the society at large. Media tends to influence and it’s obvious, there are positive as well as negative influences of mass media. However, it also depends upon the way audiences perceive things. The power of the mass media is by far recognized by everybody in terms of advertising, marketing and as a medium to broadcast information to people at large. Since mass media is used to communicate and interact with people from various walks of life, it can often result in a conflict of options. Print media (magazines, newspapers, brochures, press releases, newsletters, etc), electronic media (television, radio etc) and the Internet are all part of mass media. Today, mass media can give a person phenomenal exposure and this can result in various effects on the society.

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Schramm’s Four Functions of (Mass) Media:

(1)Information

(2)Entertainment

(3) Education

(4) Persuasion

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Media and journalism:

Media is a compilation of different forms of communication (TV, Radio, blogging, Internet, twittering, newspapers, magazines etc) to transmit information, but it does not have to adhere to the scrutiny of editing, nor ensure the impartial analysis of current events. The main focus of media needs not to be educational or informative- it can also be used to entertain and amuse. Journalism is a specific area in the field of communications (which is now part of the whole media compilation) that has, for generations, earned the public trust in the area of communications precisely because it is meant to be impartial and objective, and its main purpose is to inform, not entertain, nor amuse like with media.


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Infotainment:

Infotainment is “information-based media content or programming that also includes entertainment content in an effort to enhance popularity with audiences and consumers.” It is a neologistic portmanteau of information and entertainment, referring to a type of media which provides a combination of information and entertainment. According to many dictionaries, infotainment is always television, and the term is “mainly disapproving.” However, many self-described infotainment websites exist, which provide a variety of functions and services. Infotainers are entertainers in infotainment media, such as news anchors or “news personalities” who cross the line between journalism (quasi-journalism) and entertainment. Notable examples in the U.S. media are Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck, Anderson Cooper, Maury Povich, Deborah Norville, and Geraldo Rivera among others. The label “infotainment” is emblematic of concern and criticism that journalism is devolving from a medium which conveys serious information about issues affecting public interest, into a form of entertainment. Some blame the media for this perceived phenomenon, for failing to live up to ideals of civic journalistic responsibility, while others blame the commercial nature of many media organizations, the need for higher ratings, combined with a preference among the public for feel-good content and “unimportant” topics like celebrity gossip or sports. Some define “journalism” only as reporting on “serious” subjects, where common journalistic standards are upheld by the reporter. Others believe that the larger “news business” encompasses everything from professional journalism to so-called “soft news” and “infotainment”.  Because the term “news” is quite broad, the terms “hard” and “soft” denote both a difference in respective standards for news value, as well as for standards of conduct, relative to the professional ideals of journalistic integrity.

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The idea of hard news embodies two orthogonal concepts:

1. Seriousness: Politics, economics, crime, war, and disasters are considered serious topics, as are certain aspects of law, business, science, and technology.

2. Timeliness: Stories that cover current events—the progress of a war, the results of a vote, the breaking out of a fire, a significant statement, the freeing of a prisoner, an economic report of note.

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The soft news is sometimes referred to in a derogatory fashion as infotainment. Defining features catching the most criticism include:

1. The least serious subjects: Arts and entertainment, sports, lifestyles, “human interest”, and celebrities.

2. Not timely: There is no precipitating event triggering the story, other than a reporter’s curiosity.

Timely events do happen in less serious subjects—sporting matches, celebrity misadventures, movie releases, art exhibits, and so on. Also, the spectrum of “seriousness” and “importance” is not well-defined, and different media organizations make different tradeoffs.

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Entertainment news:

Entertainment news is something which takes the burden of day to day activities from people’s minds and let them have some time for themselves. This would help them to relax and have some fun by amusing themselves with the news and gossip available in the news. Entertaining articles and write ups are always in demand no matter where you write them.There can be many advantages of entertainment news. One such advantage is just as said above, about letting yourself have some amusing time to yourself away from your hectic schedules and tiring jobs. It is a way in which you can refresh yourself, both mind and body so that you are ready to take on the next form of entertainment that comes your way. Another advantage of entertainment news would be to let your depression fade away when you amuse yourself with news from around the globe. This is one way which most of the people might have tried out at one point of time or the other. They may have read through a paragraph or an article which would have told them about the latest fling of their favorite celebrities or who is back biting whom. Most people find it amusing but there are those who are not interested in gossip. These people find solace in reading through serious things such as the political news in the world. They find reading informative stuff more interesting and so go for things which are more serious. Nevertheless they find it amusing in their own way and would have taken some off from their work schedule. Having a column in the newspaper which can provide entertainment to people is essential as it would make the circulation of the paper increase no doubt, but it would also help the publishers to make their customers happy and satisfied, which is very important in this industry. If you are feeling down then you should probably look for some interesting articles. Entertainment has many more advantages. Just know them for your benefit.

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Should newspapers give readers what they want or what they need?

One trend is the increase in reporting about celebrities. It is not the question whether stories about celebrities should be reported; it is more about the balance. Until recently, celebrity newsmakers were kept in their place: big-city tabloid newspapers, special scandal-hungry publications etc. No one disputed that such news should be covered, but rarely did celebrity happenings warrant top-line news play. That has changed in the last dozen years. The proliferation of cable television broadcasts and other media, an infatuation with Hollywood scandal, and a pronounced focus on the personality of newsmakers are pushing serious news off news broadcasts and the front pages of newspapers large and small. The reason for this change might be that newspapers are trying to deliver what people want in order to stay competitive. The public, particularly the much-sought-after young reader, has an insatiable appetite for celebrity coverage. And newspaper-owning corporations are more interested these days in responding to raw market demands, no matter how demeaning. The media give the public what the public wants, but maybe it’s time to give the public what it needs instead. With ever more entertaining news, the media don’t fulfill the social-responsibility role …, which should serve as a catalyst for an informed citizenry. The struggle for ratings, which translate into advertising dollars, is behind the media’s insatiable appetite for sensational stories. Perhaps we should start exploring new ways to fund the media so they won’t be susceptible to market forces. Could uncoupling the media from market forces be a solution?  What would be the alternatives?  Why should we wish to abandon private, market-driven mass media?  After all, to remain relevant, an alternatively funded newspaper would still need to maintain an audience. Wouldn’t that audience simply go elsewhere if the said newspaper didn’t give it what it wanted? One must realize that the value of entertainment as a business model is driven by the idea of maximum return on investment. So we are back to square one.

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Does entertainment-media lead or follow society?

This question has been hotly debated for the last several decades and continues to draw supporters from both viewpoints. Does Hollywood observe society and merely recreate it on film? Or do the media lead society and, over time, change it? Over 5 hours a day are spent by the average American family watching movies, television or videos. When you spend that much time watching something, you have just developed new role models and a new window on life. And I think that’s the destructive value of some television and movies… Viewers get the wrong impression and a distorted view of what life is really like. It certainly is causing us to have a society that’s being corrupted and cancerously destroyed in terms of its moral values. Arguments about the harmlessness of movies on our society don’t ring true when compared with over 6,000 independent studies that prove exactly the contrary. Recently, the cable television industry sponsored a multiple-year study performed by Media Scope. The study conclusively proved through gathering those existing studies, plus the addition of its own independent that, in fact, art does lead life – that life does follow art and society does reflect the values of film and television. So entertainment mass media do have a powerful influence and effect on people. But that having been said, it is much too simplistic just to blame all of this on TV. And we see that very much when we look at other cultures such as Japan. The media in Japan is more violent that it is in the United States. But notice the factor such as the structure of the family. In the United States, 30% of children are born out of wedlock. Among African Americans the figure is up to 70%. Compare that with Japan where the figure is about 1%. Teenage pregnancy rates are directly related to that. In the United States, the teenage pregnancy rates are 16 times what they are in Japan. And if you look at Japanese society, the rates of violent crime are much lower than they are in the United States. Murder rates and rates of rape are 1/10th to 1/20th of what they are in the United States. Just blaming film and television for all these problems is much too simplistic if we look at other cultures. So it is the family structure that is very important in Japan. The government has gone out of the way in realizing that an intact family unit is a very important thing to maintain. Governmental policies foster it. Tax policies encourage it. University and school acceptance programs encourage it. Children born out of wedlock can have a very difficult time in Japanese society. Schools discriminate against illegitimate children and will refuse acceptance. There continues to be a sense of shame in Japan in looking upon children born out of wedlock. Japan has an intact family structure and that is incredibly important in terms of why the rate of violent crime in Japan is incredibly low. Now, why intact family is less susceptible to violence shown on mass media?  If your child is watching television and you see something inappropriate that’s coming around the bend and you interfere with that and stop it, you’ve given that child a very important message: you’ve taught them that that is not appropriate for them. If a parent goes with a child to a movie theater and there’s something inappropriate that’s coming on the screen and the parent says, “This isn’t for you to see, let’s leave,” and takes the child out, that’s a profound message to the child. The most important step in helping your children to really be able to use the media properly and to become your allies in the battle against this tidal wave of media that’s happening, is to help them understand what your values are – to help them understand the difference between good and evil, and what you believe about what makes a man worthy, humble, kind, loving and generous. You need to teach them the things you want them to model. Taking control of our TV set will not eliminate the moral issues from our lives. Everyone needs a proper value system in order to deal with the media, the entertainment and other aspects of life. And that means recognizing that it’s we who determine what’s right or wrong and not media. It is time for society to develop their own family and cultural values rather than blindly follow entertainment culture propagated by media. It is time for society to rule over media and not the converse.

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How media ruins society through entertainment:

A nine-year-old boy sits down to watch TV on a typical Thursday afternoon. He is flipping through the channels when suddenly he comes across a bloody, atrocious fight between two men with handguns. He is mesmerized by the image, a mixture of curiosity and horror. He cannot help himself from watching, like a car wreck one cannot take their eyes off of. This, unfortunately, is the state of entertainment in our world. Many different forms of entertainment are desensitizing our society, and are taking over the world. From tabloid celebrities to reality shows to violence in movies and video games, slowly, the media is ruining the values of the people. The presence of tabloid magazines is everywhere in free societies. Every news stand and TV network has stories about a celebrity marriage or stint in rehab. These “tabloid celebrities” are having a dramatic effect on our society. Suddenly, we are all obsessed with celebrities and their lives, and model what we do after them. Anywhere they shop, anywhere they eat, anything they buy, we want to emulate. In addition, these celebrities are becoming role models for some of our younger generations. Scandals such as Miley Cyrus’ inappropriate pictures or Jamie Lynn Spears’ teen pregnancy send the wrong message to children and teenagers: If Hannah Montana can do it, why can’t I? These adolescents want to be exactly like their idols. It doesn’t help the matter that their idols are gallivanting around, doing inappropriate things. Reality TV is also having a huge effect on our country. People enjoy watching other people’s lives, especially if something horrible is happening. This is the most evident on the TV show “Moment of Truth,” where people must answer questions while hooked up to a lie detector. The real truth about this show is that people will do anything for money, and TV viewers are amused by that fact. Network executives know that the people will watch real human drama, so they put on as many reality shows as possible. Reality TV and reality shows are farce of our society and millions of people waste billions of hours watching the farce. I wonder where the world would be if billions of hours were utilized for development and progress of mankind.

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Television (TV):


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TV share equal importance in urban life and in rural life too. It is also accepted that Television has both advantages and disadvantages and for one it is very difficult to decide what to watch and what to leave, and sometimes we want to watch everything but could not be done. It is obvious that television is the major source of information. TV communicates with people as their friends, as the characters on TV are doing direct conservations with the people who are watching them outside. Watching has become a habit for people. Obviously TV does not give an impression of loneliness and does not let people bore when they have nothing to do. Daily a large number of people listen and watch a news program that provides them with the essential information. TV has become a reliable source to believe about world happenings without any doubt. In 2000, the total number of TV homes in India was close to 67 million homes of which cable and satellite were 40 million homes. Today it is 142 million cable homes. In a quiet revolution, Indians with high-speed Internet are simply going online to watch their favorite television shows. Of the total Internet users (100 million) in India, 18% are engaged in time-shift television as an activity. Simply put, these are people watching TV programs online. By the end of 2012, this number will grow to 28 %. And it is the only country in the world where there are still 100 million homes without connection to television. This is the statistics from a developing country India but developed countries would have far higher TV audience.

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How and why strong (and in some cases, addictive) bond to TV form?

 Our psychological bonds to TV shows parallel our need as social animals to connect with people, to identify our place in our social networks and to share common interests. Cristel Russell, Andrew Norman and Susan Heckler explored how we connected to TV shows and found 3 common bonds: viewer to program, viewer to viewer and viewer to character. The viewer to program bond comes from an aesthetic or artistic appreciation of the show. You applaud its production values, or the script. This is probably the most detached bond, and interestingly, is more common in men than women. The next bond is viewer to viewer. Here, a TV show becomes a social lubricant. If gives you something in common to talk about with your friends. The final bond is viewer to character. Here, the veil between reality and fantasy starts to slip a little. At its most benign, it’s just identification with a character in a show. Like tends to bond with like. Grey’s Anatomy if a favorite amongst those that work in the medical profession, for example. Sometimes viewer-character bonds become less grounded in the real world and turn into delusional obsessions. Because these bonds to TV are often grounded on social connections, whether real or imagined, it’s not surprising that they are nurtured in the same way face-to-face relationships are. These relationships grow over time, as we learn more about the characters we’re watching. They seem to grow strongest when there is a continuing storyline and character developments we can become engaged in. And finally, this ongoing narrative comes in a language our brains were built to process. We get stories. And we particularly like stories that play out the way we think they should. We like happy endings. Can we predict what would make a successful TV show?  The show that causes all three bonds to flourish will make it a hit show.

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TV provides a great supply of entertainment. It offers the viewer to take them on trip along with the program and let them relax while they watch the show sitting on their sofas. This is also a comfort, that people visit many places while watching TV shows. Everybody knows TV alone cannot run itself. It requires the help of advertisement. Advertisement is making people brand conscious. It creates awareness among masses that what to buy, which one is better than other, what are the trends prevailing nowadays. Most of the time people know the weaknesses of the product but they are compelled to buy because of the cosmetic value of the product.

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There are many disadvantages of watching TV. It is harmful to stay in front of the TV for a long time. It hurts the viewers’ eyes and health. Lying on bed for a long time or keep a positioning without movement may harm our health. It is considered as over relaxing which makes people lazy as said by the doctors.TV has made people crazy that can be said as addiction. Children do not miss their favorite cartoons or shows and no matter if their school works are missed. Housewives forget their kitchen work while watching their favorite shows. Many a girls prefer their celebrity shows over any party. Similarly boys miss their classes for the sake of football or cricket match, which is telecasting live on TV. TV can also cause anxiety among public. It makes people inactive and despite knowing many disadvantages we still love to watch TV. Indeed because of so many disadvantages, TV is also called “Idiot Box”.

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Children and television:

There’s been talk of the benefits and dangers of children watching television virtually since the medium’s beginnings in the late 1940s. Parents wishing to allow their children to enjoy television’s virtually limitless power to educate and entertain just as often find themselves taken aback by mature themes and subject matter. For decades, public television and certain child-friendly cable networks offered safe harbor from conventional television programming, though in recent years the educational value of some of its programming has fallen under criticism too. The accusations stem from a belief that so-called educational programming has compromised its standards for the sake of competing with mainstream television entertainment. If these programs become more commercial, the argument states, where can parents find trustworthy program for their children? The discussion regarding the quality of children’s television in many ways obscures the larger issues of how much time children should spend watching television and what kinds of television should be made available to them. Child development experts caution that smaller children (aged two and up) be allowed no more than two hours of television per day. Children younger than two years old, they say, should be allowed no television at all. However, some studies point to increased language development among children with access to television. The interaction between characters, these studies suggest, allow children a firmer grasp of the uses of language and an appreciation for how conversational skills develop and take shape. Nevertheless, the dangers of too much television consumption – obesity from a weakened metabolism, lackluster reading and comprehension skills, and diminished motor reflexes – would seem to outweigh the benefits. The individual parent should decide what’s best for their child.

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The Pros and Cons of watching TV:

Pros:

1. Entertainment and Laughter:

We are entertained by shows we love to watch. We laugh at things we find funny and comical in the TV program we are watching. We also love to dance or sing along with celebrities we see on TV and some of us even copy their dance moves and singing styles.

2. Information and How to do:
We learn a lot of information about places and people that we usually don’t learn on magazines, books and newspapers. There are travel shows that show us beautiful places in the world and inform us the culture of different countries which can be a great help especially if we are planning to travel. We also easily learn how to cook new recipes by watching cooking shows and we can learn doing some other stuff through programs that show step-by-step procedures of performing a particular work, exercise or other interesting stuff.

3. Easy Learning:
For children, it is easier to learn math, science, alphabet and other subject matters if someone can show them how to do it like counting, identifying objects and a lot more. Educational TV shows are available for children to watch and learn.

4. Bonding with Family and Friends:
Watching TV is a great way to bond with family and friends especially on weekends. You can laugh and discuss things that you see on TV. That can be really fun.

5. Awareness and Alertness:
Weather reports and current news on different parts of the worlds can make you aware of what is happening outside your country. You can also be alert when there is an incoming typhoon in your area and that can help you get prepared.

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Cons:
1.Decline in creativity and imagination:
TV shows including commercials have tendency to share their alleged creative works on us and impart their ideas and opinions on us which is not favorable and can lead to a decline in our own creativity and imagination since we cannot think on our own because these stuffs are compelled on us. Massive load of audio-visual data at fast rate blunt critical and divergent thinking.

2. Health problems (obesity):
Sitting in front of the TV burns only 68 calories per hour and is not good for your health. We usually eat junk foods or any of our favorite snacks while watching TV. This is not good for our health because we tend to eat a lot while we are sitting down facing the television. This can lead to obesity since we don’t move a lot when we watch TV. This can also lead to other serious ailments caused by eating a lot and moving less.

3. Makes people lazy:
Most of us get hooked when watching programs of our favorite TV channel. We sometimes even forget to do our work or other important things because we got engaged in the show we are watching. Some people forget to do their household chores because they would rather watch TV than work. My view is that TV makes people lazy and in fact, lazy people watch TV all the time to escape from their duties & work. So people are trapped in the vicious cycle of TV and laziness.

4. Many shows don’t teach good values:
There are TV programs that do not teach good values particularly to children. Instead of teaching them good deeds they even imitate, re-enact or spoof important things happening around us which is not good for children to watch.

5. Insomnia:

TV implies less sleep which is an essential component of growth in children and of health maintenance in adults. Sleeping disorders have been positively correlated with the number of hours of television in subjects. So, when parents tell their children to switch off the TV and go out and play, or do something more useful, it really has sense to listen to them.

6. Vision impairment:

It spoils your vision- People who watch too much TV from a young age tend to get spectacles very early.

7. Violence:

It spreads violence- children who watch violent shows or movies fight and argue more than children who watch useful shows.

8. Waste of time:

It wastes so much of your time and gets you addicted.

9. Lower intelligence:

It makes you dumb- a study in the United States in 2005 showed that kids who had TV in their own rooms scored lower in their tests. It is important to encourage kids to read books rather than watch TV.

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Negative Effects of Television on your Intelligence:

Theoretically, it has been asserted that television has a bad impact on our emotional as well as learning intelligence, if not directly, at least indirectly. One of the major cons of TV is that it does not require the viewer to use his intellect. It simply feeds constant streaming audio-visual data at an amazing rate, most of which simply passes through as it is impossible for an average person to store that amount of data at one go. Studies have tried to link TV viewing with intelligence levels in children (taking proxy measures of intelligence such as grades, IQ tests, etc.) and have succeeded more often than not in showing that more TV leads to less brains. It is difficult to quantify the extent of damage, but it has hampered our creative and imaginative mind. This is true particularly in the case of small children. Children who spend long hours in front of the television, often seen to face problems like being inattentive in class. It has been observed that the attention span of these children is quite low. Social and emotional skills fail to develop among teenagers due to the drastic decrease in social interaction, which results from spending long hours in front of the television and neglecting all other activities. It is also a common complaint that these teenagers often develop an attitude of disrespect towards elders and that they are losing out on the ability to think and react positively or creating something new. There are certain programs, which show a lot of violence that is cited to be the reason of the growing intolerance.

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To sum up, in watching TV you should choose and monitor the TV programs that you and your children should watch. Choose programs that can help you learn and grow as a person. You should also limit the time your children spend in watching TV. The maximum number of hours small kids should watch TV is 3 hours while for teenagers you should make sure they watch good shows only when they are done with homework and projects.

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Electronic screen games:

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 83 percent of children under 6 years old participate in some form of screen media daily; the screen can be a television, computer or video game. Exposing children to electronic games is ultimately a personal choice of the parents. Video and electronic games for children have both pros and cons. Choosing games that are age-appropriate and limiting screen time to an hour or two each day is a recommendation put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Exposing children to electronic games can be educational in the right setting. Not all video games carry educational benefits and are purely for entertainment. Games that are centered around reading, math and other academic subjects may help children learn analytical and critical thinking skills that are required for problem-solving. Even playing non-educational electronic games on occasion may aid this process; for example, choosing which road to take in a car race can teach a child about the consequences of his actions if he ends up falling into a ditch. Playing electronic and video games can help kids blow off some steam from their long day at school, and may help them feel refreshed for the new day to come. When electronic games are used as “light entertainment,” in this way, the stress relief they bring can be a benefit to the entire family. Exposure to violence, aggression and other behaviors that are seen as negative in most parenting circles is a downside of allowing children to play electronic games. Games that focus on killing opponents to earn points and rewards may lead to a difficult differentiation between reality and fantasy, and may produce a desensitized reaction to violence. Excessive exposure to electronic games can contribute to limited physical activity and childhood obesity. Parents and caretakers must remember that children must focus on their school work as well as playing games. Children who spend hours each day playing video games may not be spending enough time on homework and other academic-related activities.

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Animals in entertainment:


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“Animals in Entertainment” refers to any animal(s) used to act, perform, fight and/or kill for the enjoyment of humans. The term encompasses many different forms of entertainment – from circuses to movies to bullfighting. Except for a few situations, most animals are taken out of their natural environment to perform acts not typically in their behavioral repertoire. It appears as though animals were used for entertainment purposes since ancient times. Archeological findings in Macedonia that date back to 2,000 B.C.E. (Library Index) reveal that lions were kept in cages for the benefit of humans. The Circus Maximus in Rome began in 2 B.C.E. and is one of the most well-known entertainment venues in history. Chariot races, which involved horses, were the most popular and often resulted in death to both human and horses. Another popular event involved lions and human gladiators fighting to the death. Man and animals have walked this planet Earth together for thousands of years. But nature made Man smarter than the other species. A species that could make up for their lack of physical strength with their incredible mental capabilities. A species that could survive in almost anywhere in the world given the necessary resources. A species that grew up to be proud and arrogant of their superiorities, such that they began to make use of the other creatures to do their bidding. One might argue that we use animals for entertainment because of our fascination for them and that we respect them, which is why we want to show them to the society, to be awed by their beauty. But is it proper to lock them up in cages or to deny them the freedom they were meant to be born into or make them do silly, humiliating juggling acts? This obviously does not prove our admiration and fascination in anyway but it only shows that we wish to humiliate them as much as possible, almost as though we hate them. We use them as entertainers in circuses and at zoos where they are openly humiliated. Animals may be less smart than Man, but that does not give us the right to make use of them as toys to entertain us when we feel like it. If that is the case, why not we use people with mental retardation or people with mental problems to entertain us because of their lack of mental capacity. We do not do this because they are of our own kind. Similarly, who gives us right to use animals for the purpose of entertainment just because they are less smart than us?

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Animals are abused and exploited in a variety of forms of “entertainment.” In circuses, elephants, lions, tigers, and other animals are sentenced to a lifetime of misery in order to provide a few moments of human amusement. Animals are used extensively in the entertainment industry, including in circuses; zoos and pseudo-sanctuaries; marine parks; the exotic “pet” trade; advertisements, television shows, and movies; cruel “sports” such as bullfighting, rodeo events, and horse racing; and more. Businesses that exploit animals exist to make money, so the animals’ needs are usually put last. Animals are forced into the role of unwilling performer in various venues, including:

1. Marine parks, where captive marine mammals such as dolphins and orcas are doomed to a life of confinement, deprived of normal social and environmental interaction. Animals in marine parks typically show signs of psychological disturbance are often forced to perform degrading tricks that run counter to their natural instincts.

2. Roadside zoos and aquariums, where, under the guise of “conservation” and the name of “education,” animals are too often treated as disposable specimens. Many animals held in captivity in these facilities continue to be bored, cramped, lonely, and unable to perform normal social behaviors. Too many zoos still sell off older and “surplus” animals who may end up in roadside menageries, breeding facilities, circuses, or even as “game” in canned hunt facilities.

3. Movie and television sets, where animals are used as involuntary “props” to sell products and services, and to boost the profits of studios and production companies. In addition to all the problems associated with keeping wild animals in captivity, animals used in filming have been mistreated, injured, or even killed on set. There have been numerous cases of animals who have received severe beatings during filmmaking. Some animals have suffered serious injuries, and others have even died. Some animals are drugged to make them easier to work with, and many have their teeth and claws surgically removed or impaired or their jaws stitched shut. Not many filmmakers realize that even if animals are not treated cruelly during the shoot, they are almost always mistreated behind the scenes. Exotic animals are either captured in the wild or bred in captivity, and they are trained using a combination of punishment and food deprivation. Physical punishment has long been the standard training method for animals in filmmaking.

4. Cockfighting: Roosters raised for fighting are often confined to cramped cages and tormented to make them aggressive. Razor-sharp spurs are attached to the birds’ feet to make fights more “exciting” (i.e. bloody). The birds suffer broken wings and legs, punctured lungs, severed spinal cords and gouged-out eyes. Those who die during or after the fight are really the “lucky” ones: the survivors are forced to fight again. There is no real “victory” for fighting cocks. Although cockfighting is illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, many birds are forced to fight to the death every year in different parts of many countries. Gambling is the norm at cockfights. Young children are often present at cockfights, and exposure to such violence can promote insensitivity to animal suffering and lead to other forms of violence. Cruelty to animals has been shown to lead to violent crimes against humans.

5. Bull fighting: Bull fighting is a legal blood sport in Spain, Portugal and Latin America and is enormously popular. Like dog fighting and cockfighting, bull fighting has strong historical significance. Killing a bull was considered part of a sacred ritual in Roman times. There is some opposition to bull fighting but the sport continues to be a popular attraction.

6. Begging Elephants: Elephants who are forced to beg are constantly exposed to confusing and alien automobile traffic. The cacophony of horns and urban noises assaults the elephants’ ears, and the scorching, pothole-ridden roads hurt their feet. Elephants are chained by their legs and terribly neglected when they are not working. They suffer from skin ailments, eye infections, cataracts and diseases of the feet. Elephants need at least 200 kilograms of food and 150 liters of water daily, but working elephants often receive too little food and water.

7. Bullock Racing: Bullocks are forced to take part in cruel cart races in villages and towns all across India. Most of these races inflict pain and suffering on the animals. PETA has received many complaints about cart drivers who poke the animals with nails and sticks, whip them mercilessly and even drug them with alcohol in order to make them run faster. Some cart owners harness a bullock and a horse together.

8. Snake Charmers: Snake charmers throng the streets with cobras and other snakes in cane baskets. Devotees offer milk to the snakes and gather around to see them “dance” – the snakes spread their hoods and sway, apparently to the tune of a pungi, a wind instrument. Most people are under the impression that the snakes are being charmed by the music, but they are actually rearing up as a defensive reaction to a perceived threat.  After the snakes are captured from their homes in the forests, they are kept in cramped boxes or bags. The snakes’ teeth are yanked out, their venom ducts are pierced with a hot needle and sometimes their mouths are sewn shut. Snakes normally never drink milk, but the handlers starve them so that they consume it thirstily when it is offered to them. This later causes allergic reactions and often dysentery and dehydration – and can lead to death. Also, the toxic tikkas which are applied to the snakes’ hoods during the worship ritual sometimes trickle into the snakes’ eyes, blinding them.

9. Horse joy ride: In many cities horses are forced to give joy rides. They can often be seen struggling to pull heavy carts loaded with people, and they are frequently beaten or whipped when they become tired or slow down. They are forced to pull carts until late at night without adequate rest. Often, the horses are denied shade or any sort of protection from sun or rain. They are given substandard food and have hardly any access to water. The stables where they are housed are typically filthy. Some owners simply tie their horses at garbage dumps for the night so they do not even have to provide food for them.

10. Exotic Pets: Life in captivity often leads to pain and death for “exotic pets” such as turtles and tortoises. These animals can easily suffer from malnutrition and the overwhelming stress of confinement. The exotic animal trade is also deadly for the animals we do not see: for every animal who makes it to the store, countless others die along the way.

11. Other venues: Animals are also exploited and mistreated for human amusement in horse and greyhound racing and in shopping malls and schools where they are put on public display. Exotic animals are often used in photo opportunities, or are shot and killed in canned hunts or on hunting ranches. Unfortunately, people can be very creative in finding ways to make a profit of animals.

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Animals on the Internet:

The Internet is a very useful tool in learning everything there is to know about animals. It is both educational and entertaining. However you must beware of unscrupulous people who use the Internet to show inappropriate movies with animals, who sell outlawed and endangered animals, sell dogs from puppy mills – the list is long. Be sure to check out the sites you visit to ensure they are legitimate.

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Cruelty on animals:

Animals are not novelties; they have their own needs, interests, and rights — including the right to engage in their natural behaviors in their natural environment. We are committed to using every tool at our disposal, from lobbying to lawsuits to grassroots organizing, to end the cruel exploitation of animals for human amusement and profit. Chimpanzees, bears, tigers, elephants, and other animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform silly, confusing tricks under the threat of physical punishment; are carted around the country in cramped and stuffy boxcars or semi-truck trailers; are kept chained or caged in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures; and are separated from their families and friends—all for the sake of human “entertainment.”  Many of these animals even pay with their lives. Bears, elephants, tigers, and other animals used in circuses do not voluntarily ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. To force them to perform these confusing and physically demanding tricks, trainers use bullhooks, whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, and other painful tools of the trade. When they’re not performing, elephants are often kept shackled by two legs, and lions, tigers, bears, primates, and other animals are forced to eat, sleep, and relieve themselves in tiny cages. Not only are elephants, horses, hippopotamuses, birds, dogs, camels and other animals often beaten by trainers, they suffer from loneliness, boredom and frustration from being locked in cramped cages or chained for months on end as they travel from city to city. Instead of being loaded and unloaded like furniture into trucks and warehouses, these animals should be in their natural habitats – exploring, seeking mates and raising families.  To treat animals as objects for our amusement is to treat them without the respect they deserve. When we degrade the most intelligent fellow mammals in this way, we act as our ancestors acted in former centuries. They knew nothing about the animals’ intelligence, sensitivities, emotions, and social needs; they saw only brute beasts. To continue such ancient traditions, even if no cruelty were involved, means that we insist on remaining ignorant and insensitive. 

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Circus:

Animals in the circus are taken from their families and deprived of all the things that they would experience in their natural habitats. If you were able to watch these animals in the wild, you’d never find them riding bicycles, jumping through flaming hoops, standing on their heads, walking around on their hind legs, or balancing balls on their noses! You’d see them roaming around, foraging or hunting for food, and bonding with their family unit or herd. Circus animals are dragged around the country in cramped, dirty boxcars for as many as 50 weeks a year—keep in mind that there are only 52 weeks in an entire year! When they’re not performing, the big cats, bears, and other animals actually live in these small barren boxcars or cages, and sometimes, they’re not able to get to food and water when they are thirsty or hungry. The elephants spend about 20 hours a day in chains and are usually only unchained long enough to perform for a noisy crowd. But in the wild, elephants walk between 30 and 50 miles a day, play in mud pits, swim in watering holes, and interact with their loved ones. Did you know that female elephants stay with their mothers for their entire lives? Males are a bit more independent, so they stick with Mom until they’re about 15 years old. But circuses take young elephants away from their families.

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Zoos:

Zoos claim to educate people and save endangered species, but visitors often leave without having learned anything meaningful about the animals’ natural behavior, intelligence or beauty. Furthermore, most animals in zoos are not endangered species. PETA investigators visited many zoos throughout India and found appalling neglect, decrepit facilities and animal suffering on a massive scale. Every facility was seriously deficient in terms of food, drinking water, housing, veterinary care, environmental enrichment, safety and security. Countless animals were found to have no food or water. Many live in concrete and iron cages which do not have any enrichment or even a blade of grass. Some cages are so small that the animals can barely move. Many animals exhibit neurotic and abnormal behavior, including pacing, head-bobbing and extreme agitation. Some have visible injuries and are clearly ill. Animals are often housed inappropriately. Some facilities have few or no staff members present – much less security. Many zoos which are officially closed are still functioning. Visitors were seen feeding the animals with no zoo personnel in sight. Few investigators saw visitors teasing and taunting animals and throwing rocks and debris. Few or no educational materials were available. Animals in zoos become bored and stressed from confinement, and they develop a mental illness called “zoochosis”. Animals with zoochosis pace back and forth, sway from side to side, throw feces, bite the cage bars, repeatedly lick the bars and walls of the cages, and over-groom themselves, which can cause bald spots. Some people think that zoos work to save endangered species, but that is not the case.

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Don’t zoos contribute to the saving of species from extinction?

Zoos often claim that they are “arks”, which can preserve species whose habitat has been destroyed, or which were wiped out in the wild for other reasons (such as hunting). They suggest that they can maintain the species in captivity until the cause of the creature’s extirpation is remedied, and then successfully reintroduce the animals to the wild, resulting in a healthy, self-sustaining population. There are several problems with this argument, however. First, the number of animals required to maintain a viable gene pool can be quite high, and is never known for certain. If the captive gene pool is too small, the inbreeding can result in increased susceptibility to disease, birth defects and mutations; the species can be so weakened that it would never be viable in the wild. Some species are extremely difficult to breed in captivity: marine mammals, many bird species, and so on. Pandas, which have been the sustained focus of captive breeding efforts for several decades in zoos around the world, are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. With such species, the zoos,by taking animals from the wild to supply their breeding programs, constitute a net drain on wild populations. The whole concept of habitat restoration is mired in serious difficulties. Choosing zoos as a means for species preservation, in addition to being expensive and of dubious effectiveness, has serious ethical problems. Keeping animals in zoos harms them, by denying them freedom of movement and association, which is important to social animals, and frustrates many of their natural behavioral patterns, leaving them at least bored, and at worst seriously neurotic. While humans may feel there is some justifying benefit to their captivity (that the species is being preserved, and may someday be reintroduced into the wild), this is no compensating benefit to the individual animals.

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How will people see wild animals and learn about them without zoos?

To gain true and complete knowledge of wild animals, one must observe them in their natural habitats. The conditions under which animals are kept in zoos typically distort their behavior significantly. There are several practical alternatives to zoos for educational purposes. There are many nature documentaries shown regularly on television as well as available on video cassettes. Specials on public television networks, as well as several cable channels, such as The Discovery Channel, provide accurate information on animals in their natural habitats. Magazines such as National Geographic provide superb illustrated articles, as well. And, of course, public libraries are a gold-mine of information. Zoos often mistreat animals, keeping them in small pens or cages. This is unfair and cruel. The natural instincts and behavior of these animals are suppressed by force. How can anyone observe wild animals under such circumstances and believe that one has been educated?

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Don’t animals live longer in zoos than they would in the wild?

In some cases, this is true. But it is irrelevant. Suppose a zoo decides to exhibit human beings. They snatch a peasant from an underdeveloped country and put him on display. Due to the regular feedings and health care that the zoo provides, the peasant will live longer in captivity. Is this practice acceptable? The substitution of quality of life by quantity of life is not always decided in favor of quantity.

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Some countries in the European Union (e.g. Sweden, Denmark and Finland), as well as India have already begun to ban or restrict the use of animals in entertainment. The United States should learn from these examples since there is no place in a democratic and compassionate society for such well-documented examples of abuse. Many forms of animal entertainment have unfortunately become a mainstay in our society and therefore remain unquestioned. As responsible, caring citizens we can boycott the use of animals in the entertainment industry (e.g. zoos, aquariums, rodeos, circuses, etc.) and patronize non-animal venues such as Circque-du-Soleil.

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What would the supporter of ‘animals in entertainment’ say?

Hunting is often referred to as cruel and inhumane but that is not entirely true. Humans have been hunting animals as far back as humans have existed. Hunting is our core for survival, we hunt for food and other basics we need. How do you think our ancestors got their food? They would hunt for it, as simple as that. People have acknowledged that hunting is a part of history but in modern society we have merely crafted it into a sport and all of a sudden it is cruel. How do you think fancy restaurants will get their meats that aren’t necessarily farmed? They would hunt for it, deer meat, crocodile meat, and others are all delicacies of other races. We eat animals everyday so there is no reason they shouldn’t be used as objects of sport and entertainment too. It is acceptable to use animals for sport or entertainment as long as people are entertained and animals are not harmed. Well, I am a pure vegetarian and I do not eat meat or fish. I also find use of animals in entertainment rather disgusting. Few examples of animals in entertainment will be sufficient to provoke outrage. During calf-roping events in rodeos, a calf may reach a running speed of 27 miles per hour before being jerked by the neck to an abrupt stop by a lasso. This event has resulted in punctured lungs, internal hemorrhaging, paralysis, and broken necks. Once greyhounds begin their racing careers, they are kept in cages for more than 20 hours a day. The cages are made of wire and are barely big enough for the dogs to turn around. Dogs who are considered too slow to race are often sold to research facilities or killed. Thousands are killed each year; very few are adopted. Horses used in racing are bred for one purpose: to make money. Because of this motive, horses are often forced to run even when injured. More racehorses are bred than can prove profitable on the racetrack. As a result, hundreds of racehorses are sent to slaughter every year.  

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Edutainment:

Edutainment (education + entertainment) is a form of entertainment designed to educate as well as to amuse. It can be argued that edutainment has existed for millennia in the form of parables and fables that promoted social change. The most effective forms of learning are fun. So let’s package tasks that function to measure and sort children into something that is pleasurable. That way, the kids will have fun, they will also get ahead in life, and parents can feel they have fulfilled the impossible imperatives of contemporary middle-class parenting that say they must support competitive successes while also keeping their children happy and entertained. This is an approach that looks at “fun” as an extrinsic motivator of learning, rather working to support learning that is intrinsically motivated. The focus on entertainment as a motivator tends to “designate the role of games as a form of educational ‘sugarcoating’—making the hard work of mathematics or language arts easier to ‘swallow’.” These are the discourses that currently dominate the production and marketing of academically oriented commercial games. other forms include television productions, film, video games, radio, museum exhibits, teaching techniques in colleges, corporate learning and computer software, all of which can use entertainment to attract and maintain an audience, while incorporating deliberate educational content or messages. Edutainment is criticized by some as it emphasizes fun and enjoyment, often at the expense of educational content. The idea is that people are used to flashy, polished entertainment venues like movie theaters and theme parks that they demand similar experiences at science centers and museums. Thus, a museum is seen as just another business competing for entertainment dollars from the public, rather than as an institution that serves the public welfare through education or historical preservation.

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The museum environment allows the concepts of learning, education and entertainment to closely overlap in positive ways as shown in the diagram above. The learning, entertainment and education are not competing concepts or opposites — they are complementary. Museums should not be concerned about their entertainment value and role, as results indicated that adult visitors felt that entertainment added to learning, not detracted from it, and overall, museums should promote themselves as places for enjoyable and entertaining learning experiences.

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Education to Entertainment ratio: also called Education Versus Entertainment ratio (EVE ratio):

Entertainment and education are necessary as both are useful to us. Take away either one of them and our life will not be complete. In most cases, the tools used for getting an education and entertainment are same. For example, TV can be used for entertainment as well as for education. Similarly, computers and books can be used for both purposes. EVE is the ratio of amount of time used in education to amount of time used in entertainment. EVE for American population is 1:50 meaning for every one hour spent on education, people spend 50 hours in entertainment. The average American who considers themselves “successful” and making good money at what they do, spends about 3% of their monthly income on personal growth activities (education). The same average American spends up to 33% of their monthly income on Entertainment activities…some more, some less. That is over 10 times the amount on their education.

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Calculate your EVE:

Take a notebook and write two columns, one titled: Education and the other one: Entertainment. Under education write down how much time you spend on areas such as: seminars, trainings, books, classes, personal development, online learning, educational CD/DVD etc and on the entertainment side write down how much time you spend on: TV, Movies, Sporting Events, Internet, night life, hobbies and so forth. The categories on either side are not exhaustive you can throw in some more. Add up the time spent on either side; how is your ratio?  By the way, visiting my website www.drrajivdesaimd.com would be educational activity.

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According to the department of labor statistics of the year 2010, an average American spends 0.05 hrs/day on educational activities and 2.13 hrs/day watching television. That is a ratio of 1:42. In other words, for every hour spent on educational activities, 42 hrs were spent watching television. Since watching television is just one form of entertainment and if I include the time spent on movies, blogging, web surfing, facebooking, twittering etc., then the ratio will be even lower.

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Actually, a study done by Harvard School of Business shows that those who actively seek to upgrade and improve their personal skills and business acumen double, and in some cases, triple their incomes every 3-5 years. While the people who stop learning and just work for wages, never improve and never get raises, and always complain the most about the lack of opportunity at their present jobs. It is an easy conclusion of the observant mind, that the society of America, at least, has worked itself into poverty by placing too much emphasis on its entertainment over its education, leaving them in debt to their future. Some researchers say that anybody who raise EVE ratio from 1:50 to 1:5 can become rich. I have raised my EVE ratio by concentrating on my website rather than wasting time in entertainment, I did not become rich but nevertheless indeed famous. Regardless of how low EVE ratio is, you can start today and up your investment in personal development and education. You can reorder your life and put in more time and money on the side of education and less and less on the side of entertainment. Reduce entertainment and increase education. This may be the most difficult part if you’re used to drowning yourself in entertainment every day of the week. To be more clear, when I refer to entertainment I really mean any activity where you are turning off your brain and stunting your personal growth. This could include everything from watching TV and blindly surfing the web, to going to sporting events or taking off on vacation. The goal is not to eliminate entertainment; it is to identify activities in your life that waste your time or do not add any significant value to your life. Enhance your education with direct, applicable, and bold action. Education can easily become another form of entertainment if it’s not coupled with bold action. In other words, if you stopped watching TV to read a non-fiction book instead but you never used the information from the book, you have simply entertained your brain and made no real progress. Some education does not have direct action associated with it and not everything you learn can be put on a to-do list. But if you find information that you know should be acted on, then you should just do it. More action equals more progress and that is the ultimate goal.  

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Effects of Music Entertainment on Society:


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Music influences a lot of our emotions, especially the basic emotions of sadness, happiness and anger. Happiness can be increased through listening to upbeat and happier songs. While listening to slower sadder songs can often make you cry, or cry harder as the case may be. Anger is also an emotion that can be enhanced through music. One of the most common forms of music that enhances anger is rock or metal music. Rock can be said to be the father of metal music, where metal was formed from rock itself. Metal is harder, but both metal and rock can ignite or add fuel to one’s anger, or release it as the case may be. All these emotions however prove one thing about music; it is a great stress reliever. Also, classical music stimulates different areas of the brain, which stimulates better connections in the brain and increase in connectors will result in enhanced memory. For the unborn, there are also studies showing the ability of a fetus to hear sounds while in utero. Babies respond with an increase in heart rate and other physiologic indicators. Many studies have reported that a positive sign the fetus has been stimulated by music is indicated by a change in heart rate. The exposure to music in the prenatal period increases attention of newborns, more sound imitation and earlier vocalization. The fetus hears its mother’s voice mostly, as well as it’s mother’s breathing and her other internal sounds. This is why new born babies prefer to hear its mother’s voice because a mother’s voice is literally music to a child’s ears. Thus, singing along with music while your child is yet unborn will have some positive benefits at birth. Some scientists don’t agree with the theory that an increase in heart rate signals a positive response in the fetus. It could be that the increase in heart rate of a fetus signals that a baby is not comfortable with the sound. Of course not all kinds of music can be played for an infant. The baby does respond to what he or she hears. Multiple studies have shown that babies recognize the sounds or music they hear during pregnancy. It is very important that the mother is relaxed and comfortable as the baby is affected by the mother’s emotions. Soothing music helps the mother and the baby to relax, while loud music disturbs the mother and startles the baby. Expectant mothers should carefully choose which music her baby should hear. Classical music and nature sounds could be soothing for the baby while loud ones may not be as pleasing.

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Evolutionary psychology of music:

From a psychological viewpoint, the question of the origin of music is difficult to answer. Music evokes strong emotions and changed state of awareness. Generally, strong emotions are associated with evolution (sex and survival). But there is no clear link between music and sex, or between music and survival. Regarding sex, musicians often may use music to attract mates (as for example male birds may use their plumage to attract females), but that is just one of many functions of music and one of many ways to attract mates. Regarding survival, societies with a musical culture may be better able to survive because the music coordinates their emotions, helps important messages to be communicated within the group (in ritual), motivates them to identify with the group, and motivates them to support other group members. However it is difficult to demonstrate that effects of this kind can enhance the survival of one group in competition with other groups. Once music exists, effects of this kind may promote its development but it is unclear whether effects of this kind can explain music’s ultimate origin. Another possible origin of music is motherese, the vocal-gestural communication between adults (usually mothers) and infants. This form of communication involves melodic, rhythmic and movement patterns as well as the communication of intention and meaning, and in this sense are similar to music. Motherese has two main functions: to strengthen bonding between mother and infant, and to help the infant to acquire language. Both of these functions enhance the infant’s chances of survival and may therefore be subject to natural selection. The human fetus can hear for 20 weeks before birth – considerably longer than other animals, most of which cannot hear before birth at all. The fetus can also perceive movement and orientation for 20 weeks before birth. This is presumably not an accident of evolution, but an adaptation that promotes the survival of the infant after birth by improving bonding between the infant and the mother. If the fetus learns to perceive the emotional state of the mother via the internal sounds of her body (voice, heartbeat, footsteps, digestion etc.), it can presumably adjust its postnatal demands (e.g. crying) depending on her availability and in that way enhance its own survival as a fragile being in a dangerous world. Research on the ability of the fetus to learn and remember sound patterns, and on the active two-way nature of mother-infant communication, is consistent with this theory.  It has been recently suggested that the primary function of music was a defense (through the intimidating audio-visual display), used by early hominids against the major predators of Africa after they descended to the ground. Joseph Jordania suggested that singing in hominids was communal and had two evolutionary functions: internal and external. The internal function of loud rhythmic group singing (and drumming) was to alter the hominid brain through strong emotions and to make group members lose themselves in order to get them into a state of battle trance, where they forgot their instinctive fear for the big predators & death and did not feel pain during combat. The external function of the loud rhythmic group singing (together with vigorous body movements, drumming, stone hitting and stone throwing) was to intimidate large African predators (or competitors). As the continuation of the initial defense/military function of music, humans had been using battle cry and military songs from the prehistoric times in order to raise their confidence and to intimidate the opponents. Long hours of military drills are a well-known means for developing the sense of unity and obedience in new recruits. Loud rhythmic music is still widely used to assist soldiers in preparing them for combat situations.

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According to a recent paper by Nidhya Logeswaran and Joydeep Bhattacharya from the University of London, music even affects how we see visual images. In the experiment, 30 subjects were presented with a series of happy or sad musical excerpts. After listening to the snippets, the subjects were shown a photograph of a face. Some people were shown a happy face – the person was smiling – while others were exposed to a sad or neutral facial expression. The participants were then asked to rate the emotional content of the face on a 7-point scale, where 1 mean extremely sad and 7 extremely happy. The researchers found that music powerfully influenced the emotional ratings of the faces. Happy music made happy faces seem even happier while sad music exaggerated the melancholy of a frown. A similar effect was also observed with neutral faces. The simple moral is that the emotions of music are “cross-modal,” and can easily spread from sensory system to another. Although it probably seems obvious that music can evoke emotions, it is to this day not clear why. Why doesn’t music feel like listening to speech sounds, or animal calls, or garbage disposals? Why is music nice to listen to? Why does music get blessed with a multi-billion dollar industry, whereas there is no market for “easy listening” speech sounds? Music is exquisitely emotionally evocative, which is why a touch of happy music makes even unrelated pictures seem more pleasant. My rationale is that music always has a rhythm and it gets entangled in various biological rhythms in human brain and therefore evokes a far greater emotional response than mere listening to speech sound. 

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Music has a powerful potential to affect society. The music of a society can both reflect the collective consciousness of the culture and transform it. The words and music can be a mirror reflecting the actions of a society or a lighthouse giving guidance and direction.

1. Political: Music can have a political influence on a society. Political campaigns have traditionally used music and theme songs. John Lennon’s “Imagine” communicated the globalist worldview clearly and effectively. Toby Keith inspired patriotism and support for the troops with “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue.”

2. Linguistic: Music can impact vocabulary by introducing new words and verbal forms into the language. Snoop Doggy Dogg’s trademark, “For Shizzle” has become part of the lexicon of the culture. Terms such as “crunk” and the use of “da” instead of “the” can be attributed to popular music.

3. Religious: Music has been a vehicle to carry messages of inspiration and religious devotion inside and outside of church services. Today music genres such as gospel, contemporary christian, and praise & worship fill the airwaves as well as the churches. Faith is built and strengthened today by songs of cross-over artists such as Randy Travis, Amy Grant, and Sandi Patti. Musical bhajans and kirtans convey religious devotions in traditional Hindu temples.

4. Moral: Music can be the arena in which moral conflicts are presented. Songs are filled with messages about appropriate and inappropriate attitudes and actions toward sex, drugs, alcohol, marital fidelity and the sanctity of life. Artists on all sides of the issues write tunes that reflect their positions on issues of morality.

5.Educational:Music can be educational as well when song writers use literary references and allusions, cite historical events, and include scientifically accurate statements in their songs. “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace and “Pride” by U2, about Al Capone and Martin Luther King Jr., respectively, are two examples of historically-based songs.

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Danger of music entertainment:

Electrical recordings of the human brain show that it is particularly sensitive to the rhythmic stimulation by percussion and bright light among other things, and certain rates of rhythm can build up recordable abnormalities of brain function and explosive states of tension sufficient enough to produce convulsive fits in predisposed subjects. Of the results caused by such disturbances, the most common one is temporarily impaired judgment and heightened suggestibility. In Vancouver, during a 30 minute Beatles performance, 100 people were stomped upon, gouged and assaulted. In Melbourne, nearly 1000 people were injured at a rock concert.  “Our music is capable of causing emotional instability, disorganized behavior, rebellion and even revolution” (Beatles, 1960). A popular rock singer said this about their music. “Rock and roll has always been sexual. Rock and roll has always been violent. It has teeth. It will scratch your face off. That’s why I like it…..if you like having your brains blown out and pushed up against a wall, then it’s for you.” There must be a condition of harmony or perfect balance between the mental, emotional and physical operations of the organism if it is to function properly. It is precisely at this point that rock and roll, and much modern music, becomes potentially dangerous. This is because, to maintain a sense of well being and integration, it is essential that man is not subjected too much to any rhythms not in accord with his natural body rhythms. There are some Lyrics that promote drugs, sex, crime, suicide, promiscuity and rebellion. In most Music videos’ the settings for the performers are often in back alleys, junk yards, abandoned buildings, or in places where only the physical senses are excited and the body movements are vulgar and suggestive. When music is too loud, it blocks out our other senses and we lose touch with reality. Our thinking and actions are changed and under a prolonged exposure to loud music, a moral apathy pervades. Consider the following three types of damage that takes place in our bodies under exposure to loud music volume.
1. Loud music slows down our ability to memorize and do other brain functions by reducing the flow of blood to the brain because the blood vessels undergo a narrowing of caliber in the presence of loud sound.

2. Loud music can cause a form of schizophrenia. When a person is exposed to high level sound, a chemical is formed in the brain that is normally found in schizophrenia patients in mental institutions.

3. Loud music can cause ulcers. When susceptible individuals are exposed to loud sound over a period of time, certain stomach functions are disrupted and an increase of hydrochloric acid is released, causing ulceration of the stomach.   

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Art vis-à-vis entertainment:

Webster’s defines art in terms of what is beautiful, or aesthetically appealing, or extraordinarily significant. Art signifies – I’ll say it incarnates – beauty. In art, things come near to us that we can never define – truth, goodness, transcendence – but that we know make us truly alive. Webster’s describes entertainment in terms of amusement. Entertainment diverts our attention. It passes the time agreeably. Art is inspiring, a form of pure self-expression, unique creation but not always widely accepted and entertainment is amusing, popular, widely accepted and business related. One of the many reasons why art is so important in human life is because it is inspiring, and beautiful. It contains a message which could bring your heart to warmth. Entertainment is more focused on how entertaining and how amusing it is. Let’s face it – we watch TV shows or movies when we are bored because they are entertaining. They are fun to fill our free time. Do they have any valuable messages or something we could remember for the rest of our life? Probably not. On the surface, these terms seem very different. Then why do they come together so often?

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“Entertainment wants to give you what you want. Art wants to give you what you don’t know you want.” Entertainment is part of an evening — mini-golf, pizza, a movie, and ice cream. Art is the evening — you generally have to make plans to see an art movie, and then you find somewhere to sit and discuss it afterward. Entertainment is terrified of losing you, and is willing to change itself to be more to your taste. Art doesn’t care whether it loses you — if you’re lost, that’s your problem. Entertainment condescends to what it perceives as your level. Art assumes you’re at a high level and wants to take you higher — it conascends. Entertainment wants to make you think you’re thinking, but actually steers you toward its chosen conclusion. Art actually does make you think, and allows you to arrive at your own highly subjective conclusion. Entertainment generally isn’t personal or obsessive or visionary. Art often is. Good entertainment often is not artistic. Good art often is entertaining. If entertainment is unappealing, offensive, and hell to sit through, you just wasted your ticket money. If art is unappealing, offensive, and hell to sit through…maybe you should see it again.

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Some quotes:

 ‘Art is a necessity and entertainment is a luxury.’ – Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

‘Art can be life-changing, but entertainment need not be,’ and ‘the arts nurture the spirit.’ – Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg, CEO of Strategic Investment Group and chair of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas.

‘People pay for entertainment. Art is subsidized.’ – Matthew Bishop, New York bureau chief of the Economist.

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Art is by its nature an expression of the person who creates it one way or another. The audience may relate on some intellectual or emotional level–that is another essential element of art, that it stirs the mind and soul, that it evokes feeling–but it is not created simply to please the audience nor designed for them in any way. If they like it, great. If not–make your own if you want to be exactly what’s in your head. Otherwise, move on and look for other avenues of pleasure and fulfillment. Of course it is a mark of good art that an audience can relate, but this is ultimately secondary to the artist’s needs and desires, for art is one’s expression of one man , which another may perchance appreciate but which he need not be obligated to give the time of day if he is not inclined to do so. This is the difference between art and entertainment: the one is designed for self-expression while the other is designed purely to appeal for others. Art can constitute entertainment where it stirs the observer emotionally or intellectually and entertainment can be art if sufficiently effective to its aim. But whereas entertainment must be pleasing to others, art need only please the artist. Art can be life-changing, but entertainment “need not be”. Art addresses the whole person, body, mind and spirit, whereas entertainment doesn’t.

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Art is a work that speaks to those who are willing to rise to it; a work that speaks to all genders, races, sexualities, religions, etc., at any time and in any place, and yet is not blandly homogenized — i.e., it isn’t that way by cowardly design, intended to reach a mass audience. It may in fact not reach an audience until decades or even centuries later. Perhaps one wildly generalized difference between art and entertainment is that the latter takes you out of yourself and into another world, whereas the former takes you deeper into yourself, where you and the artist co-create an inner world. Entertainment is mostly about mass appeal and plays on the moods and prejudices of the moment. It is generally unreflective. It is a straight narrative arrow, a good story well told. This is the big difference between art and entertainment, art has a much greater emphasis on implementation, whereas entertainment is purely about enjoyment or stimulation. The two can and do overlap, but I think that it’s important to judge them each on their own merits. Many people seem to want to gauge the quality of entertainment based on artistic standards (this especially applies to things like movies and video games); however, it seems to me that there is an obvious and growing place in our culture for entertainment that may not live up to the standards of “good” art. It shouldn’t have to; after all, entertainment is about stimulation and fun. Even in environments where everyone takes art very seriously, true masterpieces are few and far between.

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What is the difference between art and entertainment? This, for many people, is a crucial question, because the value of the arts—and especially the value of classical music—seem to hang on it. Art, many people think, is lofty and profound. Entertainment, by contrast, is shallow and predictable. The very word “entertainment” seems to carry and inherent qualifier: mere entertainment, diverting, maybe, but worthless compared to art. Naturally popular culture, and especially pop music, is dismissed this way. It’s all entertainment, and nothing more. The arts (as traditionally defined) should be funded not because they’re better than popular culture, but because they’re different, and because the different things they do are valuable. Artists don’t mind at all when people like their work, and when their work can make a living for them. Art and entertainment are separate qualities, and any piece of music, film, or play (or poem, painting, pop song, jazz performance, sculpture, dance, or graphic novel) could be either, both, or maybe even neither. Art might be a quality of freshness and unpredictability that tells us something new about our world and ourselves; entertainment, as a quality we potentially might find in any human endeavor (or in nature), would be the mere fact of being entertaining. With this in mind, we can rate things separately for their art and entertainment value. The Schoenberg Violin Concerto is pretty artistic, but not very entertaining. Webern’s little pieces for soprano, E flat clarinet, and guitar, on the other hand, are wildly artistic and also wildly entertaining. And maybe other people won’t find Webern as entertaining as you do, but that, as the old line goes, is why there’s chocolate and vanilla. All of us like different things, and, on top of that, we like them in different ways. The important thing here, for me, is to clarify what entertainment and art really are. Are they entirely separate concepts, which in practice can often be united in a single endeavor? Should they never be opposed to each other?  Let me give a classical example. Cricket is played in 5 day match format, one day international and T20 match lasting for 3 to 4 hours. Five day match is an art but T20 match is pure entertainment and one day international is combination of art plus entertainment. So number of people watching 5 day format are less as those are the people who care about aesthetical aspect of cricket while number of people watching T20 format are plenty who want only entertainment from cricket. Why critics must impose the arbitrary, mutually exclusive label of “entertainment” or “art” will forever be a mystery to me. The difference between the terms is a matter of the creator’s intent and the work’s presentation, but doesn’t mean a work can’t be both.  

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“Fine art”:

Arts give us a way to explore our lives and the lives of others, whether it’s on canvas, on-stage or on a page. Entertainment is a large part of our daily lives. Whether we take our enjoyment from music and the radio, television, theater, dance, movies or video games, we still find time every day to devote to “the arts.” Yes, that’s right, the arts. Though we may not think of it, television, movies, and video games are just as much art forms as poetry, theater, dance and music, and just as much forms of entertainment. What, then, separates them? What makes the content of one medium somehow more “acceptable” than another? What makes one form’s portrayal of subject matter better than another? Whenever we refer to paintings hanging in a museum, or sculptures, we refer to this as art. When we talk about general forms of expression, such as writing in books, poetry, cinematography, or even choreography, we also refer to these as arts. Larger forms of entertainment are also referred to as art: the art of movies, television or production, theater production. Defining the term “art” is like trying to define poetry.  However, one of the most common uses of the word art is to refer to this subset of art which is sometimes referred to as “fine” art: putting these forms above other forms of expression. These forms of art are usually enjoyed frequently by a select number of people, usually the elite, and they are open to artistic criticism and analysis. There are special schools and professions devoted to its study and analysis. In some circles, the better you are at discussing the intricacies of these arts, the more cultured, intelligent, and generally popular you are. Currently, these arts include opera, theater, poetry, ballet, and occasionally underground movie productions. These art forms are somehow better than more popular media, deal with more “serious” issues, and capture the essence of humanity far better than all the others.

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To some experts, distinguishing between entertainment and art is seemingly contradictory, because one cannot exist without the other. What is art without entertainment? It is common practice for people to visit the museum and gaze at various works of art for fun, using art for entertainment. Once within the museum patrons can browse from gallery to gallery and entertain themselves by inspecting paintings individually. Every painting is visually stimulating and offers us a form of entertainment. People use the practice of looking, along with the rest of the senses, to perceive entertainment. The duration of their gaze is directly proportional to how exciting they find the sensory stimuli. If the entertainment value of the image is high, the painting will capture the viewer’s gaze, and the reverse is also true. Art is meant to entertain, or it wouldn’t be on display and certainly wouldn’t garner massive crowds of art enthusiasts. For instance, the Mona Lisa exhibit in the Louvre is filled to capacity with the shoulders and elbows of anxious guests chatting excitedly and snapping photos of the venerable masterpiece. Every day of the year the exhibit is swamped with tourists jockeying for the best view of the painting for no other reason than entertainment. What is entertainment without art? Besides entertaining yourself with blades of grass or bubbles, every form of entertainment is a creative artistic expression of the producer, reflecting his/her personal beliefs, intentions and distinctive style. That is precisely why we are entertained; the uniqueness of the entertainment draws us into the media form and spurs us to want to know more, to identify with the work and to hold our gaze a little longer. If entertainment was not artistic it would cease to be entertaining. Viewers quickly tire of watching uninspired commercial film productions, reading predictable novels, and even playing through familiar level designs in video games such as Halo. Each of these is a different example of entertainment lacking creativity and inspiration, or more generally, artistry. Consequently, these examples are among the least entertaining. For entertainment to entertain, a high amount of creative art or artistic vision must go into its creation. In this perspective, entertainment and art are closely tied together.

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Why perform music that is not meant to be heard? Is that even music?

That brings me to the crux of my argument: art is only art if it’s seen (or heard in the case of music), for it is the seer or hearer who bestows purpose, or its art-ness as Aristotle would say. And if it’s created with the intention of being seen or heard, it is necessarily created with the intention of entertaining – if you’ve created something no one wants to see or hear, your art has failed as art because you’ve lost the seer or hearer who makes it art in the first place. I’ll even take it a step further – not only does art, in order to qualify as art, need to be created with the intention of being seen or heard, but it needs to express goodness, truth, or beauty… and if it expresses one, it probably expresses all three. Goodness, truth, and beauty are naturally so attractive to the human soul, so captivating, that we can’t help but be entertained. Goodness, truth and beauty – in their nature – are what entertaining is about art. It all depends on how you present it. It is marketing – you know the communication of value. An individual may not be able to understand the goodness, truth, or beauty in a piece of art, but the nature of the piece can contain the value of entertainment. Better art moves the observer to the message. Great art leaves you better than you were before. Entertaining art has the courtesy to draw you in it.

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Art film or entertainment film:

There are huge numbers of artists who died in poverty or whose works never took hold with the masses or even the critics of their time. In fact, Shakespeare’s plays themselves completely fell out of popularity in the 17th century, and only regained commercial popularity when their artistic values were recognized. The simple historical fact is that, particularly in the story telling field, ‘art’ almost seems to happen as an accidental consequence of commerce. It’s not particularly useful to ask about a film “Is this art?” – i.e. was it made to serve some lofty ideal – because at the most basic level the answer is always “No, it’s commerce.”  If the money doesn’t make sense nothing ever gets made. The interesting question, the one where you can actually make meaningful distinctions and evaluations, is not the question of art but of artisanry, or craftsmanship. Whatever the story is, does its teller tell it well? Is it well crafted and shaped and performed? If the answer to all of those questions – is yes then sometimes a product, and film is a product created to serve a particular market just the same as a well made piece of furniture, can transcend its commercial origins and become art. Art and entertainment are not on opposite sides of the scale, they are not adversaries any more than are commercialism and creativity. If anything, the urge to entertain, has directly given rise to the creation of more works now considered art than any other. However, what one sees as a work of art, can be nothing more than entertainment for another. So art and entertainment can be on opposite sides of the spectrum just because these notions are all subjective no matter the intention of the studios and/or filmmakers or what you felt about a particular film. Viewers have every right to interpret a film as nothing more than entertaining junk food with no redeeming art in it whatsoever because it just didn’t speak to them, it didn’t impact them. Film is an industry driven by profit, profit by volume and volume by the ability to draw and entertain as many people as possible. Just as in Shakespeare’s day if you can’t sell tickets you’ll quickly find yourself unemployed. On a very basic level, every film you’ve ever loved, every film that made you fall in love with the medium in the first place, was approved and brought to life for the simple, basic purpose of entertaining you and as many people like you as possible and, in the process, to separate you all from your money. In other words, the film that is bombed at box office is an art film and the film that is hit at box office is an entertainer no matter the content of a film. In other words, art becomes entertainment if it is appreciated by many people and commercially successful. However, the converse is not true. Entertainment cannot become art just because nobody liked it.

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As a scientific person, I have been detached from art and entertainment. I do not know whether art and entertainment are two sides of the same coin or two different coins. What I know is that celebrities who become rich & famous in entertainment business, be it movies, modeling or sports, always project themselves as artists rather than entertainers as subconsciously in their own mind, they feel that being entertainer means being mediocre, and the only way to raise their self-esteem is to hang on to the label of artist because artistry gives them the mask of creativity. So Indian cricket stars & movie stars believe that they are creative individuals who have contributed immensely to the society even though their absence would make no decline in the society. 

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Sex as entertainment for humans:

As discussed earlier, pleasure derived from satisfying biological needs like food and sex is not considered entertainment. However, humans in search of entertainment have modified relationship between pleasure and biological needs. People drink ‘soft drinks’ not because they are thirsty but because they want to pass spare time and enjoy. Fertilization stopped being the inevitable consequence of an act of love between a man and a woman as soon as humans invented reliable and harmless contraceptives. On the other hand, one does not need to have sex nowadays to have a child – a woman can get pregnant without a man now. Researchers say that about 19,000 male orgasms occur in the world every second. However, it is obvious that modern people prefer to avoid such painstaking consequences as pregnancy when they undress and start warming up their beds. The international birthrate level makes up only four babies a second, which is a meager number in comparison with 19,000 orgasms during the same ultra-short period of time. Sex has become probably the best way for people to enjoy each other. It does have a lot of advantages as opposed to other kinds of pastime. For example, it is much cheaper to have sex than go skiing or play tennis. One does not have to be a professional in sex (experience is always welcome, for course), but it cannot be said about surfing, for instance. Furthermore, sex brings the pleasure of physical satisfaction a lot quicker than reading, collecting stamps or doing the needle-work. Finally, if you have a terrible wish to play basketball, you will need to find several other people having the same wish for a team, otherwise the game will be dull. If you want to have sex, all you need is to find one person, who burns with desire from inside, just like you. It is also important to say at this point that sex unveils true colors of a human being and shows him or her naked, metaphorically and literally. So sex has become the best entertainment that humans could ever invent. Please note that sex as entertainment is the heterosexual consensual sex between two humans above the age of consent outside sex industry. Commercial sex in sex industry is a paid rape which cannot be considered as entertainment as discussed by me in the article “Sex trafficking”.

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Can watching pornography be considered as a mode of entertainment:

The pornography debate is not new, but it’s surprisingly far from resolved. Some defend pornography, saying that critics overreact and that porn may act as an outlet for aggression. Others, however, say pornography can ruin relationships, deadens our erotic senses, is immoral, and perpetuates sexism. Some says that pornography is akin to adultery and is sexist exploitation. Some anecdotal studies suggested that “pornography and violent entertainment might serve as exhaust valves for our aggressive impulses”–sexual violence appears to go down as access to porn goes up. I disagree. In my article on “Sex trafficking”, I have shown evidence to link pornography with sex trafficking. However, the world is full of creepy men who might even consider sex trafficking and prostitution as entertainment.  

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Advertainment: Fusing Advertising and Entertainment:

The term advertainment was coined to reflect the increasingly intertwined connections between advertising and entertainment. It refers to promotional practices that integrate brand communications within the content of entertainment products. Brand communications are now present in the content of a broad range of entertainment vehicles, including TV and movies, radio shows, songs and music videos, video games, plays, and even novels. The increased mingling of advertising with the entertainment world has generated a host of newly coined terms to reflect these trends, such as hybrid advertisement or the “Madison and Vine” expression, reflecting the physical intersection of the advertising industry’s New York City hub, on Madison Avenue, and the entertainment hub on Vine Street. Advertainment has grown mainly in reaction to the increasing advertising clutter, escalating advertising costs, and the reduced effectiveness of traditional advertising messages. Consumers are exponentially exposed to commercial messages but at the same time they are finding new ways to avoid them. An In-Stat/MDR survey found that 54.3% of consumers claim to skip 75-100% of commercials. In 2004, a Knowledge Networks study concluded that 47% of viewers switch channels while watching TV ads. The same study also determined that the proportion of viewers doing other activities while watching TV – such as eating, reading, or using the internet – increased from 67% in 1994 to 75% in 2004. With viewers’ attention to TV advertising declining, major brand advertisers  responsible for $20 billion in ad spending per year in the U.S are losing confidence in the effectiveness of TV advertising. According to a 2006 survey by the Association of National Advertisers (USA) TV Ad Forum, 78% of advertisers expressed a loss of confidence in the effectiveness of TV advertising. These numbers present serious concerns for the marketing and advertising industries and one fifth of industry leaders believe that online TV will lead to the death of the traditional 30-second spot. As the convergence of TV and the internet continues, consumers will only gain more control over what they see and when they see it. So advertisers are looking at alternatives such as branded entertainment within TV programs (61%), TV program sponsorships (55%), interactive advertising during TV programs (48%), online video ads (45%) and product placement (44%).

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Religion and entertainment:

Are religion and entertainment manifestation of escapist tendency?  At times we “escape” so that we can return refreshed by a vision of better things, or by a world in which brave or good characters call on the divine. This is different from refusing our responsibility for the tasks before us, and running away to avoid work or struggle or risk. That’s desertion. Of course telling the difference is not always so clear-cut! In fact, even if we think we’re running away — deserting — we’re brought face to face with our own world in stories. Stories are not a place for you to escape the real world. They are images of the real world. They are not idealized life, but elevated life. Through stories we see our own world ever more clearly. And through their invented wonders we more clearly see the wonders of our own world and characters and societies. So what looked like escape can at least potentially become an education, an inspiration to return and act with grace and power. What is the difference between entertainment and religion?  Does God reside more at the altar than on the stage? Many people stated, “We’ve made a religion out of entertainment and an entertainment out of religion.” What has happened to our view of entertainment?  The devotion originally given to religious practices has been transferred to films and television shows that worship celebrities and cultural icons. In India, cricket has become a religion, a sport brought by colonial rulers to pass their time. Many actors, sportsmen and entertainers have sacrificed their own convictions, ethics and standards for the fame, wealth, and prestige; and yet, these cricket stars & movie stars are given status of demi-gods and people worship them especially in the largest democracy India. So entertainment has become a religion. On the other hand, many religious festivals in India provide family entertainment including Diwali (festival of lights) & Holi (festival of colors). Christmas is the birthday of Jesus Christ and it also provides entertainment to kids and teens. Everybody knows about Santa Claus.

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Photography and entertainment:

Photography is indispensable. It is involved in everything you do. Just like it records memories, entertainment industry & showbiz needs visuals both still and motion pictures for it to be able to entertain the public. People remember more of graphic things than literary things. Photography sells them. It is what is used in advertising; it is in fashion, modeling and movies. It is everywhere. Photography is like the pulse of entertainment and it would be almost impossible to do anything without it in the industry. Even the Bible has pictures, some silhouette. My facebook profile picture reveals everything. People say that one photograph reveals more than thousand words.

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Entertainment sectors:


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Entertainment industry:

The entertainment industry (also informally known as show business or show biz) consists of a large number of sub-industries devoted to entertainment. It applies to every aspect of entertainment including cinema, television, radio, theater and music. In the popular parlance, the term show biz in particular connotes the commercially popular performing arts, especially musical theatre, vaudeville, comedy, film, and music. However, the term entertainment industry is often used in mass media to describe the mass media companies that control the distribution and manufacture of mass media entertainment.

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Entertainment industry in the U.S.:

The entertainment industry is often considered to be one of the most interesting and exciting industries in which to work. It is a business in which many people would like to work and, as a creative industry, it is one that offers people the chance to be involved in the creation of art, even if they are not themselves an artist. Working in the entertainment industry enables people to spend time with artists and to gain an insight into the creation of entertainment products such as music. The allure of the entertainment industry is partly based around the chance that it offers people to meet and mix with artists and to enjoy a taste of what it is like to be rich and famous. People working in this industry can enjoy attending concerts, events and awards ceremonies, and spending time seeing the parts of the industry that most people will never experience. There is an element of glamour involved in the idea of working in the entertainment industry. As long as people have had free time, they have pursued leisure activities. Musical troupes, theaters, and sports have been a part of culture since ancient times. As leisure time and personal incomes have grown across nations, so has the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry. As per the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics 2008, the entertainment industry is characterized by a large number of seasonal and part-time jobs and the employment of relatively young workers. About 37 percent of all workers have no formal education beyond high school. The industry includes about 125,500 establishments, ranging from art museums to fitness centers. Practically any activity that occupies a person’s leisure time, excluding the viewing of motion pictures and video rentals, is part of this industry. The diverse range of activities offered by this industry can be categorized into three broad groups—live performances or events; historical, cultural, or educational exhibits; and recreation or leisure-time activities. Jobs in arts, entertainment, and recreation are more likely to be part time than those in other industries. In fact, the average nonsupervisory worker in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry worked 24.1 hours a week in 2008, as compared to an average of 33.6 hours for all private industry. Many types of arts, entertainment, and recreation establishments dramatically increase employment during the summer and either scale back employment during the winter or close down completely. The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry provided about 2 million wage and salary jobs in 2008. About 45 percent of all workers are under 35 years old. About 59 percent of wage and salary workers in the industry are employed in service occupations. Industry earnings, earnings in arts, entertainment, and recreation are relatively low, reflecting the large number of part-time and seasonal jobs. Nonsupervisory workers in arts, entertainment, and recreation averaged $355 a week in 2008, compared with $608 throughout private industry.

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An average American spends more money on entertainment than on gasoline, household furnishing and clothing. The global entertainment and media (E&M) industry has entered a solid growth phase and will increase at a 6.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $1.8 trillion in 2010, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2006–2010” report.


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U.S. economic recession affected entertainment industry:

Due to flagging health of U.S. economy, entertainment industry suffered in the U.S. Just last year it was entirely unclear whether the NFL and NBA (American professional football and basketball, respectively) would even be able to schedule any games for the season, as the players and owners could not agree on how much each faction would get of a still large, yet rapidly dwindling pie of profits. Those issues were finally resolved at the last minute. The movie industry is no better, and has already been hit quite hard since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008. Movie studios require a certain amount of funding upfront before they can give the thumbs up for expensive productions to get underway or to continue, and those are funds that simply aren’t available for many of the studios right now, including relatively large ones. For every fancy, whiz-bang movie that comes out into theatres these days, there are perhaps dozens of others that were downsized, terminated or put on hold indefinitely. Attendance at North American movie theaters hit a 16-year low last year. DVD sales continue to drop. Although some emerging overseas markets are picking up steam, Europe and other important sales territories are uneven. And there are no indications of an immediate reversal of the trends. Game, the computer games retailer has decided to shut 277 UK stores and cut up to 2,500 jobs. It is the way in which economic collapse metastacizes in all the organs of a cultural society. When multiple generations around the world would rather go without food for a day rather than the season-ticketed event or the latest computer/video game, and may be forced to go without all three, you know we are in for rough times ahead.   

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Global Entertainment Industry to Reach US$1.4 Trillion by 2015:

Entertainment has and continues to be one of the fastest changing industries worldwide. With television marking the beginning of society’s addiction to entertainment decades ago, the advent of the Internet as a more versatile form of media now has society obsessed with media driven entertainment. Continuously growing demand for high definition TVs, Smartphones, music players, DVD multimedia players, satellite radio, video game consoles, among others augurs well for the future of the entertainment industry. As myriad vectors of entertainment technologies, such as, instant messaging, video sharing, steaming, social networking sites, roll down the proverbial hill gathering lucrative market opportunities all rolled one behind the other, strong growth is forecasted for the industry in the upcoming years. Presently, the digital wave is engulfing the industry and all the major enterprises in the entertainment industry are reviewing their business activities with a view to imbibe technology and be prepared for the digital future. Despite the recession casting a dampener on entertainment, certain segments such as movies, video games and home entertainment industry continued to remain afloat in the tough economic climate. The fact that entertainment offers an escape route to ease out pressure during troubled times, to a large extent withheld the industry from slipping into the red. Global Entertainment Industry to reach US$1.4 Trillion by 2015, according to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc (GIA). GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global outlook on the Entertainment Industry. Modern society is hooked onto media driven entertainment as reflected by the widespread use of multi-functional phones and handheld devices and the trickling of media i.e. music, videos, movies, into every nook and cranny of people’s lives. Digitalization, which is seeping into the very fabric of the entertainment industry and the strong yet untapped potential in emerging markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America, will drive market growth in the next few years.

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Growth of entertainment industry:

1. Worldwide box office ticket revenues have increased 25%, jumping up from $25.5 billion in 2006 to $31.8 billion in 2010.

2. Overall, the entertainment industry grew 50% over the past decade.

3. In 1995, there were 1,723 feature films produced worldwide; in 2005, that number grew to 5,635; in 2009, it was 7,193.

4. The global value of the music industry rose from $132 billion to $168 billion from 2005 to 2010.

5. During the period of 1998 to 2010, the value of the worldwide entertainment industry grew from $449 billion to $745 billion.

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Entertainment industry and largest democracy India:

The Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry in India recorded revenues of US$ 16.3 billion in 2010 and is expected to be in excess of US$ 25 billion in the next four years, according to an Ernst & Young report ‘Spotlight on India’s Entertainment Economy.’ Growing digitization, media consumption and improving demographics are the most important drivers responsible for the growth of this industry. Factors such as economic liberalization, near double-digit annual growth, fast-growing middle class and a huge volume of demand for leisure and entertainment, have enticed global media companies to scale up investments in India. The Indian media and entertainment industry now finds itself at a new turning point—digital media. A rise in mass broadband adoption is expected, led by the launch of 3G and 4G services. By 2015, 90 per cent of India’s projected 187 million broadband subscribers will access the net through wireless devices. Some of the important findings in the report indicate that media and entertainment industry is a lucrative option for making investments. India’s increasing per capita income, growing middle class and working population are generating huge domestic demand for leisure and entertainment. India has more than 600 television channels, 142 million cable-television households, 70,000 newspapers and produces more than 1000 films annually. India has diverse regional markets with different cultures, languages and content preferences. These markets provide global media and entertainment companies’ ample amount of opportunities to deliver localized content. India’s favorable regulations and reforms are creating investment opportunities for global media and entertainment companies.

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How Facebook could remake the entertainment industry:

In seven years, the social networking site has grown from a project hatched in a college dorm to the largest social networking site in the world, well on its way to hitting its goal of having 1 billion users. The initial public offering documents that Facebook filed recently reveal just how big an advertising and distribution juggernaut it has become. The company said that last year it made $1 billion on $3.7 billion in revenue, making it more than twice as profitable as Google was when it went public in 2004 and almost as profitable as the CBS television network is today. Facebook’s reach turned out to be even bigger than previously thought — it has 845 million monthly active users (more than a third of the Internet), 483 million daily active users and more than 37 million fan pages. Facebook has $1 billion in cash now. It will have at least $6 billion when its IPO is complete later this year. 

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Entertainment lawyer:

Entertainment lawyers provide legal help for artists, employees, companies and individuals involved in all areas of the entertainment industry, including film, radio, television, music, publishing, theater and digital or multimedia entertainment like video games. This could mean helping an actor negotiate a contract with a studio, filing suit over a pirated film, ensuring that stuntmen have adequate medical coverage, overcoming an impasse in union contract negotiations, assisting a young recording artist with financial or real estate decisions, protecting a recording star from illegal use of a copyrighted song or even preventing invasion of a client’s privacy. Also, entertainment lawyers do plenty more in all areas of the entertainment industry, sometimes even acting as agents helping artists manage their assets and careers. Entertainment law covers an area of law which involves media of all types (TV, film, music, publishing, advertising, internet & new media, etc.), and stretches over various legal fields, including but not limited to corporate, finance, intellectual property, publicity and privacy.

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Money spent on entertainment:

The picture below shows consumer spending on entertainment per person per year in the U.S.


By some accounts it would be shocking to find that even newspapers still command a larger per person per year spend than movies in the theater, and that home video commands nearly three times the revenue of “box office.” The notion of new films being released either directly to DVD, the Internet or television seems decreasingly far-fetched.

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Time spent on entertainment:

American Time Use Survey conducted by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found following facts: On an average day, nearly everyone age 15 and over engaged in some sort of leisure activity, such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Of those who engaged in leisure activities, men spent more time in these activities (5.8 hours) than did women (5.1 hours). Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.7 hours per day), accounting for about half of leisure time, on average, for those age 15 and over. Socializing, such as visiting with friends or attending or hosting social events, was the next most common leisure activity, accounting for nearly three-quarters of an hour per day. Men were more likely than women to participate in sports, exercise, or recreation on any given day–22 percent compared with 16 percent. On the days that they participated, men also spent more time in these activities than did women–1.9 hours compared with 1.3 hours. On an average day, adults age 75 and over spent 7.7 hours engaged in leisure activities–more than any other age group; 35- to 44-year- olds spent 4.2 hours engaged in leisure and sports activities—less than other age groups. Time spent reading for personal interest and playing games or using a computer for leisure varied greatly by age. Individuals age 75 and over averaged 1.1 hours of reading per weekend day and 18 minutes playing games or using a computer for leisure. Conversely, individuals ages 15 to 19 read for an average of 6 minutes per weekend day while spending 1.1 hours playing games or using a computer for leisure. Employed adults living in households with no children under 18 engaged in leisure activities for 4.5 hours per day, nearly an hour more than employed adults living with a child under age 6.


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Time spent by children and teenagers on entertainment:

We have seen that children and teenagers have become progressively adept at multitasking, exemplified by the increasing proportion of time in which they are using more than one medium at once. The variety of activities in which they engage is striking as seen in the table below, many of which would have been shared with use of one or more media. As the data from the recent nationally representative, probability sample of more than 2,000 in grades three through twelve (8- to 18-year-olds) collected by Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout (2005) indicate, television consumed the most time, but a larger total was spent on social activities—“hanging out with parents” and “hanging out with friends,” by definition social, and “exercise, sports” and “listening to music,” which often involve others. There was also an amazing 53 minutes a day spent talking on the telephone among teenagers.

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In the United States, television markedly reduced movie going, radio listening, and the reading of certain types of magazines (confessions, detective, screen, and pulp adventure) by young people.

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Why do we need entertainment?

Why do we need entertainment? There are so many factors, which define the need for entertainment. First and foremost factor is ˜to relax’. You may be feeling distracted, bored, irritated, or simply you need a laugh. For this you need entertainment. Second reason is ˜to feel happy’. In this case, you may go out for movie, celebrate, and eat out. Third reason is ˜loneliness’. In this case, you go out with friends, or dating, or chatting. One more factor is ˜to kill time’. In this age of hectic schedules, where the work pressure has become almost unbearable, the importance of entertainment has increased manifold. Children after their school and homework need something to refresh their mind. For this they indulge in sports, light reading or many of the recreational activities available to them. Working men after the hectic work in office go for Movies, drinks, theatre shows and much more. House wives go for shopping, mall hoping, etc., etc. So, in brief, everyone needs entertainment in one form or another. In older times entertainment avenues were very few. Theatres, live shows, sports events were some of the few entertainment options available. But now with the coming up of so much technological advancement, the option for entertainment has multiplied many times. Now you can have your choice of entertainment from cinema, theatre, dance, music, sports, amusement venues, Television and much-much more. Entertainment can be passive as well as active. Examples of passive entertainment are watching movies, theatre shows and examples of active entertainment are sports activities. Book reading, playing musical instruments comes under the heading of the hobby. In our modern age, the free time, the time to enjoy, the time for yourself is very limited. Everyone wants to enjoy as much as they can in this limited time. This need is also recognized by entertainment industry. The entertainment industry is now producing the kind of entertainment, which is of short duration but very intensive. Movies of short duration, live shows, theatre shows live, dance shows are some instances. Entertainment plays an important role in the lives of children. The child tends to feel frustrated and bored without fun. Fun and entertainment plays an important role in raising a child. Entertainment can help a child develop their motor and mental skills, and help in learning new things.

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The picture above shows mind map image of why do we need entertainment.

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Why Family Entertainment is very important:

As a parent it is natural to be caught up with pressing matters such as work because of the need to provide food, shelter, clothing and education for the children and the family as a whole. And as we approach a more modern era, especially with today’s economy, we find ourselves in an increasing frenetic pace in life. It is indeed very overwhelming. So overwhelming that as parents, we just tend to forget to pay attention to the other things that matters. Our duty as a parent and as part of the family, is not only exclusive to being a bread winner, there are other duties as well that you need to tend to. While it is indeed important that you have your children sleeping under a roof on their kids sleeping bags, have decent clothing and full stomach, every member of the family also needs to feel loved. And that is done by spending time together as a family. And spending time with your family does not mean you have to take it in a literal sense. As a family you need to be engaged in fun activities that every member of the family can enjoy. Family entertainment is very important because spending time this way will surely create memorable memories and strengthen your bond as a unit. As the saying goes, the family plays together stay together, is indeed true. But there seems to be a notion that family entertainment can be quite expensive especially considering the state of the economy these days, which is why some family doesn’t bother with the idea. But such notion is not true at all, spending quality time with the family does not necessarily equate to an expensive dinner or a trip abroad. There are many activities that you can do with your family without burning a hole through your budget. One good way to spend a day with your family is to go outside. The outdoor usually means fun for everyone. If you see the lovely sun shining outside then maybe you can gather the whole family to have a quick trip to a theme park or a zoo or maybe head to the playground and engage in some sports activity. This activity is not only fun for everyone but it can also serve as a good exercise. Another good recommendation for family entertainment is to cook as a family. As they say, the kitchen is the heart of every home, and that holds very true in this case. You’ll be surprised at how good food can bring the family closer together. Involve everyone. Have the children help out by having them lend a helping hand. And after you are done, enjoy your masterpiece as a family over a movie. It is guaranteed fun for everyone. Also indulging your kids with toys like kids furniture, will allow you to connect with them more by playing with them. There are many ways in which you can enjoy your time as a family. It does not need that you have a fat bank account; you just need to be creative in coming up with ways to enjoy that will suit your family best. Whenever you want to spend time with your family, be sure that is would be fun and memorable for everyone.

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Entertainment does affect us:

We have all been affected by some form of entertainment at one point in our lives, whether it’s the disturbing truth from a report on the news, or a show we watched everyday in our childhood. But truly, we can all look at our lives and find that it has somehow been influenced by entertainment in some form. Photographs in magazines, depicting a number of things, from severely thin super models to starving children in 3rd world countries, are an example. The media is another great example of entertainment that affects us every day. We can get up in the morning and see an uplifting story about a kitten that has been rescued from a bleak and abusive world, and have a good day simply thinking about that hopeful story. Other days, we will wake to find the world in a dismal state, with war and killing flashing before our eyes on a news report, and we just can’t get it out of our heads. Music is another influential thing that we hear everyday-holiday music, for example, is a weird little thing in our lives. Some of us simply can’t wait for the holidays, to hear cheery carols and feel the holiday spirit. Others just want the holidays to go away, for several reasons, from not having anyone to share the joy with, or just to get some peace from all the relatives and holiday marketing hype around them. Ultimately entertainment is aimed at affecting us, whether it be a in a good way or a bad way. Fashion magazines are aimed at getting people to follow certain trends and styles, and ultimately buying products that they advertise. News reports are a matter of opinion-you may think they are simply reporting facts, or simply throwing propaganda at you, or trying to get ratings. These days you’ll notice that many companies, bands, governments, etc. are taking advantage of the internet to get messages into the world. With entertainment websites like You Tube, they hope to convey their objectives through entertainment, because it’s what people pay attention to now. Entertainment does and continues to affect us, whether we want it to or not.

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Advantages of entertainment:

Having fun and lowering your stress level are some advantages of entertainment. Entertainment not only relieves you of stress, but also helps you regain your energy and thus recharge your batteries. Your mind diverts away from your day to day worries and tensions and you are able to divert your mind from the normal schedule. So, everyone must have a daily dose of entertainment. Entertainment has an important role in socialization, relaxation, family ties, community structure and forms of expression beyond sheer logic. It strengthens the emotional ties between individuals and around groups of individuals. A well rounded individual, and also society as a whole, benefits from many activities and interest beyond those just needed to provide food and shelter.

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Disadvantages of entertainment:

All the above will be of great disadvantage if any form of entertainment is not used moderately and on a selective basis by those who seek fun and laughter. Any kind of entertainment will be bad for children who get addicted to any kind of habit, become couch potatoes and finally end up with obesity, lack of interest in studies and finally become a burden to the society. Also, you may end up spending too much time playing video games or watching TV, and forget to do your homework or another important task. You may also risk losing friends because of spending too much playing games or lose touch with family members.

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The entertainment industry has virtually eliminated physical activity. The internet has made shopping a home-bound chore. Customers don’t have to talk to a store. They don’t even have to walk to a car to drive to a store. Buying an item is a mere click away and all a person has to do is wait an allotted amount of days for that item to be delivered right to their doorstep. Video games and television have taken the traditional place of basketball and camping. Outdoor activities have taken the back seat to first-person shooter games on Xbox. The lack of physical activity is a consequence of such mindless “fun,” which in turn has contributed to the growing obesity epidemic that is currently plaguing the U.S.; and the growth of the entertainment industry and the growth in nationwide obesity is not mere coincidence. It is the people who utilize entertainment is such a mindless way and fail to combat the repercussions that add to its capacity. If society were to use entertainment and still keep up with physical activity and social ties, society wouldn’t be as susceptible to demise. People subject themselves to such entertainment knowing the consequences, and yet they don’t do a thing to contest the negative results.     

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Entertainment ruins the society:

Entertainment has the capacity to “ruin” society and, although this is undeniable but it is the society who gives entertainment such a capability. While most people view entertainment as harmless, leisurely fun; researchers were able to see that the enjoyment people felt from it was merely a disguise that masked the ruin and corruption that has become of it. Entertainment has the capacity to warp one’s views of reality, making him or her believe in a world that doesn’t exist, thereby slowing the progress of mankind. Different forms of entertainment have caused a great deal of irreparable damage to today’s society. Many people, who have been captivated by whatever it is they watched, are somehow influenced to imitate its characters. When children see wrestlers on TV, they want to wrestle and break things. The same goes to adults who see violence on TV. After the release of movies such as Fast and Furious, there was an increase in illegal drifting for both teens and adults. Drinking, drugs and partying became increasingly popular the more of it had been done by characters in TV shows and movies, whereas, dirty dancing and getting drunk was considered crude and immoral before it appeared on popular TV shows and movies. Music videos, particularly rap videos, have been glorifying sex, drugs, and stupidity, dumbing down hundreds of thousands of youth who may have had the potential to brilliant career. Girls are dressing in skimpier outfits and getting pregnant left and right. People are getting high while driving a car. Both music videos and television popularized Ebonics and ditching school, causing thousands of kids who are enrolled to a school to become illiterate. These sorts of entertainment set off an entire chain of effects that led to the deterioration of morality, and the corruption of society. Entertainment not only diminishes the morality of society, it also makes people feel insecure. Many TV programs, such as Laguna Beach, began to define what was beautiful and acceptable to society from their flawless characters and unrealistic scenarios. Girls misled by entertainment to believe that only thin women are beautiful.

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The movies, the television are the worlds into which we escape, leaving our own lives in the past. Go to a movie theater and watch people’s faces, they are enthralled with the story they are being led through. Movies offer a world, an escape from reality. Television offers people from kids to adults, a false world in which some like to emulate. For example: Harry Potter. When this multi-million dollar idea of a `wizarding world’ was brought to the minds of countless youngsters there were surprising consequences. Children were dressing like wizards, believing in `magic’, trying to emulate these characters. Entertainment pulls the reality away, instead leaving us with a fantasy world into which we dwell. This idea of taking us from our lives in un-nerving. This makes children not think about their future but about a Fantasy. Such shows as “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” or “Charmed” yet again pull people into a world that does not exist. This ‘harmless’ entertainment puts us into our seats every Tuesday and Thursday detracting from our own lives. Entertainment is literally brain washing our youth in believing in an imaginary world. Shows such as “Pranked” and “Fear-Factor” demean people. Tricks and ‘pranks’ are played on innocent victims for the public’s viewing pleasure. “Fear-Factor”, displays people doing usually disgusting ‘feats’ for money. This is demeaning our society; this is just tapping into our barbaric ancestry. We are supposed to be higher beings yet our minds are being eroded by shows that don’t mentally challenge us but intellectually stunt us. We enjoy the occasional escape from reality; but more and more entertainment is shoving its way into our world. While we look to entertainment as a source of fun and leisure, it is actually a source of escape that serves to ruin our society. Entertainment brainwashes our youth into believing in an imaginary world, and it prevents them from obtaining the knowledge of their predecessors. And entertainment is ruining our quality of life, leaving our mental capacities wide open to useless, garbage material. 

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Audiences around the world are inundated with entertainment content at the local, regional, national, and global levels. Entertainment via television, movies, and music, is highly influential because it’s really bigger than life, and it’s what we go to when we’re bored or we need an escape. The problem with entertainment is that what sells is normally what shocks, and what shocks is normally sex, sin, being scandalous and controversial, and continuing to push the envelope on our definition of wrong. Over time, we get desensitized and start to believe the message we are getting, that it is ok and normal to do the things that we are seeing. We start emulating fiction of entertainment into reality of life. Entertainment brings pleasure to billions around the world, but it has been accused of harming our children, shortening our attention spans, trivializing culture, vulgarizing taste, sanctioning violence, polarizing audiences, and undermining communities. Entertainment has been attacked for making a mockery of art, for promoting cheap thrills before thoughtful reflection, for appealing to the lowest common denominator.

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Do entertainers get more money than they deserve?

After discussing the ruins brought by entertainment, I find uncomfortable to even discuss the money earned by entertainers. They make more money because the entertainment brings a huge audience, so the actors/sportsmen ask for more money. The average annual salary of an NFL player is 1.2 million dollars. For this, they are expected to play a game in an entertaining manner. The average salary of a university professor is less than a hundred thousand dollars, and for that sum, it is expected that they will educate many individuals, and perhaps through their influence, cause their students to change the destiny of mankind. The average annual salary of an NBA player is four million dollars. For this, they are expected to play a game in an entertaining manner. The average doctor earns 187 thousand dollars a year, with the expectation that they will save the lives of hundreds of people. The average annual salary of a baseball player is 2.1 million dollars, and an individual can make as much as 25 million a year. For this, they are expected to play a game in an entertaining manner. A physicist will earn eighty-five thousand dollars, and it is hoped that they will gain a better understanding of the nature of reality, and perhaps contribute toward the advancement of technology in order to make life better for all of humanity. An attractive movie star can make 20 million dollars for appearing in a film, and for this they are expected to entertain us for a couple of hours. Academic biochemists are paid an average of seventy-five thousand dollars a year, with the hope that they will cure what ails us, and potentially extend the lives of billions of individuals. My total earning per month is rupees 60,000 (1300 dollars) while many bollywood stars spend more money on their dogs than my monthly income.

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Those who support that entertainer should get so much money—their arguments first:

Professional sportsmen are not overpaid because their salary is based on performance and that seems fair. Professional sportsmen get paid a lot of money, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. These sportsmen train all year long, on top of playing in their regular season competitions. These players also bring fans into the stadiums and sell more jerseys for the NBA. If an athlete is working that hard and still is able to give a great performance during games, they deserve the money they are paid. These people work their butts off to make sure they stay in top condition so they can play or sing the best they can. The highest compensation for entertainers is significantly higher than the highest compensation for non-entertainers because the skills that entertainers possess are scarcer, in high demand and exist in specialized markets than those who are non-entertainers. For example, many people can play basketball or can sing, but there is only one Michael Jordan and Mariah Carey. As a result of their rare talent and the demand for that talent, they both can command higher compensation than someone whose occupation is more common. In another example, although most medical doctors have highly specialized skills in high demand that result in a higher than average compensation as compared to the average worker, there are far more medical doctors in the world than entertainers and this, coupled with constraints placed upon their compensation (i.e., insurance companies), results in the highest paid medical doctor earning significantly less than the highest paid entertainer. 

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Those who support that entertainers are too much overpaid – their arguments:

They are role models? Poor excuse to use. It is insulting to the rest of society as we work hard to make a living. They easily make money just by having their face on Adidas/Nike goods! Wow, so easy. The only reason why they made it big is because they chose entertainment as career. Professional athletes are overpaid, because their services are not as important as other, more necessary professions.  While they are earning millions of dollars playing games for the entertainment of others, teachers are scrounging to get by. Many school districts are so overwrought with debt and corruption that the children end up suffering for it. This is an example of gluttony; greed and excess in our society. Any rational person would be embarrassed to accept a huge remuneration like Madonna or Britney Spears knowing that there is suffering, hunger, and disease in this world. Professional athletes/actors earn a lot more than they actually are worth. There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding them and their personal lives which drive their prices up. It does seem absurd compared to the actual time they spend in sporting events. Also, most professional athletes are overpaid because they are not contributing that much to society. What do professional athletes give to society? Really it is just entertainment a few times a week. What signal does this send to children? As a society, we need to support education and jobs that contribute to society rather than paying for entertainment and the trouble that many athletes get into. These are people getting paid millions to play games that we play in our spare time for fun, and yet they get so much money. It’s a waste of money that could be spent in so much more useful ways to people much more deserving.  Along with other celebrities, professional athletes are paid way out of proportion to the work they do and the contribution they make to society. When compared to the work load of teachers, police, firemen, social workers, doctors, nurses and others who do contribute to their communities, the wages of professional athletes are grossly out of line. Even if one argues that entertainment is important in society, still so much money given to actors & sportsmen is waste of public money. It is sad to look at our society’s values through the ways we compensate professions. For example, professional athletes are paid huge salaries by the teams they play for, in addition to lucrative sponsorship deals from various corporations, for what essentially boils down to entertainment. They may occasionally become role models for young people, but they also demonstrate a level of success which is unattainable to the average person. On the other hand, the people who have direct contact with our children and on a daily basis serve as role models and occasionally even as “parent-substitutes” make less than even an average actor. I’m speaking, of course, about teachers. They truly influence the future of our society, and they make in a year less than a professional athlete or movie actor makes in a month.

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Most people feel that entertainers are overpaid, and are amazed at how much the salaries are increasing year after year. But the situation is market driven, and many of the people who complain about it are part of the cause. Supply and demand means that, to create larger profits for those supplying the product, those wanting it are willing to pay a higher and higher premium. A market correction occurs when supply exceeds demand, and the costs to produce the product fall to meet the reduced level of demand. In other words, the fault lies with the consumer; and people who entertain us through competition, performance art, and music are more important than educators, scientists, and medical personnel because it is what the masses have decided. Members of modern society primarily live for the moment. The destiny of us and our children is a concern that requires foresight; something lacking in our culture. Because each individual is a component of the sum, every person contributes to what is the “will of the people”. Therefore each individual who refuses to pay exorbitant admission prices, or a premium to be a walking billboard, alters the status quo. It was not really that long ago when entertainers thought of themselves as extremely fortunate to be able to earn a middle-class wage for doing something they would do for free anyway. Realistic salaries would not change the quality of our entertainment. Would an NFL player rather work eight hours a day for fifty weeks in a factory, or continue to work a few hours a day over sixteen weeks, if the salary was the same?

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It is not at all surprising that greed is the driving force behind the entertainment industry; one only has to look at the disparities in the world to realize that most people are entirely self-serving. There is no logic to the accumulation of riches for its own sake; in one year the average professional sports entertainer makes enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their life. The annual income of one superstar could feed an entire Third World nation. The money spent on sports alone could put an end to poverty and suffering on this planet. It is the collective “we” that is responsible for this situation. Each of us in the society causes this disparity by our decision to fund entertainment over utility. The fact of the matter is that we don’t really care that this is the case; people will think that, yes all those billions of dollars could be put to better use, and next week go out and spend a couple of hundred dollars on tickets for the next game. Individuals will contemplate how it would be wonderful to find a cure for heart disease; and then spend their extra money on a replica jersey of the player they have chosen to be their sexual surrogate. Each of us contributes to the human condition, and each of us determines what is personally most important. The world is exactly what we make it to be.

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Back in the old days, the gladiators who fought each other and animals with the utmost brutality were not at fault, but those who cheered them on and forced them to make a living or the ending thereof doing what they are known for, entertainment, grotesque or just downright perverted, such as the comedy shows of today, with their perverse innuendos, gestures, and jokes. Ultimately, the entertainers are not innocent, but they are pawns who are payed to do what they do, and that is to amuse us (cause us to think less and less with each and every performance), as they would have found or sought other professions had they not had the ability to do what they do for what they are being payed. Therefore, they are generally pleased with their lifestyle, though most of them are unable to do anything else for money, other than the occasional surprising performance or some random or purposeful violation of the law, which increases their popularity as well as their chances of boosting their ticket sales or any other business venture that they think that they can successfully pull off a profit with.

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Why do we place a greater value on entertainers in particular, than on the people who are more of a tangible asset to humanity, contrary to common sense?

A major reason is due to the one thing that can always supersede common sense: sex. Physical attributes, whether involving appearance or athletic ability, signify the superior sexual partner in the animal kingdom. It is not just that we idolize some as the ideal sexual companion, we identify with them. We live vicariously through these alphas; their successes are our successes. In the same way that lesser males in a chimpanzee troop have a desire to touch the alpha male as he passes by, we feel that we can somehow share in the aura of the superior mate. We cheer on our team because it represents the best of our primate troop, hence “we” contend with other troops for sexual dominance. In general humans, like other animals, compete to demonstrate their superiority as mates, and to us, money represents sexual dominance. In the hyper-competitive culture we have created, our basic instincts are magnified by the artificial standards we set via materialism. Perhaps this attitude should continue; but because it is an abstract manifestation of primitive drives, we must then consider ourselves simply as confused animals, using a symbolic representation of labor to haphazardly substitute for natural selection. What we interpret as moral values and justice are in reality the instincts of gregarious creatures; where all members of the herd are relatively equal in terms of available resources and protection from harm. We have confused social structure with sexual hierarchy. Gregarious animals persevere due to what we perceive as ethics; communal social interaction has evolved to ensure the survival of the species as a whole, with any divergence from this system being, by definition, unnatural. Of course, there is no harm in experiencing a thrill of a subconscious sexual nature; and we will always have a need for athletes and other celebrities to play a role. However, there seems to be no limit to the obsession with such pursuits. Billions upon billions of dollars are directed toward the infrastructure that provides us with entertainment. The individuals who are showcased receive outrageous sums because the corporations behind them are reaping huge profits. Our priorities are absurd, and it would not be too extreme to say that we suffer from a form of cultural madness. Entertainment is the most significant thing in our lives. Sure, we want all the medical, social, and technological advances to occur; but we’ll reward the person who may have the capacity to find a cure for cancer three hundredfold more if they can excel at hitting a baseball or have the looks to be a movie star. We financially encourage people to choose the path we see as most important. If people were as passionate about curing cancer, and directed the same amount of disposable income toward research as they now do for spectator sports, companies would compete for a share of the wealth; subsequently driving up salaries for scientists, and motivating young people into making science a career choice. The marketplace rewards success, hence the researchers who get results would be the high paid stars of the discipline. Just as modern athletes have pushed human physical limits past that of their predecessors, so too would science drive human knowledge to new heights. So the buck stops at people for overrating and overpaying entertainers.

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People must wake up:

Almost every professional athlete and actor has no other skill that would offer them a fraction of the income that they make as athlete or actor. If they woke up tomorrow and were told that their paychecks would be cut by 75%, they would probably stay home and pout for as long as their reserve money would last, then they would return to the movie set or the ball game – as the case may be. They would have no other choice because they could find no other job that would pay anything close to 25% of their current income. What else would they do? Would they turn down 25 % of their current income a year to play a sport or act in a movie, and opt to work in a bank or sell real estate or cars, or take a regular job like the rest of the people in the real world?  The public has stopped thinking about what’s going on and they just keep paying more and more to watch sports and movies. Even when the movies are slapped together junk to make a few million dollars quickly or the sports team is not doing anything close to exceptional – everybody still gets in line with money-in-hand, waiting for the chance to watch the amazingly repetitive and average stuff. The public needs to finally say, “Enough is enough”. All movie stars would still work in movies if they earned only 25 % per movie than before because they cannot do anything else. The public needs to finally say, “No more! I’ll pay $3 – $4 and not a dime more to watch a movie or watch one of the 162 mediocre baseball games in each season in the U.S”. If the public paid $4 to watch a game or a concert or a movie, the athletes and the entertainers would still be among the wealthiest people in America, but everyone else would have a little extra money in their pockets. The difference would be that entertainers and athletes wouldn’t be totally out-of-touch with reality and do absurd things like sending their private jet more than 2,000 miles to get the coffee they prefer (Britney Spears did that). Celebrities are not only overrated and overpaid, but they give out a negative message to almost every teen in the nation that looks up to them. Teens idolize celebrities, seeing someone beautiful and successful, someone with no problems, but look to any tabloid and you’ll see a celebrities name in highlights for sex scandal, drugs, drunken driving, attacking hotel guests etc. Is this the image that we pay for? Celebrities having meltdowns, cheating, divorcing, and rehab trips seem to be what we’re really paying for and looking up too.   

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Popularizing science through entertainment:

In 1980 Luis Alvarez and his son Walter Alvarez and two other scientists from the University of California – Berkeley proposed that a large asteroid struck the earth 65 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs. For many years the scientific community scoffed at the Alvarez impact hypothesis as “outlandish.”  In 1998 two major Hollywood films about NEOs Deep Impact and Armageddon were released. NEO means near-earth-objects. Each film opens with an NEO hitting the Earth 65 million years ago. In addition, the multitude of TV programs on NEOs in the late 1990s, such as the fictional Asteroid (1997) and the science documentary Fire From the Sky (1998), also featured the asteroid impact hypothesis as the cause of the dinosaurs’ extinction. This episode clearly indicates the power that entertainment media have in regards to our understandings of science and technology. Many of our perceptions of the natural world originate from entertainment media sources, such as science fiction novels, popular science magazines, nature documentaries, TV shows, fictional films, and comic books.

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Why is entertainment more important to people than knowledge?

Because knowledge and wisdom are abstract ideas and made abstract by our society. The great many individuals who possess these qualities are either in fairy tales or in history or in the oblivion or are rarely in contact with “us”. I have great admiration for mathematicians, scientists and philosophers. Cauchy, Leibniz, Newton, Einstein, Copernicus, Galileo, Euler, Dedekind, Bertrand Russell, Kierkgaard, Locke, Kant, Darwin and many more. But sadly none of these guys has ever been emphasized in the media, despite their revolutionary works in their respective fields. On the other hand, athletes, movie stars and celebrities are routinely worshiped by the media, even though NONE of them has ever made any lasting impacts for the human civilization. They die and become forgotten. We die and we will become forgotten. That been said, it is apparent to me that wisdom and knowledge are in a separate dimension from our miserable existence. My view on ordinary people of this world is that 80 % of them have intellectual impairment and they just cannot appreciate scientific and technological geniuses who revolutionized this world in last 200 years from horse-carts to cars to aircraft to space shuttle; saved lives from malaria to tuberculosis; and invented electricity, fans, refrigerators, air conditioners, televisions, radios, computers and internet. Intelligence is always appreciated by intelligence and not by mediocrity. Another characteristic of this world is ungratefulness. How many people even know the names of scientists who invented TV or radio or cell phones even though they use it daily? But all of them know Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan just because they provide entertainment. So we live in a world of poor intelligence and poor gratefulness. No need to blame celebrity stars. People are at fault.

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Scientific study of entertainment vis-à-vis psychology and neurology:


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The study of entertainment brings out many psychological aspects of active-passive participation in emotional or mental adventure and these could be:

1. Identification – Viewers often identify with characters in movies or figures in art and this strong identification helps explain the value of entertainment. Young children have seen to imitate film stars as they begin identifying with movie characters.

2. Fantasy – Entertainment feeds on the need for fantasy in people and provides an escape route from the real world. Addiction to entertainment could be the basis of reality anxiety in people.

3. Projection – Individuals tend to project their own emotions or state of mind on to a painting or a song and could derive pleasure from this.

4. Regression – Entertainment could often remind individuals of their past or a part of their own life they may have forgotten and in some cases bring out the child in them. For example when older people enjoy video games, it brings back their childhood and they may become addicted to this sort of entertainment.

5. Sublimation – Entertainment is also a form of sublimation of our impulsive desires and this especially true when we participate in entertainment as in the interpretation of art.

6. Displacement – In non participative and passive forms of entertainment, individuals tend to escape from reality and displace their emotions from real people to characters in movies.

All of the above processes are ego defense mechanisms delineated by Freud and the interplay of so many defense mechanisms in entertainment suggest that entertainment is more than simply a source of pleasure and could trigger complex psychological processes in the human mind. More research would be required in this field of psychology for a complete understanding of the advantages or disadvantages of entertainment in modern society.

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Entertainment as emotional response:

Entertainment can be defined as any activity, which allows people to entertain themselves in their spare time. Entertainment conditions our values, behavior and thinking. This is especially true in case of media entertainment such as T.V and movies, which provide potent touching experiences. Our emotions powerfully influence our actions in ways that remain outside of our control and cognizance. Hence, it is very possible to be influenced by entertainment unconsciously. Humans are rational beings but emotions compel us to do things that are unreasonable. Enjoyment of entertainment switches us from the initial phases of interest to emotional connection and finally to addiction stage. Entertainment triggers complicated psychological processes in the human brain. For example, a man may be in love with a girl, whom he cannot achieve in real life, so he may fall in love with an actress in a movie who may resemble his dream girl.

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Some people develop addictive relationships to activities that don’t involve ingesting drugs, activities such as gambling or playing games on the Internet. In fact, people often fall rather easily into being controlled by our desires; even those who have no addictions often struggle to control their spending or their food intake. We need to give attention to the importance of the emotionally powerful experiences that we have when we become “caught up” in entertainment activities. I suspect everyone is familiar with such experiences–who hasn’t had the feeling of being so absorbed in a book that it’s hard to put down, or so immersed in a game that one loses track of everything else?  In such experiences we have the sense that we are to some extent being controlled by something beyond ourselves, and we are bound to wonder what that something is. The answer that comes most easily to mind is that we are controlled by the ideas or practices or substances that are prominent in whatever fantasy it is that we are caught up in. For instance, we become caught up in a tale of romance and we conclude-more on the basis of our feelings than our thoughts-that romance is a powerful force, impossible to resist. We become caught up in an advertisement for a car and we conclude that certain cars (or material products generally) can transform our experience. We become caught up in an acting performance by an attractive celebrity and we conclude that the celebrity is irresistible. When much of the population has such experiences repeatedly throughout the day, many begin to feel that they are powerless to resist potent emotional experiences.

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Participation in any book, film or creative art is almost like sitting on a reclining chair that has the technology to soothe your muscles while you relax. In the case of entertainment we participate almost in a passive manner and although we may be very alert and awake in the process of watching a movie, entertainment gives us the illusion of non participation as we don’t have the opportunity to get voluntarily involved in the scenario. Anything that gives us some form of pleasure could be considered as entertainment although entertainment could also give us pain as when we cry when we get emotionally involved with characters while we watch a movie. Entertainment could trigger emotional involvement and emotional reactions such as happiness, sorrow, anxiety, fear and despite these strong emotional participation, there is little or no physical activity necessary on the part of the viewer. This active-passive process is the main attraction of entertainment as entertainment enables us to be both active (in terms of emotion) and passive (in terms of physical or voluntary mental involvement). Entertainment means like films are influential yet they influence subtly rather than aggressively and this subtle influence seems to work better on the human mind than any aggressive forms of influence. We see work as duty and entertainment as pleasure although both involve some form of emotional involvement. Work at the same time requires voluntary participation, decision making and physical involvement along with emotional involvement. Yet why is work perceived as something heavy and entertainment as methods of relaxation? The answer is responsibility & accountability. In case of entertainment, most of the times, we are without responsibility and accountability about what we watch in a movie or TV. Entertainment is usually a form of mental and emotional adventure. In cases where we do know what a movie is about, it is the feeling of emotional familiarity that drives us to experience what we already know. Suppose a video game gave us a pleasurable feeling or evoked aggression and competitiveness in us, we go back to feel the same emotion as it was pleasurable or exciting. Stretched too far these forms of entertainment could easily become addictive.

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We humans are rational beings and yet emotions still seem to rule our lives and form the core of our existence as emotions still draw us to do things that may be irrational. Entertainment being primarily emotion provoking rather than reason provoking has a major impact on people’s lives. Appreciating any forms of entertainment could switch from the stages of interest to emotional involvement and finally addiction. The celebrity culture is a direct result of the last stages of appreciation for entertainment. An interest in celebrities comes from emotional involvement with characters in movies and there may be substantial lack of differentiating between fantasy and reality, so fans of celebrities are more in love with the characters these celebrities play or the traits they project rather than the personality of celebrities. The celebrity culture seems to take people to a persistent fantasy world and individuals are seen as discussing all aspects of celebrities from their shoes to their hairstyle to the cars they possess. This sort of culture could however be explained with individual need to escape reality and identify with someone in a fantasy world and would be an important element in the study of fantasy.

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Emotions override reason:

Every day we override reasons with emotions. For example, while driving, eating or crossing railway track, we do things which our own intelligence does not subscribe. You eat outside food from hawkers knowing that it may cause diarrhea. You cross railway track knowing that incoming train can kill you. You drive after drinking knowing that it may cause accident. Every time, your intelligence is override by your emotions under pretense of false logic. Oh, so many people are eating food from hawker and nobody falls sick. Oh, bypassing Railway Bridge will save lot of time. Oh, I know my limits and I know how to drive well after drinking etc. Entertainment works on the basis of provoking emotion which overrides reason. What is the point of wasting 5 days to watch test cricket? The same time can be utilized for much better purpose which will help you and society but millions watch test cricket. What is the false logic used by emotion to override reason? Oh, they are playing for our country, we must support them. Does it really matters whether India wins or Pakistan wins in cricket match as far as ground realities of these countries are concerned? Does satisfying false pride help people of these countries to live better life? No.

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Right versus left brain:

 “Getting” humor appears to depend on a delicate balance between right brain and left brain processing. The left brain deals with reason (logic) and right brain deals with feeling. The left brain (the logical side) tends to assemble the required information, but it’s the right brain that comprehends the situation and, at a subconscious level, finds the humor in it. The “click” of getting a joke happens on the right side. That’s why jokes cease to be funny when we overanalyze them (which happen on the left side). It’s also why an academic paper on humor is probably the least funny thing you’ll ever read. As we start to look at the different types of humor, we start to see some divisions in what we find funny. Women, for example, are drawn to humor that involves social situations. Men tend to laugh more at jokes that involve sex and scatological references. And while slapstick can elicit belly laughs, wit tends to draw a smile. Slapstick taps into the fear/humor circuit, where wit is more of a social aspiration. Coming back to the distinction of work and entertainment or play, work involves responsibility and despite the emotional involvement in entertainment, apart from being a passive participant, we do not have to be responsible for anything, there is no problem solving or decision making, and that is how entertainment in all its form is so pleasurable as the left brain activities of  reasoning, logic and decision making are not activated completely, and yet the pleasure sensations and emotions such as the limbic system and right brain activities are usually activated, so we tend to associate entertainment with emotions rather than problem solving and decision making. In other words, right brain and limbic system (emotions) override left brain (reason).

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Distinction between Explicit and Implicit Memory:

The research in the 1980s led to a critical classification of memory into two dimensions: consciousness (or awareness) and intent as two dimensions captured in the distinction between explicit and implicit memory (Graf & Schacter, 1985; Roediger & McDermott, 1993; Schacter, 1987). Explicit memories are both conscious, in the sense that the person is aware of remembering prior events, and intentional, in the sense that the person in some sense wants, or voluntarily intends, to retrieve them. In contrast, implicit memories are unconscious, in the sense that the person is unaware of retrieving or otherwise being influenced by prior events, and their retrieval is thought to occur involuntarily or without intent (Jacoby, 1984). Explicit memory is typically assessed with recall and recognition tasks that require intentional retrieval of information from a specific prior study episode, whereas implicit memory is assessed with tasks that do not require conscious recollection of specific episodes. In his research Schacter found distinct areas of the brain are involved in these two types of memory as seen in the figure below.


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For explicit memory to occur, the frontal lobes must be active, which is an effortful process. Implicit memory, on the other hand, relies more on the older sections of the brain, the subcortical areas, the cerebellum and part of the limbic system, the amygdala, where the fight-flight response emerges. Both implicit and explicit memory involve the limbic system—the brain’s emotional center—particularly the hippocampus, which is involved in laying down and retrieving memories. According to the memory systems view, then, memory is the process of activating the representations stored in a particular system. Once activated, the representations are able to influence a person’s performance with the nature of that influence being dependent on the kind of information or content residing in the representation.

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Subconscious programming of humans by stimulating implicit memory through entertainment media:

Usually, people are more influenced by their innate subconscious desires or intent than a rational and planned decision. This aspect of human nature is heavily influenced by your daily activity. In western society, the subconscious mind of the individual is often subject to a number of heavy influences, through entertainment mediums especially. Television, movies, and music create a profound subconscious effect on the human mind that influences and dictates the choices that they will make to at least some degree. If you see a certain car advertisement, whether or not you rationally decide your stance on it, you are being pre-programmed to at least accept or acknowledge any claims made by the advertisement itself. Likewise, the choice of television shows and dramatic elements appearing on TV have a psychological influence on those who watch them. According to statistics, by age 18 the average American youth will have seen over 200,000 simulated acts of violence. The glorification of drug and alcohol use predisposes an individual to rationally accept and sometimes consent to these actions. The human self image is psychologically manipulated. When you compare yourself to a famous individual or a person who is depicted as ‘successful’, you may be setting yourself up to subconsciously feel less valuable from the comparison. This subconscious act creates people who are wildly insecure about their physical and mental image. Romance and sex is also psychologically implanted through advertisements and drama. The use of sex appeal to sell products is obvious. Similarly, dramatic scenes of love and romantic feelings often prey on the human desire to feel loved, and will program an individual to act or react to those situations in certain ways. Displays of sexual suggestiveness and simulated depictions of sexual relations in media all contribute to influencing increased sexual activity in young people. Not only that, but they also lead to unhealthy obsession with sex into later years, generally resulting in pornography usage. It is not just television and movies either. With internet advertising, viral videos depicting most of these things in horrific detail, and video games, a horde of negative media pervades over society. This power of subconscious influence guides and decides the goals, desires, and opinions of each individual. A blurring of reality with fiction occurs in this scenario, where the individual is influenced to orient themselves in alignment with these false goals and aspirations that are implanted into them through these mediums. In extreme cases, their ability to distinguish reality from fiction is impaired, and culminates in some explosive form. If you add drugs to the entire equation (legal or illegal), you may end up with self destruction. So in a nutshell, entertainment subconsciously affects your behavior & performance by consolidation & retrieval of implicit memory stored in the limbic system of your brain. You have to unplug yourself from subconscious psychological programming by entertainment. Once you are aware of the psychological programming, you can intellectually dissent to it, despite the fact that its continued appearance will dull your senses. People who are exposed to simulated violence, sex, substance abuse, sports and drama simply accept these things easily as they have been incrementally conditioned to lose perspective. It’s highly important to be aware of the psychological programming that occurs on a daily basis by entertainment. People are taught and conditioned to live in a simulated reality, with predetermined goals, aspirations, and false expectations. Unplug yourself and others from this form of subconscious influence, thereby unlocking your full potential- rather than being unconsciously controlled by a vague ideal or false images or false icons.

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Priming:

Priming is the tendency for a recently presented stimulus to facilitate subsequent judgments or behavior. Priming occurs when prior information to which we are exposed influences our behavior without our awareness. Several types of priming effects have been observed in the psychological literature: perceptual, conceptual, and emotional priming. Perceptual priming occurs when we respond to the modality or surface attributes of the prime rather than its meaning. Conceptual priming is based more on semantic memory, in which the meaning of words activates an existing belief and influences behavior. Emotional priming uses a prime that has an emotional connotation, such as a picture of a smiling or frowning face. Priming is one of the mechanisms by which entertainment influences our behavior without our awareness.

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Cognitive psychologists are vigorously experimenting with ways to measure and understand how exposure to a stimulus can affect subsequent judgments, emotions, and behavior, with or without awareness. Whereas some researchers have placed emphasis primarily on explicit measures, in which people are expected to consciously recall the entertainment, I assert that it is the subconscious (reason overriding by emotion, retrieval of implicit entertainment memories and priming) that is primarily responsible for people to go for entertainment.

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Classical example:

You bring a Chinese villager who has never seen cricket in his life to India and ask him to see IPL cricket matches. Would he be entertained? Would he feel happy? Would he clap? No. His memory system has no memory of cricket. His mind is not primed to cricket in past. We all know the story of Tarzan, a boy brought up in jungle by animals. Would a Tarzan enjoy watching a cinema? No. His mind is not primed to get entertained by cinema. So where is the fault? No fault in cricket or cinema but the way we have primed our brain since childhood, the way we have consolidated implicit entertainment memory subconsciously and the way we override reason by emotions. Why Indian people are crazy after cricket and bollywood? Not because cricket and bollywood are most entertaining. There are many ways to get entertained in India besides cricket and bollywood. But since childhood, Indian boys & girls have been primed to watch cricket & cinema by TV, radio, print media, parents, peers, neighbors and relatives; also since childhood their memory is full of cricket & bollywood and more importantly Indians are generally emotional people.

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Fact versus fantasy vis-à-vis entertainment:

Rambo had conquered Asia. In China, a million people raced to see First Blood within ten days of its Beijing opening, and black marketers were hawking tickets at seven times the official price . . . In Chengdu the locals heard John Rambo mumble his First Blood truisms in sullen machine-gun Mandarin and saw the audience break into tut-tuts of head-shaking admiration as our hero killed seven cops in a single scene . . . “I think he’s very handsome” cooed a twenty-three year old Chinese girl to a foreign reporter. “So vigorous and so graceful. Is he married?”

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Entertainment takes us to a different world and feeds our need for fantasy and an escape from real life. This is especially true for entertainment that is more public or provided by the media and entertainment provided by films, theatre, music, and all forms of creative art. Films and theatre transposes us to a world of fantasy and grabs our attention so we remain engrossed as almost a part of this alternative reality. Entertainment could also be in the form of magazine stories and gossip or even celebrity culture and the psychology of entertainment could also explain the extreme craze of celebrity culture that we have in the modern world. Celebrities seem to open up a world of fantasies and for some people knowing every move of celebrities could bring immense satisfaction as it would almost mean participating in fantasies. Fantasies help in overcoming frustrations and serve as therapeutic as they aid in the escape from realities of life. Real emotions and real life are stressful and entertainment helps us to move beyond real life and moments of stress to participate in fantasies that are soothing as we do not have to be directly involved in these fantasies and yet as spectators we can still participate in a tacit or passive manner.

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The darkened hall of the movie theatre lulls us into a zone where we can play out our fantasies. We mentally cheer as the good guys win over the evil ones. We watch with bated breath as apocalyptic events threaten our planet. We get teary eyed when a character beats all odds to find happiness. When we finally step out of the movie theatre into the glare of the lobby, our return to reality may not be completely successful. The images created by the entertainment media, whether encountered in a darkened movie theatre or in sitcoms, soaps, news reports, and advertising, do appear to blur the lines between reality and what we perceive it to be. These images can have a persisting influence on people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behavior in ways that we have only recently begun to uncover. People fail to distinguish between their memories for actual events they have read about or personally experienced and their memories of fictional events they have seen on television. Consequently, they often retrieve and use these latter events to estimate the likelihood that the events occur in daily life. In many instances, people are unaware of the biasing influence of the media on their estimates. But even when they are conscious of bias, they do not know how much they should adjust to compensate for it (Petty &Wegener, 1993). Consequently, they can often fail to adjust enough or, at other times, can adjust too much. In the latter case, the biasing factors could have a negative, contrast effect on the judgments they report. Also, concepts and knowledge that become easily accessible in memory as a result of exposure to movies and television can affect the interpretation of new information and the implications that are drawn from it. To this extent, the concepts can influence the impact of the information on judgments and decisions to which it is relevant. So visual images, stimulated by pictures or video presentations of the sort people encounter in movies or on television, can influence the impact of information that people receive subsequently.

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Entertainment media often present fictional portrayals of events, and individuals regularly alter their real-world beliefs in response to fictional communications. Most entertainment products are clearly distinguished as fiction, such as a sitcom, or nonfiction, such as a news report, although the line between the two is becoming increasingly blurred (Bruner, 1998). It seems reasonable to think that we should learn more about the world from a newscast, which at least attempts to be an accurate reflection of real events, rather than from a television drama, which may engage in inordinate amounts of artistic license. Although the relative strength of attitudes changed by fiction and narrative remains an open question, it is clear that individuals regularly alter their real-world beliefs and attitudes in response to fictional communications (Garst et al., 2000; Green & Brock, 2000; Prentice et al., 1997; Slater, 1990; Strange & Leung, 1999; Wheeler et al., 1999). Despite the prevalence of fiction in everyday life, there has been relatively little empirical investigation of how individuals may be influenced by products of imagination. Similarly, individuals often shift their beliefs in response to stories or narratives which need to be researched.

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So in a nutshell, when you are bored or tired or want to escape or have spare time, you go for entertainment. Entertainment takes you to the world of fantasy away from reality of your life. Fantasy may relieve your frustrations & stress and you feel better. However, after entertainment is over, you often fail to distinguish between memories of realities and memories of fantasies, so you retrieve fantasy to guide your behavior & performance in real life and live on false perspective. Also, as your memories get flooded by concepts & information from entertainment, it affects interpretation of new information. All of these affect your rational judgment and decision. We start living in the fictional world due to daily entertainment overdose so much so that we ignore and neglect realities of life. Thousands of youth have spoiled their lives due to cricket, cinema and soaps. What more can I say?

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Entertainment as biological addiction:

In most human characteristics determined by our genome (weight, height, intelligence, etc) the population plays out on a normal distribution curve, with the majority of us clustered around a central norm. Researchers Timothy Brock and Stephen Livingston found the same is true for our need for entertainment. They found there is an unusually high need for entertainment amongst a significant segment of our population. While the norm seems to indicate that we’re very attached to our TV set, in extreme cases, researchers have found that TV consumption borders on true biological addiction. For some people, entertainment is addictive. They cannot live without entertainment. For them, entertainment is not passive. TV, film, radio, theatre, prints or sport exhibits are not simply leisure activities but lifeline for them. In a Scientific American article about the stylistic tricks of television, Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi (2002) showed how TV functions physiologically like a habit forming drug and includes severe withdrawal symptoms: “Families have volunteered or been paid to stop viewing, typically for a week or a month. Many could not complete the period of abstinence. Some fought, verbally and physically. . . . When the TV habit interferes with the ability to grow, to learn new things, to lead an active life, then it does constitute a kind of dependence”. So Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found troubling evidence of a true biological addiction to TV.

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Degree of addiction:

What value do we place on the ability to watch TV? Brock and Livingston gave 115 undergrads two scenarios. In the first, they could correct a hypothetical mix up in their official state citizenship in return for a onetime cash gift. The undergrads were asked to put a value on changing their official allegiance from one state to another. 15% would do it for free and another 40% would do it for under $1000. The next scenario asked the students what compensation they would require to give up TV for the rest of their lives. A permanent tracking implant in their ear would notify a monitoring service if they cheated and the entire gift would be forfeited. 8% were willing to do it for free, but over 60% would need at least a million dollars to give up TV forever.

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Why do we love Violent Entertainment?

Our taste for violent entertainment actually has a physiological basis. Violence taps into a basic good v/s evil archetype, but this alone doesn’t explain its appeal. We love violence because it tweaks the danger detection circuits of our brain, releasing neuro-chemicals that give us a natural high. Our bodies become primed for action through the images and sounds we see, and this makes us feel more confident, ready for action and hyper-alert. Violent entertainment tricks our bodies into believing that we’re in danger, so the body responds appropriately. Not all people are alike in this regard. Some of us have a higher need for this type of sensation than others. This trait was quantified in the 70’s by Marvin Zuckerman and his sensation seeking scale. It has been found that those with the greatest taste for violent sensation also tend to exhibit other addictive tendencies.

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Are Video Games too real?

If violent entertainment fools our brain into delivering an artificial high by getting us ready for a fight, how can we manage to stay in our seats through a 2 hour movie?  The danger alert circuit is modulated by our cortex, which dampens down the impact of the alert. Essentially, our brain keeps telling itself that it’s not real, so just calm down. But the new technology being incorporated into video games is making it more and more difficult for our brains to determine what’s real. As games become more sophisticated, with photo-realistic graphics (even in 3D), more interactive and controlled by real body motions and not just a control pad, our brains could be forgiven for forgetting it’s all a game. We already know violent games are mildly addictive as we become dependent on the potent chemical cocktail that gets released as the brain is partially fooled into thinking the danger is real.

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Mirror neurons and entertainment:   

A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate and other species including birds. In humans, brain activity consistent with that of mirror neurons has been found in the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, the primary somatosensory cortex and the inferior parietal cortex. So mirror neurons are specific kind of brain cells that fires both when performing an action and when observing someone else perform the same action. It turns out that mirror neurons, which are normally associated with physical activities, might also be responsible for signaling the human brain’s emotional system, which in turn allows us to empathize with other people. Their failure to work normally might explain why some people, including autistic people, do not interact well with others. Mirror neuron systems are involved in understanding intentions, empathy, self-awareness, language, automatic imitation and motor mimicry. Why do sports fans feel so emotionally invested in the game, reacting almost as if they were part of the game themselves? According to provocative discoveries in brain imaging, inside our heads we constantly “act out” and imitate whatever activity we’re observing. These our so-called “mirror neurons” help us understand the actions of others and prime us to imitate what we see. That is the reason why sports fans get emotionally involved in the game as if they are playing themselves. Since mirror neurons are directly responsible for guiding our emotions taking cue from environment and since entertainment itself is an emotional response, mirror neurons are invariably involved in the genesis of being entertained.

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This adaption to rhythm comes from activities of mirror neurons. Mimicry and entrainments occur due to imitation and learning by mirror neurons.

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Entertainment also involves conversation (interaction) with the environment.

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Entertainment is also an emotional response to imaginary events.

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Motor mimicry is a function of mirror neurons however subtle the expressions may be.

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That is why we cry on seeing a tragedy in a movie knowing fully that it is only a movie and not reality.

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This “emotional contagion” is responsible for our behavior when we watch cricket or football in a crowd. We love being entertained in a crowd.

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This proves the point that while being entertained, we do lose self control due to complex voluntary and involuntary processes and that is why fans get angry when their celebrity cricket star or movie star is criticized. Emotions have overtaken logic. I never became fan of any celebrity because I never allowed my emotions to override my intelligence.

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Selective exposure vis-à-vis entertainment:

Selective exposure is a concept in media and communication research that refers to individuals’ tendency to favor information that reinforces pre-existing views while avoiding information that contradicts their views. The premise of selective exposure relies on the assumptions that information-seeking behavior continues, even after an individual has taken a stance on an issue, and that this subsequent information-seeking behavior will be colored by characteristics of the issue that were activated during the decision-making process. In this way, selective exposure operates by reinforcing beliefs rather than exposing individuals to a diverse array of viewpoints, which is considered an important aspect of a functioning democracy. Selective exposure has achieved more relevance and empirical support in recent decades. Some scholars suggest that as media consumers have more options for information, they may tend to select content that confirms their own ideas and avoid information that argues against their opinion. The classical example is Indian cricket. Whenever Sachin Tendulkar got out, Indian anchors starts talking about poor umpiring. Oh, that ball touched the ground. Oh, that ball missed a stump. Oh, bowler’s action is chucking. Why? Because in their mind, Sachin Tendulkar is invincible and cannot make a mistake.

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Cognition vis-à-vis entertainment:

In their scale of the need for entertainment, Brock and Livingston assessed three factors: Drive (how actively do you pursue passive entertainment?), Utility (how useful is passive entertainment, both to you specifically and in general?) and Passivity (how active do you like your entertainment to be?). So, how we fare on our need to be entertained is based on Brock and Livingston’s scale. First of all, men seem to have a stronger drive to be entertained than women. Males scored higher on the amount they spend on entertainment, the daily need for entertainment and the inability to function without entertainment. One would assume that the “couch potato curve” would skew to the male side of the demographic split. Also interestingly, Brock and Livingston found an inverse relationship between the need to be entertained and the “need for cognition” – a measure of how much people like active problem solving and critical thinking. Again, the more you think, the less reliant you are on TV. Does that mean that women have better cognition than men? No because there are many factors responsible for cognition besides entertainment.
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Is entertainment against our survival instincts?

One of the interesting things we found about the 20th century was that humans are not really built to deal with abundance. Anytime we have too much of anything, our evolutionary guidance control systems seem to go awry. The human survival mechanisms were designed in an environment of scarcity. We were built to rise above the odds, to survive in spite of adversity and hardship. In that scenario, the resiliency of humans is astonishing. But once the fight is over, we tend to languish and drift. History has repeated the story over and over again. The first well documented case was the fall of the Roman Empire. What does that have to do with the psychology of entertainment? Well, everything. With abundance comes leisure time. With leisure time comes a desire to seek entertainment. And when we seek entertainment to excess, we tend to get mired down as a society. As Edward Gibbon documented, the Roman Empire fell because of many factors – a wide spread empire that overcame its notion of centralized government, the rise of Christianity, economic reasons, but most of all, Rome fell because most Romans found themselves in the leisure class and didn’t know what to do with themselves. They got soft and getting soft does not equal to survival. My gut feeling is that we’re currently following in Rome’s footsteps. Let me discuss American obesity statistics and entertainment. Over 70% of Americans are fat or obese. If we look at the last 50 years, the percentage of US adults who are obese or extremely obese has gone from under 15% (in 1960) to 41.3% (2006) according to the National Health Examination Survey. And the latest AC Neilsen numbers indicate that the average American spends over 5 hours a day watching TV. That’s 153 hours of TV every single month. Of course, TV’s not the only passive form of entertainment Americans consume, but it’s by far the most measurable and easiest to identify. Using the internet is rapidly catching up, with Forrester reporting Americans spend about 12 hours a week, or 50 hours a month, online. Of course, one of the challenges we’ll identify with online time is that it’s difficult to categorize it as entertainment. But let’s say that at least 25% of American time online is spent being entertained in some way (consumption of online video is a popular activity). That brings the grand total to about 165 hours a month being passively entertained, about the same time Americans spend at our jobs and almost as much time as Americans spend sleeping. In other words, Americans spend almost a third of our lives being entertained, in one way or the other. This is not active entertainment, this is not social entertainment, and in most cases, this is not intellectually stimulating entertainment. This is sitting in front of a screen consuming mindless entertainment. Humans were not built to do that. We became a soft state. 9/11 attack on America and 26/11 attack on India occurred because we have become a soft state. Had we spent more time on vigilance than entertainment, the outcome could have been different. So much entertainment has reduced our survival instincts just like that of Romans. We entertain ourselves at the cost of our survival.

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A saying goes, “Seek not to cover the world in leather—just wear shoes.” It is a spiritual cliché that happiness is not to be found by engineering the world so that everything goes your way: such happiness is transient, doomed. But that’s the way we act, culturally and individually, much of the time. Instead of making the whole world entertainment to relieve our boredom, we must search pleasure in our mind.

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Entertainment and future generations:

Please read my article on “The Stress”. Stress in biology is defined as a response to change. Changes in environment motivate genetic changes which in turn will help you & your offspring to cope up with new environment and this is how stress propagated evolution. Entertainment (watching TV, movie or sports) is a major change in environment of humans. The prolonged exposure to entertainment will make changes in genetic code including the creation of novel genes, the alteration of gene expression in development, and the genesis of major genomic rearrangements which are carried forward in next generation to help next generation to adapt to stress. However, entertainment by and large produces imaginary changes in environment and not real changes; and therefore the genetic changes produced by entertainment will help adapt organism to the fantasy environment and not real environment. Obviously, such genetic changes will reduce ability of coming generations to cope up with stresses of real environment. Hence prolonged exposure to entertainment (e.g. cricket in India) over several generations will produce weak human species unable to cope up with the stresses of real life. One of the most common argument in favor of entertainment is to reduce stress but as logically deduced, excessive entertainment will reduce ability of future generation to cope up with the stress. Entertainment is a fantasy world. Whether Sachin Tendulkar scored a hundredth century or Amitabh Bachchan marveled in a movie will not make any change in the real lives of Indians. But prolonged exposure to fantasy of entertainment over generations will make genetic changes to adapt to fantasy and not reality; and coming human generation will not be competent to deal with stresses of real life.

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The moral of the story:

1. Entertainment came into existence as utility of leisure time, relief of boredom & stress and relaxation; has now become so much pervasive that people use their prime time in entertainment ignoring learning, productive work & social duties.

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2. The psychological basis for entertainment is subconscious mechanisms through priming, overriding reason by emotions and consolidation & retrieval of implicit entertainment memories. The only way to overcome these subconscious mechanisms is to strengthen our consciousness by making positive efforts to dominate subconscious.

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3. Mirror neurons are involved in guiding our emotions taking cue from environment and since entertainment is an emotional response, mirror neurons are invariably involved in the genesis of being entertained.

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4. The more you need cognition, the less you need entertainment and vice versa.

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5. Entertainment blurs distinction between reality and fantasy leading to altered behavior, impaired performance and flawed decisions which may ruin life of a youth.

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6. Education versus entertainment ratio (EVE) [also called education to entertainment ratio] is defined as the ratio of the amount of time used in education to the amount of time used in entertainment. Generally speaking, the ratio is 1:50 for common people and we need to raise it to 1:5 [I have raised it so that I can work for my website in my spare time. You can do it too.]

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7. The emotional response evoked by music is far greater than listening to speech sound because music invariably has a rhythm which gets entangled in various biological rhythms of the brain.

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8. Entertainment in the form of cricket and movies has become biological addiction to Indian population and will lead to withdrawal symptoms when attempt is made to de-addict them. Entertainment in the form of television in general has become biological addiction to American population.

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9. Television is responsible for reducing intelligence, imagination and creativity of young mind besides numerous adverse effects. Nobody should watch TV more than 2 to 3 hours per day with focus on educative and informative programs rather than soaps. Intact family structure & values do reduce bad effects of TV on children.

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10. The growth in nationwide obesity is directly related to the growth of entertainment industry in the U.S.

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11. The buck stops at people for overrating and overpaying entertainers, be it sportspersons or actors.

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12. Widespread entertainment with abundant leisure time leads to mired down society, reduced survival instincts and soft state.

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13. Too much entertainment in 21st century in the form of television, movies, sports and video games may lead to development of future generations incapable of coping with stresses of life due to genetic changes mediated by fantasy. Try to live in reality not only for yourself but also for your future generations.

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Dr. Rajiv Desai. MD.

April 5, 2012

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Postscript:

I am not against entertainment. Even I do listen to music or watch movies when I am bored or during leisure. The issue is unlimited pervasive entertainment that reduces our ability to survive and make our future generations incompetent to deal with the stresses of the life.

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