Television knows no night. It is perpetual day. TV embodies our fear of the dark, of night, of the other side of things.
I secretly understood: the primitive appeal of the hearth. Television is — its irresistible charm — a fire.
It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.
Educational television should be absolutely forbidden. It can only lead to unreasonable expectations and eventual disappointment when your child discovers that the letters of the alphabet do not leap up out of books and dance around the room with royal blue chickens.
I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.
Television is actually closer to reality than anything in books. The madness of TV is the madness of human life.
Because systems of mass communications can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one in America can know what will happen. No one is in real control.
But they are useless. They can only give you answers.
Thinking about profound social change, conservatives always expect disaster, while revolutionaries confidently expect utopia. Both are wrong.
His vocation was orderliness, which is the basis of creation. Accordingly, when a letter came, he would turn it over in his hands for a long time, gazing at it meditatively; then he would put it away in a file without opening it, because everything had its own time.
Progress is not an illusion. It happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.
The road to hell is paved.
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.
What is a television apparatus to man, who has only to shut his eyes to see the most inaccessible regions of the seen and the never seen, who has only to imagine in order to pierce through walls and cause all the planetary Baghdads of his dreams to rise from the dust?
I asked him once, “Would you like us to have a dishwashing machine so you wouldn’t have to dry dishes?” He said, “Certainly not. It makes a hell of a noise. I like to dry the dishes as you wash them. We always have a good time talking.”
Spaceships and time machines are no escape from the human condition. Let Othello subject Desdemona to a lie-detector test; his jealousy will still blind him to the evidence. Let Oedipus triumph over gravity; he won’t triumph over his fate.
Thomas Edison lost much of his hearing at an early age. But . . . he and his wife attended stage plays. How did he hear the actor? His wife fingertipped key lines of dialogue in Morse code on his knee. Didn’t I tell you he taught her Morse code? Then tapped out his marriage proposal in her hand? She tapped back her acceptance.
Well, I’ll tell you what a phone is for. It’s not for looking someone in the eyeball and saying I love you.