Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema

pg. 258

Lutz Becker observes: "This purely electronic medium with its completely abstract rules does not have its own art form which should develop within the scope of new technologies and their almost chaotic wealth of possibilities. A new art form is not only the result of new technologies, but also the result of new thinking and the discovery of new orders." 

But no new orders are to be found in the economic society's use of the medium it created. "A country that is chiefly interested in turning out consumers and producers," wrote Robert M. Hutchins, "is not likely to be much concerned with setting minds free; for the connection between selling, manufacturing, and free minds cannot be established. Such a country will transform new opportunities for education into means of turning out producers and consumers. This has been the fate of television in the United States. It could have been used for educational purposes, but not in a commercial culture. The use of television, as it was employed in the United States in the 1960's, can be put in its proper light by supposing that Gutenberg's great invention had been directed almost entirely to the publication of comic books.'' 1 A major portion of America's creative energy is siphoned off into television's exploitation of the profit motive: "Few messages are as carefully designed and as clearly communicated as the thirty-second television commerical... Few teachers spend in their entire careers as much time or thought on preparing their classes as is invested in the many months of writing, drawing, acting, filming, and editing of one thirty-second television commercial."