Effects of Hollywood and MTV on the World
The western world, specifically the United States, has had a powerfully influential effect on the world??™s population. Most will agree with this broad statement, but Barber holds that much of this influence stems from American entities such as MTV and Hollywood??™s movie industry. I believe this age will come to be known as the ???information age,??? but Barber proposes this will instead be regarded as the ???Movie Century.??? A movie century in which ???film and video and the images they mediate have replaced print and books and the word they once brokered as the chief instrumentalities of human communication, persuasion, and entertainment.??? This movie century is led by American filmmakers, who have American ideals and thoughts which are converted into films that countries around the world see. This effect is seen on countries with movie industries that are only a fraction of Americas,??™ and these countries put out low-budget imitations or blockbuster replications of American movies. In fact, ???the audiovisual industry is the second largest export sector??? in the nation??™s economy. What Barber is most concerned about is that the United State??™s control of what the world watches creates concerning sociological consequences. The most alarming is the disappearance of individual cultures and nationalism across the globe, which will supplanted by western culture.
Television has actually outpaced films in regards to its persuasiveness. This is so for obvious reasons such as its immediacy, its availability and its countless programing choices. Barber sees this as ???Hollywood??™s creative monopoly over material has increased,??™ and that ???Americanization of global television is proceeding even faster than the globalization of American films.??? More and more are countries now able to watch television programing like it is a private peep-hole into the western world. A great example is in England, where everyone knows that soccer/football reigns supreme versus most American sports. But now they can watch the ???NFL Game of the Week.???
As I alluded to earlier, America is not only making our programming accessible to more people, but it is actually replacing other countries native programming. The reason behind this trend is hard to pin point, but I think there are some possible answers to this. I think that populations outside of the USA seek more western programming (including films) either because of its originality and variety outside of their limited choices within their nations or that the production quality of our media is far superb to their more budget-strained programming. Do you see Israel, or even China putting out production intensive films like Avatar ??“ No. I feel that foreign film makers have to focus on the most minute qualities of their films to create something comparable to a western movie. In many cases the focus is on developing a great story with character development. If it wasn??™t for this, and the globalized world, I don??™t think I would have been able to enjoy such foreign film classics like Let the Right One In, Pan??™s Labyrinth, or Hero to name a few.
What is interesting about these movie choices is that you can see the American influence in them. None of them might have made it this far without extra funding for special effects, and so on. For reasons such as these, I mostly agree with Barber??™s prediction that the world??™s ???small countries will gradually lose their national cultures??? to keep up with American film and television programming. Of course there will be a portion of ???diehard nationalist movie/TV fans,??? but the world??™s growing industrialization and capitalistic ideals will eventually dilute the diversity and heterogeneity of this world??™s population. What is most concerning to me is that eventually no one will have an urge or want to visit other countries, because it will be just like a geologically relocated USA, with a foreign ???twist,??? instead of a foreign ???submersion??? as it has been and how many think it should be.