Jan 24, 2011




True Lies

In the last few years, it seems to me that people are getting realized “Not all of information on TV are true”.
Japanese people used to be easily swayed by the information showed on TV. For example, in Japan, people love the show which tells you what is good to eat, especially, what is good to eat to lose weight so there used to be many shows like that. When the topic was bananas, "Eat bananas and lose weight" kind, on the next day, you can never find bananas in every supermarket since they are all sold out. Same for Natto, some kind of leaf vegitable, Tofu, and so on.
I said Japanese people are easily swayed by TV shows and to support this, there is one example of one of the most popular TV program of this kind called "Aru Aru Daijiten(Yes Yes Encyclopaedia)" controversy. In short, this Aru Aru show faked the research result and people got mad and the show was soon discontinued. This shocked people because of the popularity of the show and the TV station of the show was one of the biggest. People tend to trust big TV station without doubt because those big stations have long history and kind of authority. Tabloid TV shows reported daily on this issue and many problematic points were revealed.
1) Some research methods were not inappropriate at all.
Basic procedure of the show was like ①Check up the person (weight, or body tempreture, or blood pressure, so on), ② Eat something specific or do certain exercise for few days, ③ Check up again and see the difference.
After the controversy, tabloid TV shows and gossip revealed magazine how inappropriate the method they used by showing the part of the show to the professionals and interviewing them.
 2) The show presented as if one certain kind of food was good for something. But this is not true. To make the body healther or to burn the fat is not the food but some component of the food and the same component can be found in many kinds of food.
3) Immediately after the show was on the air, the food which were presented in the show sold very well. This became a social phenomenon. It is said some food companies used this --- they knew what was going to sell well next, and could prepare for that. It could be one style of promotion.
4) Some filmmakers admitted they did “photoshop” the subject figure when the theme was losing weight.
After those were revealed, the way public opinion and mass opinion (how to report the issue) went and how they change was interesting to me. People were mad at first and blamed the film makers (TV program makers). Then, another truth came out and people started to blame different thing--- bigger and stronger people with power. 
What people knew was the TV station's poor treatment to the film makers. That show was sponcered by big company and budget for 1 show (60 minutes) was 1 million yen in all, and less than 10% of the budget went to the film makers. People were surprised and became sympathetic to the film makers and became mad at TV station by thier excessive profit and poor treatment to the film makers. The film makers had struggle against pressure to make a good show with too limited budget. People knew how hard the film makers position was, and as long as I saw, it seemed people were clemency enough to forgive the lies in the show. It was like “Faking is bad but they had no alternative choice!” mood.
This is not “True Lies” nor “Higher Truth” because faking was just faking. They just lied because of shortage of budget. They didn’t have truth or strong belief or motivation at the price of faking or cheating.
I find this interesting because in this case, film maker lied not to tell the truth, but in the end, the bigger truth was revealed because they lied.
It is not a show nor film, but one more example I find interesting “Lying” is young lady’s magazine “round-table discussion” by anonymous attendees. Usually attendees are good-looking guys or highly status guys and they discuss about what kind of woman they like. They mention woman’s make-up, fashion, behavior and so on, and girls read those and learn how to be good in front of men. Girls eventually know that is fiction which is written by one writer. That is also lie but light lie which doesn’t harm anything.
As seen above, I think how bad the lie depends how badly it harms people. We saw Food Inc. in class and learned poor environment of food industries can kill people. It’s easy to guess chickens and caws are not treated well once you consider their price (of meat) which is too cheap to give them good life before getting killed and packed. But, the movie was a shock to me. With high-technology of bleeding, chicken’s brest gets too big compared their bones. Body can’t get balanced, and chickens can’t walk more than few steps because of that. That scene was one of the most disgusting scene I have ever seen. I hope many more people watch that movie.
Food Inc. was very good documentary. They used various techniques to make it effective and coordinated. With those techniques, film makers can lead or help people to feel or think what film makers want them to. But the chicken scene was true, not fake or lie. I can say, Food Inc. film makers made all the rest of the scenes to make chicken scene more dramatic, more impressive. If there were some small lies in that movie, the chicken scene will brow away.
I don’t mean small lies are okay when there is big shocking truth. I rather watch those movies with small lies include big hidden truth I have ever imagined than honest honest not impressive movie. Suppose there is one big truth, and 2 movies. One shows the truth effectively and understandable, and the other is honest, no lie, but dull and people can’t realize the truth during watching the movie. I prefer the first one.

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