Wednesday, May 25, 2005

One of my students from the Spring semester wrote in her journal about not having a television. She said people look at her incredulously when they find out and then ask her, "are you a vegetarian? Do you home school your kids?" She said someone she knew from work was talking about "Ally" and for a long time she thought they were referring to a friend, until she learned there was a TV program called Ally McBeal. She wonders if not being familiar with this part of popular culture will harm her kids.

I think the opposite is true. I didn't have a TV for years, and now I don't have cable. Arguments about quality television fall on deaf ears. Even the better stuff is mostly crap, and watching it is such a passive activity. Better to read, to develop one's imagination through play, to do crafts and art, to go outside in the fresh air with your dog.

When I was a kid, our TV was black and white (which wasn't all that unusual, but color was becoming common). We got one channel, CBS 3 from Hartford, CT. As a result, I never became an addict. Maybe I wouldn't have anyway. I believe my generation is the first that was weaned on the television, and that wasn't a good thing. Today it is even worse.

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