We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Is television the problem, or the people using it?
We spend plenty of time on Maggie's badmouthing those who want to regulate and take away guns. We point out the gun itself isn't bad, it's the people using the gun.
How is that not true with TV?
It's my contention, that like anything in life, moderation is the key. People who 'become' less interested or interesting 'because their mom put them in front of the TV' aren't that way because of TV. In all likelihood, it's the lack of connectivity between them and their parent - which would have occurred with or without TV.
I'm not saying TV is a glorious godsend. I'm just not convinced it's this horrible weapon that rots the mind. People used to say this about books, after all.
Feebs has a point - the internet consumes FAR MORE of people's time these days than TV. Where's the analysis of that?
Between smartphones, iPads, laptops, office computers, desktops and all manner of connected devices, we watch most of our entertainment (TV and otherwise) on computers of some kind now.
I think this article is intriguing because it places its basic premise on some ideas which were commonly used in the 1960's and have never been fully supported.
Use the gun analogy, and I'm on board. But TV isn't a problem at all.
I agree with Dalrymple. I'm amazed by homes with a TV in every room. It seems like a huge waste of time. Just sitting. I occasionally enjoy a classic movie, but wouldn't make it a part of my everyday life. Life is too short.
Just to make a point - are you amazed by people who have more than one gun?
I'm not opposed to guns, and certainly if you're a hunter (as I was when I was younger) or a recreational shooter (as I am now), they get you out of the house. But depending on how much you do of either, one gun could be sufficient (I only own one now).
I only have 2 TVs in my home. One in the den, one in the basement (for the boys' XBox, and for my poker nights so we can have sports on in the background).
It's a tool, and the poor use of any tool isn't the fault of the tool, but the person using it.
Left out of your rant and from the original piece is a basic argument against run-of-the-mill TV: it inhibits and stifles the development of analytical thought in its victims, and the earlier it begins, the more effective is this process. For a 1973 reference, read "Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television", by a gent named "Jerry Mander". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Mander
We chose not to pay for cable so our kids grew up not watching anything other than videos. They're 16 and 18 now, and they are active, smart, and social kids. They've never felt like they've missed anything. Now that they're older and there are new internet options for watching shows and movies they are very discriminating viewers. They don't like to waste their time on something they think is stupid.
We have relatives in Canada and we visit often. They are spread out over a large area and in many places there is no TV and little radio. I am always amazed at how involved in life and productive they are because they have more free time and few harmful distractions. They will spend hours in the evenings as a family talking even singing together. One cousin and his son have built an airplane which they fly. Not all of them are outside of TV reception but even those who have it choose to forego it because (I'm guessing) they prefer the family traditions. Not saying we should eliminate TV but I do suspect it interferes with genius, scholarship and inventiveness. I think the human mind wants to create things and solve problems and will do so unless it finds a easy path to mental distraction.
What I have realized over the years is that there are different personalities who enjoy different things to 'relax.' There are the doers who like to fix things, tinker with stuff, clean house, do crafts, socialize, etc. And there are also people who like to watch tv, movies, and/or read. If there weren't tv around, I'd be a reader. I wouldn't suddenly enjoy weeding my garden because my tv was gone. I'd just spend more time with my nose in a book!
We all have our way of relaxing and checking out from the stresses of our day. And I would never judge someone for how they spend their free time or how they relax.
As for tv being a waste of time, I beg to differ. Half of the tv viewing in my house are what I'd call 'educational' reality tv. Not Duck Dynasty or the Real Housewives of Wherever, but shows that educate you about a job, a lifestyle, etc. Whether is be crab fishing or survivalists, you can learn a lot on tv or at least expose yourself to other lifestyles/cultures.
I would consider YouTube a form of television, and you do not know how many times my husband or children have turned to YouTube for instructional videos on everything from boat engine repair to computer tips and tricks.