Wednesday, February 06, 2008

T.V. Part II

Let me start by saying thank-you for responding to my last post. I was convinced that I would probably offend the masses (oh yea, like the masses are flocking to my blog) and therefore, silence in the end, would inevitably shut me up.

Not so, young grasshoppers.

Also, please understand that in writing these posts my goal is not to judge or condemn others. I'm simply expressing my beliefs and convictions. Please, please do NOT think I'm judging anyone. For the record (and I will expound on this more later) I do watch some television. Very little, but some.

I would also like to say that the Mad Monk read my blog after I'd posted and then went and posted some good stuff of his own on the subject. He is nothing if not a passionate writer my friends. Much more eloquent than my feeble attempts will ever be.

So. On to my hating the television.

I guess the most logical place to start is at the top. (I am so profound it's shocking.)

So here we go:

10. They are obnoxious focal points in any house.

I really cannot stand the t.v. to be a focal point of a room. Perhaps it is because we have a behemoth television (52 inches) from the late 90's and it really is big and obnoxious. We plan on purchasing a smaller one along with a cabinet (I hate the term "entertainment center") where the doors can be shut and I don't have to look at the thing.

It truly bothers me that entire rooms are arranged in such a way as to maximize the view of the television, which in turn minimizes interaction with real people. This should throw up huge, red flags as to what is important in our lives people. Real, live people or television characters?

9. They are time wasters.

Okay, this should be a no brainer. When I think of the hours that I have wasted sitting in front of the television it really does make me ill. I know that we all need time to unwind and relax ~ I know I do. I'm just not sure the *television is the best use of that time. Several passages of scripture comes to mind as I type this:

Eph 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
Eph 5:16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Eph 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is

And specifically, I look to the Proverbs 31 woman.

Pro 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

While I'm sure she rested, I can pretty much guarantee she didn't spend hours in front of the television watching Survivor - Assyria.

*In these posts when I refer to television I'm specifically referring to network television and not DVD's which I will cover later.

8. Hello? Do people read books anymore?

I was doing some research on this today and this is a few things I found:

-1/3 of high school graduates never read another book after graduating high school. That's in the rest of their lives people!

-80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year. I'm sorry, but that is just so sad it makes me angry. You know what though? I bet they watched plenty of television.

A nation that prefers Homer Simpson over Homer's Odyssey is almost frightening. Pathetic even.

There is a vast supply of good literature out there and I fully intend on consuming as much of it as I possibly can. Monk has a great quote from Erasmus that he likes to use. It says, "when I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes".

We value books in our home. We look forward to reading them(well, except for The Boy who would pretty much rather gnaw off his left foot than to read a book). We have raised our children to enjoy reading and they do. They ask for books for their birthdays and Christmas. And they get them.

As a matter of fact, while walking through Wal-Mart tonight I found a child's abridged version of Anne of Green Gables. You know what? I bought it for Sis. She loved it and was already almost through chapter 2 by her bed time.

For me, when I need to unwind after a long day of dirty diapers, sisterly squabbles, cat vomit, dog hair, leaky sinks and unsuccessful attempts at making bread, I love nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a beverage of choice and a good book.

And a quote for you that is astoundingly true.

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.Just get people to stop reading them.~ Ray Bradbury ~

We must stop looking at the television as our only source of relaxation. I can pretty much guarantee that 100 years ago folks still found viable ways to relax without television. Much of the time they found their enjoyment in books. Reading is becoming a lost art and personally, I feel as if lack of reading is a major reason for the "dumbing down" in the schools today. It doesn't take a whole lot of brain cells to watch television and as with anything in our bodies, if we stop using something it begins to atrophy. This would include our brains.

Any thoughts? Opinions? Dare I say disagreements?


Mrs. Elliott said...

I was thinking about this just the other day, too! Great minds think alike, I guess. Now, you've said just what I've been thinking. (Glad I am writing this while the TV is off... er, now to turn the computer off)

Anonymous said...

Here is a quote I really like...

When I get a little money I buy book; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

We read alot around here, too!


Shelly said...

Stressing at the very beginning about not judging or condemning anyone who believes differently is a very good point to be made. We can't all be on the same page about everything & if we were how boring would that be?

Little bit of a rabbit trail but with the point about reading vs. tv time, Jedi & I have already discussed this regarding our future kids. (and you may get into this later). But the tv as a babysitter or as a main "educational" outlet is not something we want in our house. We want lots of books & want them active & playing outside & can then keep the tv as just one form of entertainment but not the main source of entertainment.

In the end it all comes down to like many other aspects in our lives, everything in moderation.

Jedi Miller said...

Okay, I'll take the bait. I'll defend the TV. This will be purely for the fun of discussion. (A bit long)

10. Obnoxious focal points in any house. - Since technology the house has been redesigned. At one time everyone would get around the chair to hear the storyteller. Like a father reading a book to his children, later it was the radio where everyone would listen to the lone ranger or orphan Annie. Now it's the TV. The problem is people don't have style. There should be a room designed specially for entertainment like this and a separate room for sitting and talking. A theatre room maybe going too far but a room where the computer, tv, video games, stereo, board games etc. would need to be designed in such a way that it can convert instantly for any activity. Most of all I think this is a real personal issue, I may hate green carpet, but that would justify as a reason for it to be bad.

9. Time wasters- this can be true of any activity. We can spend too much time with our family or even our ministry, This has often been the downfall of many pastors they focus so much on their church and people, they do not correctly deal with their families and end up having some very serious issues. but most of all there is a time for everything.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-- Time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. Time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. Time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. Time to search and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak. Time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.

I'd like to focus on the time to laugh. How are we supposed to laugh, Can TV bring us laughter, sure. I love Americas Funniest videos I get a great chuckle out of that. Moreover TV cannot be blamed for wasting time, only people can be blamed for wasting time. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. :)

8. Do people read books anymore- Well no not really. Is TV the one to blame? I'd like to hold our great and wonderful school system (sarcasm)responsible for this one. Reading is not taught to be enjoyed. Which is part of the problem. Being forced to read doesn't help. Being encouraged to read and being read to at a young age will promote this. Will the nation would prefer Homer Simpson- a whimsical farce of today’s manhood. I don't think it could be vilified in the eyes of a Christian to the Odyssey- a tale of gods and their problems with murder and deceit. I do like Greek Mythology and even Shakespeare, but to say that what's on TV is way worse I don't think would be a fair comparison. Back in the day a Christian wouldn't be caught near a "Theatre" house, or be caught reading such works because they were deemed evil. In our own country's early history there were several books banned because it promoted bad ideas and thoughts. Chaucer, Ballzac, Shakespeare, all contain content that can be questioned by a Christian. So books and TV are equal. It all depends on what shows you watch and what books you read.

okay whew that was tough I'm ready for the next set :)

hope you enjoyed this!

Michelle said...

Mrs. E.
We are most definitely kindred spirits! :)

Monk and I now have a monthly "book budget"! lol!

Yes, I meant to say the judging part in my first post and I didn't remember until after the fact. Actually, a rough draft of this post has been sitting in my draft box for over a month and I debated for a long time whether I wanted to open Pandora's Box on my blog. But as the old saying goes, "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything" and obviously I decided to go with it. The box has been opened.

It's a slippery slope where children and television are concerned. I'm learning from my mistakes and it's not an easy pit to climb out of. I'll be posting more on that later.

Jed, Jed, Jed,
What to do with you? How did I know you would be the one to play devil's advocate! lol!

Oh mercy, so many places I could debate on what you wrote, but for the sake of brotherly Christian love, I will only comment on a few things.

Please, PLEASE, tell me you were only kidding about special room designs for televisions and such.

I have green carpet and IS bad.

Do you really think it is possible to spend too much time with family? I find that no where in scripture. Families stayed together for generations. It does tell a man to leave his family and cleave unto his wife, but that is in the context that she should be his priority as opposed to his mother and father.

I agree with your analogy on guns and tv. However, tv is addictive. Like the drug addict, we can say we have control over it and before we know it we have spent hours every day in front of it and then it begins to control us.

On reading books...
Easier caught than taught as the old saying goes. Children emulate their parents. If a child doesn't see his parent(s) reading, it is natural to assume he won't read. If he sees his parents in front of the tv, he will learn to love the tv as well. ( I will say this is not always the case, but most of the time it is true.)

Just as television can be, books are subjective as well. What might be okay for one person will not be okay for the next. The reason I disagree with you comparing books to television is that while there may be violence in books, it certainly isn't remotely close to what is seen on the television.
Again I will say, literature and reading stimulate the mind and imagination. Television dims the mind and assaults the senses.

Oooooo, this is gonna get good!