Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who IS this stranger?

I didn't write this but received it in an email the other day:

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our
small Texas town.  From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.  The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family..  In my young
mind, he had a special niche.  My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.  But the stranger...he was our storyteller.  He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with Adventures, mysteries and comedies.

 If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future!  He took my family to the first major
league ball game.  He made me laugh, and he made me cry.  The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the
stranger to leave.)

 Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.  Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors.
 Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.  My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol..  But the stranger encouraged
us to try it on a regular Basis.  He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex.  His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and
generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced  strongly by the stranger.  Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family.  He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first.  Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?.... .. .We just call him 'TV.' He has a wife now....We call her Computer.'

Z:  Do you think the television's done more harm than good?  It's an intriguing hypothesis, don't you think?    I have my opinions...what are yours?

z

32 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Television does do a lot of good -- or can, anyway. In fact, if not for the Game Show Network, Mr. AOW would be very lonely while I'm away from the house.

But I know from experience that children who are parked in front of the TV often have a more difficult time in school.

An electronic device should never replace a parent as a child's primary guidance!

BTW, the most scholarly homeschool family I've ever encountered does not have a television set except to watch DVD's.

Ducky's here said...

The most insidious weapon Kapital has is blitz advertising.

It will continue to adopt.

Common Sense said...

Good.

Z said...

AOW
I have often considered that TV has been a negative thing for many people who have little but see on TV that there are some who have so much; sort of like the ridiculous school busing situation which has been a total bust in L.A. TOTAL. And continues.
Instead of prompting to do well, it seems like it's created bitterness...but, of course, there's a sense in general that we don't tell minority kids YOU CAN DO BETTER. Republicans do, but I see more entitlement teaching from lib teachers.

Ducky...everything in moderation.

Ducky's here said...

z, Kapital doesn't understand moderation. The task is to put the "buy message in front of us as often as possible and as provocatively as possible, which frequently involves sex.

Dan said...

We told the stranger to leave. Last night before we all went to bed we sat at the table, everyone coloring but me, I was kneading peanut butter and oatmeal for peanut butter balls. The night before we sat around the living room with children at our feet playing with Laura Engels paper dolls. We've read tons of books out loud, played games, talked, read scripture, and in many other ways created memories that I will always cherish with all my heart.

Oh, and just so you know the whole story, we do have a TV hooked to a VCR/DVD player. We love Barny Fife, Mr. Ed, Jed Clampitt, Dr. Smith, and perhaps most of all, Maria Von Trapp.

This is a great article.

sue said...

more harm than good

Z said...

Ducky, sexy is in the eye of the beholder, it's there but not there most of the time..the ones I resent are those ads like Paris Hilton squirming in suds on the car supposedly advertising Burger King or something, remember?

Ya, 'moderation' doesn't always work; except when people are aware of the problem and are Godly people...it's why I'm always suggesting Capitalism doesn't work well without kindness and integrity.

Dan, I envy you! Living alone after having lost my dear Mr Z makes me put the TV on way too often, I have to admit.
I remember very well nights growing up when the TV wasn't working or the electricity was out...we'd sit and read by candlelight or play games with our folks....marvelous times.
Families are missing that now; I'm glad yours isn't. You're clearly a good dad.

Hi SUE!!! Having a good time? :-)
Yes, much more harm than good, you're right.

Common Sense said...

Did the TV walk into the home on it's own? Does the TV decide which shows you're going to watch?

Simple solution: Don't like TV? Don't have one.

Z said...

Common Sense, I think that's pretty obvious!?
I think a lot of us are of the mind we'd be better off without TV but are pretty stuck on it, sadly.
Discipline's the key here! I admire Dan for his comment..spending time with loved ones, especially kids, is way better than everyone sitting around the tube or, from what I hear a lot of lately, every kid in his own room watching God knows what...

Common Sense said...

every kid in his own room watching God knows what...

Not every kid.

Z said...

no kidding, COmmon Sense. I'll be much much much more specific for you next time.

badwolf79 said...

"it's why I'm always suggesting Capitalism doesn't work well without kindness and integrity"

Kindness and integrity come from a system of morality, and respect, which are not encouraged by the left. Respect has been replaced by PC, as Capitalism has been mugged by Big Government. Television is the left's answer to the destruction of family, culture and civility.

When I came to Honduras I left the tv in storage. I don't miss it - I'd rather read a book. I learn more that way. And I read this website daily!

Will

Leticia said...

Ouch! The truth always hurts. Great post, Z.

Common Sense said...

So let me get this straight......Guns OK, TV bad?

Z said...

Badwolfe, excellent comments, thanks. I agree with you.
And thanks SO much for reading GeeeZ, I really appreciate that.

Leticia, thanks...the truth can hurt, can't it!

Common Sense, whatever you say.

Z said...

WILL....this post of mine from a few months ago features a book you might want to read. The author's an excellent thinker..

http://gollygeeez.blogspot.com/2011/02/money-greed-and-god.html

Ducky's here said...

One curiosity, PBS and NPR offer inoffensive fair yet the right wants it blacked out. No pleasing you.

There was a time when popular culture could be transformative. Now it's just food for zombies.

Dan said...

How easy, and vacuous, it is to sit in the shadows and take pot shots at every infraction. If all our infractions were held against us, who could stand? And this is suppose to pass as intellectual argument. sigh.

badwolf79 said...

"One curiosity, PBS and NPR offer inoffensive fair yet the right wants it blacked out. No pleasing you."

I understand that the left wants this to continue. I have occasionally watched or listened myself. But, I categorically oppose any funding by the federal government. It isn't their money, it belongs to all of us who pay taxes. I even made donations to the local pbs station, and that is voluntary, thus ok by me.

Let me make it clear enough even for a liberal. No federal money for the media. It must stop somewhere.

Z said...

Ducky, WE find some of it offensive.
When YOU want to pay with your tax dollars for a daily show with Sean Hannity, then let's talk about my taxes paying for PBS, okay?

Dan..I'm not following you...??

badwolf, I'm with you...I used to give to PBS quite a bit, too.
What REALLY bugs me is when they have fund raisers for BRITISH COMEDY (which I ADORE) and then they don't show the Friday night Brit comedy for a month!

Dan said...

I was speaking of many of the common comments that disagree with your posts.

badwolf79 said...

Z, Amazon has a copy of Jay Richards book and though it will take a while to get it here, I will read it. From what I can find online, it must be rather unappetizing for liberals. It invokes morality as a necessary component.

I had lunch with a leftist today. I've wanted for a long time to have a rational discussion with someone of that persuasion. I failed to find reason, just name calling and a stubborn refusal to consider any truth but his own. I was amused that he included Fox as the 'lying media'.

So it goes ...

Z said...

Ya, Dan...thanks. I get you...
and you're right..xx

WOW, Will! Isn't that typical? Lots of name calling and blaming FOX, then Bush. There IS no logical discussion with liberals...they just regurgitate what they've heard on liberal sites and TV stations..that's why they're so monolithic and Republicans are torn from within; we THINK, we consider differing opinions, etc. (DARN!! :-)
GLAD you will read the book.!

Do you get FOX down there, by the way? I lived in Paris until 2002 and we still didn't! But we got the very liberal CNN INTERNATIONAL, you can bet on that. Which CNN do you get in Honduras? How long have you lived there, if you don't mind telling..? are you near the water? :-)

beamish said...

It's awful hard to play video games without one.

Pris said...

When we got our first TV, I was just a kid, and I remember my Dad saying, this would change the family dynamic, forever, generally speaking. I think he was right. It was inevitable.

Since then, and as technology has progressed, people have been plugged into something.

It's just not healthy to lose touch with the real world, and the people around us.

Silverfiddle said...

Great story. I hadn't heard that one before.

Like any technology or gadget, computers and tv can be good or bad depending on how they are used.

Morality lies not in what they do, but how we use them. If nobody wanted to hear cuss words on tv, they wouldn't be there.

Z said...

You know, Silverfiddle, a lot of people don't agree, but you said "If nobody wanted to hear cuss words on tv, they wouldn't be there." and I concur.
well said.

Pris, it's getting so you don't see anybody on the street who's not 'plugged into' their cell phone or blackberry........and they just step out into the street with NO glance left or right at STOP signs because they're entitled and they're busy! Geesh


Beamish, I've never played a video game .....maybe someday.

sue said...

Z - I used to think tv was great and enjoyed many of the shows.

But people can be mesmerized by it and I've seen kids who are so glued to cartoons that you can't get their attention. I sometimes stand directly in front of it until they protest.

Some watch sitcoms and sports - including the commercials - without taking a breath.

Now tv has graduated to graphic shows and smut. What we get from it can be replaced by it's mother - the computer. And that's another story.

Yes, Z, I'm having a good time but will be glad to be back home on Friday. Hope all is well with you.

Mustang said...

Years ago, I heard an interview with comedian Jack Benny. He was discussing the differences in radio and television as entertainment media. What he said made so much sense, I’ve never forgotten it—and I suppose it pertains to movies, too. Do you remember the old radio programs, such as The Lone Ranger, Gun Smoke, The Shadow, and so many others staring Benny, Bob Hope, Abbot and Costello … George Burns and Gracie Allen, Kay Kaiser, Sky King —and so many others. In each of these, sound effects were paramount to understanding what was going on.

Jack Benny explained that radio was participatory entertainment. You had to hear the clopping and visualize a horse in canter, or envisage the door opening slowly on rusted hinges, or the creaking of someone sneaking up or down the stairs. Today, people sit agape in front of the television or movie screen; all the work has been done for them. They no longer participate … they simply absorb. Sue said we are mesmerized —and that’s the right word. Now we sit transfixed and drooling while Hollywood redefines our values and no one notices.

Yes, the TV became America’s baby sitter, and with a television in every room, every member of the family can watch what they want —in solitude; there is seldom any interaction in the family. Add to these computers with Netflix access to movies; and cell phones that allow children to text their friends while sitting at the dinner table —and parents let them.

We have become the textbook example of dysfunctional.

beamish said...

That's interesting Mustang. I never knew Jack Benny said anything like that, but he's right.

Video killed the radio star....

Z said...

sue, I still love the old I LOVE LUCY reruns, though I literally know the dialogue by heart! Those old shows were so entertaining...
then the Carol Burnett Show...Dean Martin....Michael Douglas, remember? All those wonderful shows of no smut, just great clean hilarious laughter.

Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Dick Van Dyke SHow...Bob Newhart Show......nothing better than that bunch!
that was really wonderful TV.
today........nada.

Mustang, it's kind a similar thing with little girls and their dolls. When I was little, we got A DOLL and had to dress it, comb its hair, speak for it, do everything...today, the dolls speak, they wet, their hair grows, etc etc..NO IMAGINATION NECESSARY, and I think that's HORRID for children. And now adults are just watching like zombies...me, included, I hate to admit....
Too much NEWS, too.
I have often said here at geeeZ that I long for the days when news was only "News at six, film at eleven" We weren't inundated with EVERY rape across the country, EVERY missing mom, EVERY bank theft, EVERY high speed chase (why the HECK does anybody in Arkansas care if there's a high speed chase in Los Angeles, yet there they are following the car in a helicopter..!)?

awful.