Comments on Anti-TV Information
From the UK Amazon site, a review of
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television:
Jerry Mander has a lot of convincing arguments in this book. However, most of them are not really about the harmfulness of TV. The real title of this book should be _Four Arguments for the Elimination of Capitalism_. Most of the specific anti-TV arguments are spurious and fantastic. I hear that David Bianculli's _Teleliteracy_ presents the other side effectively (unfortunately, it's out of print)."
Some commentary on The Plug-In Drug by an unschooling mom:
Marie Winn insists that TV itself is addictive. But later in her book she
says that mothers have to entice their young children to watch TV.
Apparently, very young children somehow sense that TV is not real, so they
have to be taught how to watch it. Once the kids are hooked, though, mother
will not be able to tear their little eyes away from its power.
Another thing that comes out in the later chapters is the author's attitude
about children. Basically, they are manipulative little creatures who only
want to do what is easy and fun. Modern parents have lost their natural
authority over children, so we have to resort to bribery to get them to do
what we want. Parents in the good old days didn't have the problems we have
today, because they (the parents) insisted on regular naptimes. As children
grew, this forced naptime became quiet time, because the children had become
accustomed to staying alone in their rooms whether they wanted to or not.
They knew that when mother said quiet time, she meant it! Mothers who
devoted their children's preschool years to teaching their children how to
use scissors and paste (messy, but worth it in the long run!) would have
children who could make collages while mother had time to get her important
things done. Therefore, the children knew how to entertain themselves.
They didn't need TV! Modern parents do not have to work at parenting,
because we rely on TV to keep our children busy and out of our way.
I am not kidding! I have summarized, but the tone is the same as the
book's. It just keeps getting more and more absurd and disgusting.
[I found this with google; it's not someone I know. I liked what she wrote.]
There's an article linked on the Waldorf anti-TV page called Hide Your Books.
It's about a school with tvs in classrooms, with morning announcements given that way, in which a teacher got in trouble for having silent reading time and not having the TV on for the announcements.
What baffled me most was that these kids were already excellent TV watchers. If that activity had been on the state tests, ours would have been a Blue Ribbon School. The children tuned in faithfully every evening, on the weekends, and in the mornings. There was no end to the time they would sacrifice to the almighty screen.
What jumped out at me was the last line of that paragraph. Though she seems concerned about the kids and seems to like them, her summary is
"There was no end to the time they would sacrifice to the almighty screen."
I see a few things wrong with that. It makes the children small and powerless, but it casts them as worshipful of an anthropomorphized entity. It's as though "the screen" has a will and demands sacrifice. And by saying "There was no end..." it suggests that it's all or nothing with TV--either it owns you and you would sacrifice ALL your time if you didn't have to go to school, or you deny it as a false god and then you are free. Free to worship another god. (I would stay Steiner and the elves, but I the author wasn't a Waldorf teacher.)
How interesting that there is no Satan except in Christian churches (meaning they're the ones who talk about him all the time, tell people he's after them, etc.). There couldn't be someone who "knew all about Satan" but had never heard of the Christian God, because Satan is just the anti-God. By "just" I mean he exists within that model of the universe. (Yes, maybe it's not a model or construct but the WHOLE of everything, Truth with a T like a Cross, and if so I must suffer eternal torment in fiery pits. I know.)
Seems that TV is only an idol to be worshipped when people want to use that image to control people. A Christian site personifies TV as something evil with a gun to your kid's face. A Waldorf site links an article that refers to it as "the almighty screen."
That is propaganda. It's fear with a boogeyman. It's not child-centered. It's control-centered, and fear-mongering.
And on a lighter note, her "there was no end to the time..." would be a candidate for the "If I Let them" pageif she weren't a teacher in the business of controlling kids who aren't even her own.
...[I'm] reminded of the
classic novella "The Turn Of The Screw" by Henry
James, the tale of a super-neurotic governess
desperately trying to protect her two charges' minds
from being "corrupted" from some "evil" that only
exists in her imagination. TV hadn't been invented
yet, but the tone of the woman's ravings is in a very
similar vein to the Satan-fearmongering stuff.
For those unfamiliar with the work, it has recently
been added to the huge collection of free e-books at
Project Gutenberg and can be accessed here:
Years after this page was created, a brilliant book was written that covers this and other technology, back to Greek orators assuring people that writing would be the death of the recitation of memorized stories.
The book is Bad for You: Exposing the War on Fun! , by Kevin C. Pyle (Author, Illustrator), Scott Cunningham (Author), 2013.
There is information there, and anywhere on the internet you find the book discussed, too. From the Booklist review, at the link just above:
Pyle and Cunningham's dense, information-packed treatise on everything that lousy grown-ups have ever tried to ruin for kids takes off at a dead run through sections titled Comics, Games, Technology, Play, and Thought. These general headings encompass a great deal of subject matter and background, so readers will get a tour through the history of censorship and banning things, including some items that will seem ridiculous to contemporary readers, like fairy tales, chess, and the telegraph.
Television: Against it
Weird anti-TV art
The idea of "violence"
when a child is home on the couch...