Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Evil TV

We listen to a lot of music in our house/car; we don't watch television, so we read and listen to music (I am doing my best to make sure all of the kids are Social Outcasts by having such a freaky mom. Because I am course THE Freakiest, as well as The Meanest. And they say these things like they are really turning the knife, but I am actually quite pleased with the titles myself). But I had no real concept of how pervasive this really was, had no idea the complete and utter brainwashing I am doing to these poor beleaguered children. No idea.

Picture this: Owen, on the floor wearing a diaper and some of those fuzzy socks that look like Grinch feet, only purple, pulled up to his thighs, looking at his Goodnight Moon book. He was singing. Loudly. And here are the words: "Bikicle, bikicle, bikicle, I mon nof neo mine bikicle." Any ideas, folks? Yeah. "Bicycle." By Queen. God, that has got to be one of the proudest moments in my life so far. Even more tear-jerking that his assertion that he wanted to pee on (I mean IN) the potty last night. I thought later on tonight I would start with a little "Hell's Bells" and maybe go on to "Suicide Solution", and maybe wind it up with the heart wrenching ballad "Tuesday's Gone." Metallica version, of course. While wearing the socks, of course, because he ALSO has a pair of hip sunglasses and we could totally go for the Freddie Mercury look.

I have been doing some research on Outward Bound (and yes, I know about the hikers who got lost. I also know grown men who get lost in the parking lot, so I don't want to hear about it, thanks) for my Eli to perhaps participate in next year. We were talking about it last night, and I was going on and on about how great it would be for him, how he could just really have the opportunity to learn and grow and blah fucking blah, and as I was going on and on about how he would be isolated in the wilderness with no television and no radio, he just looked at me as if I had grown a third head. "Mom. Wait. I mean, wouldn't being in a tent in the backyard be the same thing? Because, you know, no TV?"

The funny thing is that I LIKE TV, I really do. I like select channels and shows, I love PBS, but I hate commercials. I hate them so much that I will turn the radio station every time I hear one come on, which is what ultimately led to the addition of Satellite to my life; I kept pissing the passengers off by constantly hitting the seek button. I am so anti-advertising that people around me know that if they want to really set me off, all they need to say is, "Oh, have you seen the commercial...."

I also think that somewhere inside me there is an extremely conservative Fundamentalist Christian hiding (and believe you me, I am really trying to choke her to death. And am up to the task), because a lot of the stuff that I see online and in magazines offends me. Which is funny, because all joking aside, I do consider myself a liberal person, very liberal, but I hate the fact that I am not allowed to nurse my baby without public censure, but I can look up and see some Victoria's Secret hootch with her tits falling out. I hate that there is nothing sacred anymore; I hate the "If you buy/drink/eat/wear this you will immediately become cool" mentality that advertising naturally consists of. I hate the fact that advertising people completely play on our insecurities, and that WE KEEP FALLING FOR IT.

So. We read, we listen to music, we play games, and only when we are at a hotel or someone else's house do we indulge. And yes, I am freaky, I get that, but I also think that the kids are all better off for having been somehow forced to look for other sources of entertainment. I love how they are just as likely to pull out the Scrabble game as they are to turn on the GameCube, and I love how they have re-enacted the Lord of the Rings sword fights before the movies even came out. I don't think that people who allow or watch TV are evil or anything like that, please don't get me wrong. I just know that for us, it is better.

17 comments:

Kristin H. said...

Well said. Fly your Freak Flag high!

SingleWorkingMommy said...

We rarely watch TV either. I really only lean on it when I'm trying to get ready in the morning, or when I'm working from home. Even then, it's always PBS.

Son is one of the RARE two-year-olds who doesn't know who Dora is, and that's fine by me! (Even though some friends try to make me feel WEIRD because my kid doesn't know Dora. I think they are just projecting because they feel some guilt for letting their own two-year-olds watch as much TV as they do.)

Kori said...

So ummmm... Have you seen the commercial about...

kidding of course. The names Kori and yes I can do that. Really though I think it's great that you guys don't indulge in the television all the time. Sometimes I wish we didn't have a TV especially now that Jacob is getting older it's all about the video games. Although we do have family nights and play games. I completely see your point. Kudos for you guys!

FreedomFirst said...

You rock, Kori!

Haven't you ever heard that the only way to be complete is by accepting your doppelganger? :P Honestly, no joke, I think you would be an awesome conservative Christian. I think (JMO) that you are someone who is really in touch with the spirit of Christ's teachings, never mind the outward appearances.

I love that you have no TV. I would really love to toss ours, Andy's love of DVDs notwithstanding. Honestly, I think he would get over it just fine as long as he got to keep his collection of discs, lol. He enjoys having them a lot more than watching them. I don't toss it because Mark needs something to distract him from his back pain, and help him wind down; he hates silence. He can't fall asleep without the radio or TV. But I am trying to wean the boys from it, since summer is here and we have plenty of extra things to do. By the time cold weather hits, I want to have plenty of puzzles and if possible, a play table for the boys. So they have something to entertain themselves with even before they can read.

I just love the image of Owen in his socks. He sounds like such a wonderful kid! Who would want to spoil that with TV?

THopgood said...

WOW! How long have you been without TV?

Single Parent Dad said...

I hate commercials as well. I'm a terrible channel switcher-overer, some people have said it is more like watching a strobe light than a T.V. when I'm at the controls.

Max is in to his tunes, he loves the JCB song by Nizlopi, and sings parts of that rubbish by Nickleback.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

It actually sometimes bothers me that TV has become a 'standard' in daily routines.

Of course it's entertaining & 'informative' but when did it become a must?

Nice one Ms. K.

April said...

Now you know I love my TV, but I also love my DVR even more so that I do not have to deal with commercials. I'm SO with you on that one. As well as the Sirius satellite radio - although, in our car, it's all Broadway, all the time!! And that's where my freakishness comes in :)

abrightfuture said...

Well I never would have guessed that somewhere inside me there is an extremely conservative Fundamentalist Christian hiding. Never.

Wow. I learned something new today!!!!!!!!!!!

Tara R. said...

I would so love living in your house. I HATE TV!

Sully Sullivan said...

If "freaky" consisted of not watching television, my sex life wouldn't be near as good.

I respect what you're doing. Music is far better than TV anyhow.

Yes I know I slacked on my blog for a bit there. Been job hunting, found one...life got busy there for a bit. I'm back in full force now. Thanks for continuing to check in.

Dingo said...

I watch very few shows but the ones I watch, I am fanatic about. Mr. Dingo has suggested getting rid of the TV but the thought makes me break out in hives.

Anna-borderline-bonkers-banana :) said...

You are awesome!
I grew up without a TV in the house and we were encouraged to play games, read, draw and play . TV was only a treat when at a friends house and that is it.
My parents decided they didn't want to fill our minds with garbage and hated commercials.
They still don't have a TV.

Dave and I have a TV now and this was a huge deal to me. I was shocked at what I saw but was also amazed at some of the educational world channels.
I think balance is important and do not let my kids see anything evil or questionable.
Movies like Harry Potter are a never for us, too much evil.
We watch kids channels with no commercials and have a PVR to record the favorites.
MAybe I am a freak too, but I totally agree with you on this!

Mama Zen said...

I always puff up with pride when my daughter sings all of the words to "Dani California" or refers to Joan Jett as "her" music!

Gretchen said...

Too funny about your wee one singing Bicycle! My daughter was about 2 when she did the Time Warp for her daddy. He wasn't as amused as I was. :) Men have no sense of humor

LunaNik said...

I need to take a page out of your book because we are a tv driven household. Well, moreso DVD's than TV, but still...it's too much. As for choking your inner Fundamentalist...let me know if I can do anything to help you out with that. ;)

jt said...

I have to set an appointment on my phone to remind me when my all-time favorite show is on! Sounds pathetic to those who live in TV land, but for me, give me a DVD player any day of the week. I would much rather watch movies or the shows after they're out on DVD because I can't stand having to wait for the commercials to be over. In fact, I'm great for putting on my headphones during the commercials and not noticing when the show comes back on :p.