why I love TV

Upfront, I would agree that I found the TV to be infact useful to me, when we had one, some 1.5 decades back or so.  It had a flat surface on top, over which one can very safely keep tea-mugs. But alas, with the new flat screen technologies this important feature has vanished. Besides, my spouse yells at me, if I keep my teamugs in random places. So we don’t have a TV at home.

Now, I am not of those who would say that technology is a veritable evil. I wouldn’t call myself a luddite in the current dictionary sense of the term, but would identify with it, historically speaking. All technologies (including the IdiotBox) have their positive and negative sides but with what most of us lack – a sense of discretion & the ability to make sound judgements – most technologies and media become unmitigated & unvarnished evil.

To inappropriately quote the National Rifle Association, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Sometimes I chat up with children, when they are not successful at trying their best to avoid me, that is. So, that rules out most of the NammaShaale children. Local neighbourhood children  aren’t that lucky – a few of them that are there, cannot run away from me that easily.

During the course of such random conversations, sometimes some appalling facts tumble out. One such tumbler is that parents (thankfully not all of them, only a few, *phew*) allow their children unrestrained access to the TV.  So, these children become armed with a remote control and become perilously dangerous – and eventually graduate to becoming chainsaw murderers at best. They may even explore other career options such as slumdogs or millionaires  or Borepathis… Won’t they?

I have even heard parents proudly saying that whenever their TV is on, which is for about only 24 hours of the day, their little sonny boy snatches the ‘remote’ and monopolizes its use. I really feel proud of the fact that I have been fortunate to meet with such democratic parents. The spirit of capitalism, the monopoly, here I come…

I am also gratified to learn that some parents not only see random 3rd rate illformed & halfbaked movies, with frontal, backward, sideward, topward and ohmygod, bottomward nudity too, but also encourage their children to learn about the birds and bees the hardway, by watching The Reader, for example! And, ohmygod, don’t I really appreciate such openness and liberal attitudes… Of course, I love Kate Winslut, don’t you? (s0rry, Kate)

Now, I agree. This could be due to various very genuine reasons such as:

  1. Parents are busy earning a living, while yearning to live.
  2. Parents are busy spending their dying, in activities such as being busy.
  3. Parents have got a life too! Don’t they have a right to enjoy life, without bothering about the pesky children? Do you even have a suggestion as to how else children could be kept occupied, without bothering us?
  4. Children are being prepared for being good citizens of the morrow, with the virtues such as stupidity, stupour, moral turpitude, banality, venality, laziness etc etc, being continuously  imbibed from TV.
  5. How else can one ensure suppy of quality criminals and bozos and armedchair intellectuals for the next generation? Talk to us, if you have suggestions.
  6. The children should know what is going on in the world – specifically, they should know life-saving and important details such as who is dating who, why Aamir Khan has sharp ears in Ghajini and all that. (Apologies to the quadruped, hope he does not mind getting compared to Sir Aamir)
  7. Children are always upto some mischief, so switch on the TV, they sit glued to the screen. Simple, eh?
  8. Our idea of  enjoying a quality family time is to watch Formula 1 races and ghastly_tasteless films together on our Plasma TV – while munching on quality chips and slurping fizzy soda. We aspire to be NOT mere couch potatos, but mighty couch pumpkins, grr. Well, you have some complaints, we hear?
  9. Weather is not good ‘outside’ for the children to play – oh what a blessing, let them imbibe some values from TV, while I have an SMS conversation with my colleagues and pretend to take part in a conference call.

Oh what will a hapless parent do, oh NO… What can one do in this situation,,,

I am sure there are more such genuine reasons and my heart aches and goes out to support the hapless parents, who are left with no choice other than the TV, to take care of their children, to educate them,  to inform them, to entertain them and to be with them! May their blighted souls rot in hell till kingdom come. Amen.

A couple of decades back (d0 the math; if you wo do, you would realize that I have no right to be a NammaShaale parent, but only a NammaShaale grandparent), I read Jerry Mander’s ‘Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television‘ – an Indian edition of which was published by that indefatigable Claude Alvares. Surprisingly (not) my views have not changed! If any of you want to ‘borrow’ it, please contact me.

It is hard to refute Jerry Mander’s philosophical moorings and arguments. I strongly recommend it to any parent who can afford to take a few precious hours away from their various favourite TV peepshows.

Jayashree Janardhan Ashok  (this may ring a belle) & Anita Balasubramanian (belle’s rebelle friend?)  have put together a brochure rather politely titled: TV and its Impact on Children – available off this url at the LearninngNetIndia. You may want to check this out.

Our friendly Thekambattu karmayogins  have also ranted against the TV because of its direct population reduction results, among many other such abominations, of TVs, I mean… It is heartrending to see such mishaps happen because of  the insipid and criminal TV serials.

Yes. TV Channels are the Serial Killers.


What?? Sorry, what did you say? Is there a nice talkshow on Sun Loon TV? I prefer to be my own doshow hostage, ha!

PS: Yesterday, my father (and neighbour) became poorer by a satellite TV DTH connection, and I promptly requested him and banished his TV to a corner of his room where the evil can stay where it is. To be charitable to him, I think he merely wants to know the latest news of the world (perhaps, nothing seems to happen in our sleepy village, Bilishivale) – such as

1) how the latest child of the latest wife of His Holeness Karunanidhi, the current chief minister of my hapless Tamilnadu,  is being accommodated in the Central Ministry of our Indian Government, in spite of his(it) NOT having been toilet trained – expect schemings & announcements such as  ‘Free diapers for children and adults!’ for the citizenry.

2) for the FIRST TIME in the ENTIRE history of the Universe, actress Jenni Fur Slobbers, conducts a Realty TV show, sponsored & ‘brought to you’ by the prestigious MantriSoBah Builders.

3) breaking noose – resulting in the cancellation of the hanging of the condemed etc etc

Pardon him (and me), my lord… Father, Son and the holy waste…

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  • wordrunk  On July 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

    My are you hot and bothered! 🙂 Do you think that since its virtually impossible (and maybe not entirely necessary?) to get households to dump the TV and ban movies, it might help if we could encourage the kids to have more interests and discriminate better? If there are enough things to do and care about perhaps the quantum of TV watching will come down without our having to ‘enforce’ it? I think its the kids who dont learn to read, dont play, dont get interested in music who end up in front of the idiot box. We also need to (as subtly as possible) push our kids to discriminate between whats of some quality and whats absolute rubbish.

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