Join Date: Aug 2004
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Originally Posted by boatbaby
Sohj...Where were you when I was getting the snot beat out of me on a tv for babies or not thread in Life With Babe? ...
|I don't think it is that the show is condescending to the Amish.
Frankly, I'm pretty sure that at least some (if not all) of the Amish kids knew EXACTLY what they were getting into. Most are not exposed to stuff like this and the whole bizarre cult of celebrity, so they are less likely than many children I have know who are exposed early and often to the mass media to think that "if only I was famous, everyone would love me/envy me/want to be like me/have to do what I want/etc./etc." In some ways, I think they may have been protected by their existing sense of being different than the "english".
I used to have a friend who was a talented animator and photographer and who grew up amish. He came to NY on his "seeking" and never left. He was talented in ways that never would have found expression in an amish community: he was a natural at calculus and physics. He built and repaired cameras of all kinds. However, he also never let go of a variety of aspects of his upbringing. He never took up with a partner. I gathered that he would have wanted an amish family, but as he could not live in an amish community and remain true to himself, he lived without a family. It was something that I picked up by omissions from things he said, rather than what he actually said. Therefore, I could be wrong. Otoh, that is how we get descriptions in Henry James' novels, so it is possible that I did, in fact, understand perfectly well.
Their seeking-time (which is not necessarily just a year) may or may not happen outside of a community. Some never leave but do their thinking at home. My friend told me about a woman in their community who stayed and continued to be a midwife (what she had been apprenticed as) and one day simply moved to the married women's side of the meeting house. In other words, her seeking led her to decide that she would not marry and she declared herself no longer an available young woman. I gather that this was fairly radical. But accepted. And she never left.
Now, I think that the real problem here is the producers and the audience.
The producers are always looking for some "new" hook. Something to manipulate everyone with. Just for advertisers and money.
The audience is too busy keeping up with the latest TV programs to get to know their neighbors and others.
The audience is having this voyeuristic, intimate relationship with people on a screen. The audience now cares about all these people who have no clue who the people on their couches are. And, the people on the screen don't really care, either.
Now, Ms. Jane Audience and Mr. Joe Audience feel like they've "gotten to know" someone. Their emotions have been involved. And they've just blown another hour a week (or whatever) when they could have actually been working on getting to know someone in real life.
There are a lot of Amish out there. Northern Michigan, Southern Ohio, Northern Mexico, parts of Canada, etc. And there are possibly amish in your city or town who are on their seeking-time. If you stay at home in front of the television getting a pre-packaged dose of "reality" you are missing out.
And, even if you don't meet someone as rare as an amish, there are lots of interesting people.
Originally Posted by laralou
... But I wanted to comment on something I read a while back that has been haunting me.
It was something like, "Turn off the tube and get a life." It got me thinking of how we (as a culture) tend to watch life being lived rather than trying to live it ourselves. I know this is not a novel thought for this crowd, but here's the turn my mind took... What about fiction books? How is tv truely different than fiction in that respect? I read fiction all the time and work hard to instill a love for reading (for pleasure) in my children. But I find myself now realizing that I am reading about life instead of living it.
I understand that this is only one reason to give up tv, but I am just wondering if it is in your list of reasons, how do you feel about fiction reading? If you think it is different, why? ...
|In general, most people when discussing a book, whether or not they have studied critical theory and literature, will discuss lots of stuff about the book they have read, NOT just the plot points. I have had lots and lots of conversations that were about stuff someone had read. AND, invariably, talking about one book (plot, plot development, characterizations, language use, writing style, mood, etc.) has lead to bringing in other books as comparisons or contrasts or sources of further discussion of similar ideas. (Kinda like how Native Son lead to Everything But the Burden which lead to James Alan McPherson's short stories which lead to Indigo, Sasssafrass & Cypress which lead to Their Eyes Were Watching God which lead to .... well, you get the idea. And I wasn't discussing this in a literature class. I was on the bus with a friend discussing racism which started from a report in the newspaper.)
On the other hand, discussions about television shows that I have overheard (as I cannot take part in them, even if I'm part of the group, I can only say "overheard") have generally centered around plot points and how much a particular character is liked or disliked and how dishy or not an actor is.
I really think that is a very different conversation.
|Somehow, television happens to me. But a book and I happen to each other.|
Originally Posted by kira
I can't imagine living without books - and my child now would never agree! - but maybe in little doses, it could be a reviving activity... So, is anyone up for that? One week of no media, anyone?