Has TV vulgarity taken a turn for the worse? Sorry, we didn’t notice since ours is off again.
When we considered moving this summer, we plugged in the free cable and kept the channel firmly fixed on HGTV. My family especially loved Design Star, by the way.
But now that school is back in season, I’ve disconnected the infernal thing. Here’s why:
- Seth became surly and argumentative before, during and after shows.
- Seth would scream if I told him to go brush his teeth during commercials.
- My wife pined for overpriced mansions – or anything with a roof on it – we couldn’t afford. Both of us were getting depressed about it.
- My daughter whined about being ignored during the shows. The only part she liked was turning on and turning off the TV set.
- I would wash dishes during the commercials, which stretched the chore out by 30 minutes.
- I found I was getting too little sleep because I would say, “Sure, just one more show.”
Right before school started, I realized this wasn’t going to work.
So I unplugged the cable and said the TV was broken.
“I’ll fix it!” Seth screamed.
“I’m sure you will enjoy a three-week time out,” I responded. Or something like that. He never did reattach the cable.
I’m thrilled the TV is off again. I get more sleep and posts done. Seth promptly hits the sack at 8 p.m. with zero complaints. Lael gets to have more fun with daddy.
The only drawback to having the TV off all the time is we never know what we’re missing. So when I read a story in the Los Angeles Times that says broadcast and cable TV are becoming increasingly vulgar, I have to take their word for it.
You know, I had no idea that teens were saying “fustercluck” – Anne thought that was very funny – and alien fighters were saying “frak.” I had to look up that second one.
And while I’ve been known to go on swearing binges, I’m not too found of foul language. Bad form, as far as I’m concerned.
But since arriving in Chicago, I’ve heard the f—word more than any time since high school. Or was that college?
Personally, though, I don’t care what they put on TV – it is a free society after all. In fact, I’d be happier if nudity pervaded the airwaves – then Americans would simply GET OVER IT.
If people want to eat bugs to win a prize, bully for them. If people find watching TV is more interesting than reading a book, so what?
Just don’t expect me to let my kids watch any of it. Why would I want to?
If my son finds Animal Planet too frightening to watch, then why in the world would I expose him to the Sopranos or reality TV silliness? What’s even worse: TV commercials that inform children that their parents are losers for not letting them eat teeth-rotting, sugar-filled starch balls.
And while I’m sure I’ll hear the argument, “there are a lot of great shows on TV,” my response is, yes, but those commercials negate the value.
Besides, if I want my children to learn from shows, I can rent them from Netflix. One day, I’ll get around to doing that, too.
In the meantime, I’ll keep my kids busy with books, exercise, toys and workbooks.