Family

Family

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Regarding Television

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set
Or better still, just don’t install the idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotized by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink-
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?

IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -HE ONLY SEES!

‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:

THEY....USED,,,TO,,,READ!
They’d READ and READ and READ and READ,
and then proceed to READ some more.
Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine fantastic tales
Of dragons, Gypsies, queens and whales
And treasure isles and distant shore
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars.
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ‘round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope!)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Toad, the Dirty Rotter,
And squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How the Camel got his Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost his Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please,
We beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start--oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts.
They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

8 comments:

Roan said...

As I was reading this I thought that it sounded familiar....oh yes! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I READ to my children! (They have also watched the movie too. Gasp!)

Heather said...

Great post...I am going to link to it. We often refer to television as "the drug," and say that too much will make your brain soft!:)

Amy said...

I have oft wanted to stone our TV!?!? We missed you today! Hope you have a good week!

go heartland said...

I love it! I am going to steal it for my blog! By the way, tomorrow we are having our satelite disconnected, so today is our last day with "that ridiculous machine".
Samantha

Sarah Mae said...

Thank you so much for your comment on having children - I have been blessed with the wisdom of many commenters and am taking it in and taking it to the Lord!

I also just wanted to tell you that our son's name is also Caedmon - wise warrior! I have not met another! :)

Anna Beth said...

i have a new blog!
aslansdaughter95.blogspot.com

Louisiana Laura said...

THANK-YOU! I saw your blog on Roan's blog, and will link to this entry when I can. I loved the comment above about 'stoning' her Tv. Can't wait to read more of your posts- thanks for taking the time to share!
Laura bythebushel.blogspot.com

Mother Hen said...

That is wonderful! I had no idea that Roald Dahl was so smart. I'm putting this on my blog next week. Just wonderful!

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