From: Dspreitzer (
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 20:56:53 -0500
Tom Nelson Scott wrote:

<<However, I wonder why it takes a TV to bring cohousers together. I
don't live in a cohousing project so I may be missing something about
group dynamics. But it seems most odd to me that people can't find
something else to act as the social glue.

To infer that TV is the only thing bringing cohousers together is clearly
missing the point. I concur with both Stuart and Rob that having a TV in the
common house is not necessarily a problem, and in fact, can provide one means
of bringing people together in community.   I would say that other things
such as dinners, going to the farmers market en masse on bicycles, and
birthdays (to mention only 3 of hundreds of things) are much more likely to
build a sense of community than watching television; however, there are
occasions I recall in which watching TV in a group has been quite a social
event. Elections are such occasions at N Street, and I have to admit, even
"ER" serves a fun coho function. To my knowledge it's the only weekly show tha
t many N Streeters now watch and it is done in the living room of one of the
homes.  One household throws a weekly ER showing and anyone who wants to come
can plop down on the floor and watch with a dozen or so others.  It's an
event.  And it has grown in popularity and the main fun of it is that it's
groupy.  I know that this may sound strange but most N Streeters probably
pride themselves in living a bit out of the mainstream yet, it's kind of fun
to know that you're participating in pop culture in some odd way (sort of
like the groupie-ness of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show"). And because it is
recognized as such, I think it's good, clean fun.  

I don't think TV is inherently evil; I do think it's a waste of time too much
of the time for too many people, and likely is contributing to a more violent
society (along with high unemployment, poverty and overpopulation). I also
must admit that some of my negative feelings about TV go for computers as
well.  They are both conducive to antisocial behaviour.  Stuart relayed a
personal story about how he used to hang out on his porch in an attempt to
meet his new neighbours but they would disappear into the flickering blue
light of their living rooms.  Sad but true. I do think that computers,
however well used they are, still take away from personal interaction.  Those
same neighbours would likely have been just as scarce had they gone inside
and sat down in front of a computer, and what's worse, at least TV is
something that you can do with others - computers tend to be things we do
alone, so may even (dare I say this?!) contribute more to the disintegration
of relationships within a home than TVs do.  

I think I'll stop there. I've probably said enough.

Donna Spreitzer
>From Toronto where it was very much spring-like today and I finally was able
to hang some clothes on the line to dry.  Mmmmm....

  • RE: COHOUSING & TVy Tom Nelson Scott, April 14 1997
    • Re: RE: COHOUSING & TVy Dspreitzer, April 15 1997

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