From: Joani Blank (
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 02:48:39 -0500
I'm kinda surprised that none of you smart folk out there (a few of whom I
hazard a guess are social scientiests), have gotten into this  discussion
yet. I hoped that someone who is smarter than I am about this would point
out that just because TV violence  isand actual violence increase over the
same time period, one (TV )does not necessarily CAUSE the other (violence).
A lot of other things have happened during the last 20 years: many more
women in the workplace, rises and falls in the stock market, changes in our
diets, and in the cleanliness of our air, water and soil--and few would say
that these changes have caused increases in violence. Well, some might say
it but I daresay they'd have as hard a time proving it. 

As for TV in the common house, I do hope those of you who do not live in
cohousing yet, will take heed of the the contributions to the list on this
subject by those who do. I'm not going to declare myself on the subject of
the benefits or the evils of TV. I just can't imagine a common house
without one, unless no individual household  in the community has one
either. In some communities, you will need or decide to have rules about
use of the TV, and this will probably won't be anywhere near the hardest
thing to reach consensus on. 

Sometimes folks treat their TVs as if they have minds of their own. TVs are
only as harmful or as beneficial, as socializing or as isolating, as
intelligent or as stupid as the people who own and operate them. In
cohousing we all "own" the common house TV, and, believe it or not,
managing it as a group is rarely a big deal, although anticipation of this
problem has been know to tie a group in knots. 
Anybody ever seen the photo from Doyle St. of three people with their
ironing boards semicircled around the tv while the three ironers and 5 or 6
other are watching the elections or the superbowl or just  some dumb movie
about which they were undoubtedly profusely commenting.  Now I absolutely
hate foot ball, but  during the Superbowl, I really enjoyed sitting on the
floor folding my laundry, occaisionally asking people to explain stuff to
me that I really didn't want to know, and teasing the avid watchers.  I'm
ready for the next one.

Doyle Street and Old Oakland, in the beautiful Bay Area, California

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