TV in Commonhouse
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 12:59:06 -0700 (MST)
I still find it interesting that TV is such a charged issue and that it
remains charged "after all these years." There seems to be tremendous fear
that the presence of a television will take over all eyes, ears, and brains.

People say with great pride, "I have no television and have never had one."

When I was talking to cohousing communities very early one, making a
decision where to go, one community I called seemed to be much more
conservative about issues than I was so I was questioning things like what
happens if I am seen with a bottle of Diet Coke? The response was, "Oh we
are very liberal. Some of us even watch television."

_Even_ watch television.

I agree that it is not a good idea to zombie 24/7 in front of a television
and I wouldn't want it on all the time (I feel the same way about music) but
there are also much worse things that could happen to someone than watching
television on a regular basis, even (gasp) a child.

What power do people see in television to "cloud men's minds"?

We have televisions in the commonhouse but no cable. They are rarely used
but are not out where they are easily accessible.

We have decided that we can try cable (satellite actually so we can get more
foreign channels) for a year. Those of us who want it will probably donate
to pay for it. After the first year, we will reassess. The interest is in:

1. Watching events together
2. Not having television and/or cable at home but wanting access on special
3. Having television in the commonhouse to encourage hanging out there.
Vegging out together instead of alone after a long week.

We have several outlets where we can hook up a television so it will not the
center of anything and people will be able to watch different things at the
same time. I think there is an expectation that there will be a schedule and
restrictions on children.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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