Re: Re: Do you have TV in the common house?
From: Robyn Williams (
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 16:30:04 -0700 (MST)
> What works for me is that is laid out as a guideline not a strict policy
> that would call for enforcement. But it does show an intent that gives
> re-assurance to certain members who have a fear of the common house
> environment being dominated by constant TV watching and a culture where
> people (especially not kids) are always drawn in front of the TV.

If it's meant to be a guideline, then make it that, not a prescriptive rule.
While you may see it as an intention, my guess is that the anti-TV people
see it as law.  A guideline needs too offer reassurance to those who have "a
fear ... dominated by constant TV watching ...", and like it says, it's a
fear; it hasn't actually happened.  However they do need some way to address
it that is supported by everyone.  This goes for all manner of agreements.
In this case, if the fear is realised, will it just result in people
bickering about times/hours a week again?  (I told you it wouldn't work,
etc)  I'd prefer mechanisms to address the situation if it arises that works
for everyone.  And doesn't need 'policing'.

This is the thing that's really hit home for me over the last year.  Most of
us come from such a competitive and fear based western culture where
rules/punishment/reward is the way that we are used to being controlled
even when most are reasonably benign.  The fact that we aspire to live
co-operatively is terrific but challenging.  It's clear to me now why we
struggle with consensus as a concept.  We have little practice, we miss the
point.  Typically, a possible solution is leapt on and debated.  Often,
little or no time is spent on exploring the intention and other
possibilities.  What would happen if you, in this example, backed up from
the 'times/week' solution and arrived at a principle that satisfied all
concerned and offered examples as a measure.  Eg, someone mentioned
'meetings have priority over TV watching'.

I might add that I'm the person in my community who promoted the removal of
the TV from our common.  (It arrived with the summer Olympics and stayed -
no rules or guidelines.)   It did become a magnet to the kids including
mine.  Unsupervised.  It's blaring affected me in my home.  The room was
left in a mess.  I cleaned it up to set an example but the attitude of the
viewers, including some adults, when asked to help tidy up, or turn the box
down/off, was unpleasant.  (It's not rules that's an issue at our place, we
have the opposite side of rule making: the tyranny of structuralisms.)
However, I'll be happy to have it there for all the beneficial reasons when
we can create some principles and clear guidelines that preserve the rights
of all concerned.  In the meantime, our own big TV is popular for watching
special programmes and I enjoy people visiting.

Warm regards
Robyn Williams
Pinakarri Community

Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.