Re: Cohousing and Televison: a Classic Clash of Values
From: Howard Landman (
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 12:06:02 -0700 (MST)
Michael wrote:
> TV and cars don't cause a drop in social interaction.
> People's choices do.  If people were really committed to
> community involvement, TV wouldn't draw them away, nor would
> any of the activities that cars could take them to.
> As long as we look outside ourselves for culprits, we miss the
> point.  People who really want to be in community act that way
> no matter what distractions are available.

I don't often turn to the bible for wisdom, but in this case I'd
like to.  In the story of David and Bathsheba, there's a line
saying that one should "flee from temptation".  Not stand
around trying to resist it, but actively remove one's self from
the source.

I would like to suggest that TV represents a severe temptation.
The temptation to just turn it on, sit down, and veg out.  If
one succumbs to this, hours fly by and nothing conducive to
community occurs.

Michael implies that everyone should just be strong enough to
resist the temptation.  Some are, some aren't.  Most children are not.

So while, in a perfect world with ideally self-controlled people,
Michael might be right, I think that as a practical matter his
approach simply doesn't work for most people.  It makes for a much
simpler, calmer, and less stressful life to just not have a TV
in the first place.  Or (as I do) to have a TV used only as a monitor
for watching tapes or DVDs.  I don't want to constantly have to
fight temptation, whether my own or that of my children.

        Howard A. Landman
        River Rock Commons, Ft. Collins CO
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