My friend Aviva recently called up Shannon and Caleb and Caleb answered the phone. He was raised without much TV. Aviva decided to play a trick on him and said, "This is Ed McMahon's office calling..." and before she could say "to give you a million dollars" he hung up the phone on her with a dismissive, "NO THANKS!"
She called him back and asked, "Have you even heard of Ed McMahon?"
He replied, "no"
She said, "Dude, if Ed McMahon calls you, it is to give you a million dollars so next time dont hang up the phone"
And that, according to Aviva, is why parents should let their children watch TV!
Which makes me wonder. So much of our culture is based on TV. I can recall being at a party once in another state surrounded by people I didnt know who had grown up thousands of miles away from me. But we all started talking about The Brady Bunch and realized that we all had shared a common childhood experience. And the conversation made me feel connected to these people who were otherwise strangers. Maybe TV and other shared mass media experiences unites us as a culture and as a nation. Certainly it does more than wars in Iraq and other foreign nations.
Sure, too much TV is a bad thing but maybe a little bit now and then is a good idea. I am not a parent so I never have to make such decisions for a kid and truthfully, I probably wouldnt allow too much TV because I have grown completely intolerant of commercial inturuptions. My dogs are allowed to watch as much TV as they want, of course, but for some reason prefer to watch the squirrels out of the window.