Re: DSM: Re: Re: Re: Television

From: Ann Ide (ann.ide@rcn.com)
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 15:38:52 EST


I have to say WOW! back. Thank you, Mike for deciding to contribute this
time. You sure know how to present an idea, as well! I agree. Whenever a
person speaks, there is some goal in mind and some level of manipulation.
We hope the intentions behind them are positive for the person it is
directed to. But who decides if it is pos. or not? Even our beloved
Sudbury schools have this "stuff" going on ...for sure! Part of what we
value there is the opportunity to develop minds of their own, to become
critical thinkers, etc. It can happen with TV, as well. I'm begining to
see it with my boys. You should hear them when the commercials are on!
They rip 'em apart. They also have something to say about the shows they
watch: " I think it would have been better if..." "That was mean when..."
"Why is "character x" so big?" and so on.

I did my graduate work in Hypnosis and Neuro-linguistic programming. So I
know something about the unconscious mind. Subliminal influences aren't
the be-all-end-all. We and our children have other very powerful competing
influences going on,as well. Otherwise, we'd all be guzzling Coca-cola. We
don't touch the stuff; don't like it!

Morticia mentioned shows she "shouldn't have watched". Why not? So you got
scared, had nightmares ,etc (me, too, ugh!)..and then what? How did you
eventually come out of it? If you had people to work through it with; it
probably was okay eventually. Last year my then 6 year old, Jesse, watched
Poltergeist with Mark and Kenny. I couldn't watch myself and groaned about
them watching ( an influence and a suggestion as to how to respond!),
scolding Mark about allowing it. For months afterward, Jesse wouldn't walk
to any room by himself at night. However, now he is okay. Maybe there is
some kind of valuable learning in that.

What I'm not so clear about it something Warren stirred up for me: that tv
is a big distraction, keeping children from themselves. Hmm. I don't know.
Sounds possible in some ways; however, who ARE they when they are watching
then? Does some kind of "self" entity disappear?

I wonder if Ardeshir has a good point. Perhaps the longer a child has been
brought up "free", the better they will be at making decisions about how
much to watch, what to watch, etc.

I'm getting a lot out of this. Thanks!

Ann

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Sadofsky <sadofsky@mediaone.net>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2001 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: Re: Re: Re: Television

> WOW!
> I try to stay away from adding to these threads, but sometimes I am
> driven to add my perspective.
>
> Warren writes below:
> >TV is not benign. Every image and every word is carefully
> >crafted or filtered by anonymous agents in order to condition your needs,
> >wants, opinions, preferences and attitudes to match their own political
or
> >commercial agendas.
>
> Is your goal to raise children in a "benign" environment?
> So TV isn't benign.
> Newspapers aren't benign.
> Magazines aren't benign.
> Books, whether fiction or non-fiction aren't benign.
> Grocery stores and convenience stores aren't benign.
> Farming, ranching, dining, and practicing medicine aren't benign.
> Statements by politicians and government agencies aren't benign.
> Advocacy agencies aren't benign.
> Games aren't benign.
> Parents aren't benign.
> People aren't benign.
>
> I always felt and continue to feel that the role of parents and adults
> in contact with children is to help them understand that much of what
> we experience has been shaped to meet some set of goals. If kids
> understand this and seek to create a perspective for interpretation
> that recognizes the biases and objectives that others hold, then we've
> accomplished a great deal.
>
> Mike Sadofsky
>
>
> On Thu, 6 Dec 2001 10:49:12 -0500, you wrote:
>
> >If you have a problem with traditional schooling, surely one of the
reasons
> >is that its mandate is to 'shape' or condition children according to an
> >agenda predetermined by some anonymous bureaucrats in a department of
> >education somewhere. You reject traditional schooling in response and
remove
> >your child from this harmful conditioning and send him/her to a place
that
> >is free of this kind of manipulation ie. a SV school. Yet, you allow
your
> >child to be influenced by the equally manipulative environment of the
> >television. TV is not benign. Every image and every word is carefully
> >crafted or filtered by anonymous agents in order to condition your needs,
> >wants, opinions, preferences and attitudes to match their own political
or
> >commercial agendas.
> >If you would send you children to a SVschool, surely one of the reasons
is
> >so that they can come to know themselves; to find out who they are and
what
> >is their purpose. You reject traditional schooling because it distracts
> >them from this quest with its overloaded timetable and forced learning.
> >Television is the master of distraction. It can literally keep your
> >children from themselves for hours at a time, day after day. As a
> >distraction, television easily outperforms schooling.
> >If you would send you children to a SVschool, surely one of the reasons
is
> >so that they are free to pursue their own interests. You reject
traditional
> >schooling because of its mandated curriculum. Television has its own
> >curriculum; its own mass messages that we all get, and get continuously
> >again and again in multiple contexts. We eventually internalize these
> >messages and they come to shape us in subtle ways no school curriculum
> >designer could ever dream of. What is the TV curriculum? Seeking
pleasure
> >is the meaning of life; accumulation is the way to happiness; respect and
> >courtesy are uncool; information is knowledge; violence works.
> >While we worry about schooling and make sacrifices to ensure our children
> >are safe from its detrimental affects, the real monster sits smug in our
own
> >livingrooms working its magic on our unsuspecting kids.
> >Television is, pound for pound, far more toxic for children than
schooling.
> >
> >Warren
> >
> >
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: <Evfocus@aol.com>
> >To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
> >Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2001 6:04 PM
> >Subject: Re: DSM: Re: Re: Re: Television
> >
> >
> >> There is a huge difference between college and TV. College is
interested
> >in
> >> giving people what they "should want" just like schools. TV has no
agenda
> >> about what people should want. They spend millions finding out what
people
> >> really want.
> >> In a way they are similiar to Sudbury in that way, there is no value
> >> judgement placed on what people want. It doesn't matter whether they
want
> >> mud wrestling or politcal discussion they give them whatever they want
to
> >> watch.
> >> I actually make a point of trying not to be to judgmental about my
> >daughters
> >> TV watching because I think all I end up doing is communicating that
their
> >> judgement is flawed.
> >> If schools had to hold interest the way television does, they would be
> >much
> >> better places. Right now we have a vicious cycle. Schools say to kids
"We
> >> don't care what you think or feel this education is good for you"
> >> Television listens to what they want, and that includes antischool,
> >> antiauthority programming which may be caused by a society that refuses
to
> >> respect their wishes.
> >> Imagine if schools had to get the Neilson ratings shows do?
> >> Evelyn Hardesty
> >> DVS Parent
> >>
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