I'm not a parent. I don't plan on having kids for a long time. Despite this fact, whether it's biological hardware or simply nagging thoughfulness, I keep thinking about how I will raise my kids when I do have some.

The prospect of my children watching TV scares the hell out of me.

The goddamn noisy box is so full of mindless garbage and consumer conditioning, that I can't imagine subjecting any of my offspring to such stupidity, since, like anyone, I'd like my kids go far in life. Slathering their defenseless little minds with opium lard like the Teletubbies doesn't seem like the best way to help them accomplish this, does it?.

That the medium of television is blatantly aimed at creating and maintaining good consumers, I will not argue here. I've already presented that argument.

Sure. I watched it as a child as much as any other kid, and I came out all right, at least, as far as I can tell. Maybe it's just one of those things, like when parents worry about their children and constrain them, even though they despised that sort of restraint as children themselves.

When I think about my own childhood, though, and about kids I knew who weren't allowed to watch TV, I balk I don't want to be one of those highly restrictive parents.

But most of those kids came from hyper-christian households. They couldn't watch the smurfs because Gargamel was the Devil. They couldn't watch Pac-Man because ghost monsters were the Devil, they couldn't watch He-Man because Skeletor was the Devil. So maybe that's something different. One thing, when I think back on it now, strikes me as a little odd. They were allowed to watch Voltron. Go figure. : P

So maybe that's a little different. It's not violence, drugs, blasphemy or sex, that I'm afraid of. It's stupidity;intentional stupidity.

My father always respected my ability to make good decisions once he thought I was informed and I have a deep reciprocal respect now, because of that.

If I'm trying to encourage my kids to be independent thinkers, how will it help if I tell them even once, "You can't do that," when I know it's not something that will endanger them directly?

After giving this matter much thought, I think perhaps I'll let them watch TV at friends' houses, if they wish. I don't think I'll have one in my house, though, except for the DVD player, or whatever the current technology is.

Speaking of technology, maybe I'm thinking out of date. Maybe they won't even want to watch the TV. Maybe they'll be internet and computer game junkies, just like Daddy.

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