Monday, June 25, 2012

Television Hypocrisy Leads to Selective Memory Contemplation

There is no question in my mind that kids today watch too  much television.  Not a shred of doubt.  Agreed.  It's a problem.

I am also willing to admit that Belle, my precious (and precocious) eight-year-old, watches more than her share.  

What occurred to me the other day, though, is that this is not a new problem.  No, not Belle watching too much TV ... that's only been a problem for seven years or so.  But, seriously, it really is more of a universal concern.

Okay, here's what happened.  I had a stroke of ... well, brilliance is probably too strong a word, but at least it was a very telling realization.

My mother is always on me about the amount of TV Belle watches.  Like, it's a borderline serious issue between the two of us.  

I always try to point out that
1) Belle isn't a passive TV watcher.  She is almost always doing stuff while watching television.

2) The occasions when Belle does sack out in front of the TV almost always follow extensive outdoor ventures.

3) Belle is a voracious reader and would frequently rather sack out with a book than with Victorious or iCarly.

None of that cuts much dice with mi madre.

But then I remembered something--namely, the entire movie script from Labyrinth, which my siblings and I watched near-obsessively when we were kids.  And a whole list of movies scrolled through my mind--Ghostbusters, The Neverending Story, Jaws, Back to the Future, the original three Star Wars films, Spaceballs, The Goonies, The Legend of Billie Jean, Ghostbusters, Heathers, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Dark Crystal, and dozen of others.

Basically, my mother didn't seem to care as much that her own kids were watching so much television that their brains were turning to mush.

I don't write this to bash on my mom; I truly believe that first, she wants to make sure that her grandchildren have the absolute best and second, that her memory is selective with regards to this.

The fact that I can say without the shadow of a doubt that my sibs and I watched far more television than Belle does means very little in the great scheme of things.  My brother and sister don't watch TV excessively as adults, and I almost never watch TV at all.

I guess it's more the selective memory that my mother exemplified ... and the realization that I and pretty much everyone I know is guilty of that same sort of rewriting of history, if only in their minds.

Why do we lie to ourselves about things that, when push comes to shove, really don't matter at all?  And do we believe ourselves?

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