[Milton-L] Television

Cristine Soliz csoliz at csoliz.com
Tue Jan 29 21:33:38 EST 2008


this ghastly junk belongs more on tv than here

_______________
Cristine Soliz
PhD in Comparative Literature
Faculty in English, Diné College
Faculty Association President
Project Director, NEH Grant
http://dchumanities.org/
Area Chair Historical Fiction, SW Tex Pop Culture and Am Culture Assoc
Associate Scholar, Center for World Indigenous Studies
http://csoliz.com
csoliz at csoliz.com
 




From: Paul Miller <pm9 at comcast.net>
Reply-To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 19:53:25 -0600
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Subject: [Milton-L] Television

  
     
 Television
  
 
  
   
    The  most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are  concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your  television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The  idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've  watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge  about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in  someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They  sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by  it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking  ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't  climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or  punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the  dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To  wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT  ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT  CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND  BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A  FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF  THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY  SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But  if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our  darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking  you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep  themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have  you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and  slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND  READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott!  Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery  shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery  floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting  to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons,  gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant  shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates  wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And  cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something  hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's  Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod,  the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs.  Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the  Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's  Mr. Rate and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to  know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we  beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you  can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the  shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The  screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you  with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a  week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to  feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start  -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills  their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd  ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul,  unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and  every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

Roald Dahl 
  
 Paul Miller
 


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