I don’t watch much television. It can go weeks without being turned on.
Other than not having enough time, I’m often too tired and fall asleep!
We do have Pay TV (cable, subscription) and that’s my beer money! Sometimes I think its an expensive baby sitter or video shop.
We originally had Pay TV connected because we lived in an area that only received two TV channels. It was easier to have a satellite dish installed than borrow videos from 80km’s away.
I love cooking shows, sewing shows, police procedurals and anything crime. Pay TV suits me.
Both hubby and I have become serial junkies though.
It started with Dexter. From the get-go I couldn’t get enough of him! What a brilliant premise – a serial killer that only kills serial killers.
We have watched True Blood from the start because I wouldn’t mind if Alexander Skarsgard bit my neck!
Sons of Anarchy has a pretty good story line too. I can’t wait for that to come back.
There’s a remake of a much loved Aussie serial ‘Prisoner’. It was around in the ’80′s. Its set in a women’s prison. Its now called ‘Wentworth’ and even better than the original. We have both become a bit obsessed!
Last night I (belatedly) found episode one, season two of ‘Orange is the new Black’.
I’m not sure if the protagonist, Piper, was in season one and I’m not sure what she did to end up where she has either. But the show intrigues me enough to consider borrowing season one and watching. In my abundant spare time, of course. If no more blogs turn up in the next week, you’ll know why!
From watching the promo’s I thought ‘Orange is the new Black’ was a comedy. The episode I watched last night could be described as dark humor – the sort of humor I get.
I started to really want to know what Piper did and (spoiler alert!) why she decided to lie under oath to protect her lover.
And then this thought popped into my head….
What would I be willing to go to jail for?
What could I possibly be capable of that a judge would deem me unfit to live in society?
Do I love somebody so much that a life in prison to save them would be ok?
I know if anyone touched my kids they’d be in trouble. I would seriously consider murder, but would I go through with it? Would I believe justice would be served without my intervention?
So many people get away with so much these days, I wonder of the threat of jail is even a deterrent.
For example, animal rights activists break laws all the time by breaking into peoples farms to set up cameras, making death threats, harassment. But not too many of them end up in prison.
A lot of people commit horrific crimes, beating people up, raping. Quite a lot of them are baled until they are sentenced. Some even get away with it.
The area I live in is becoming a bit of a druggy haven. I know of drug dealers who are not only known to the police and walking the streets freely but committing other crimes as well. Obviously they feel they are immune to the system. I don’t blame the honest police either. There is a do-gooder element in our judicial system that suits the corrupt police. All t’s must be crossed, all i’s dotted.
And is it that bad a life in prison? I believe it would be for me! But if you live on the streets and three meals a day is a rarity and a bed with sheets is unheard of? Or if your fellow gang members are in there and you can just continue on living like you were? To receive medical attention including for chronic illnesses, TV, education….there are times when I joke about it!
Could I spend the next 20-25 in a cell with someone else and one toilet?
I doubt it!
But the big question I found myself asking me was what has happened to society as a whole that makes it OK to have shows that ‘glorify’ drug use, gang mentality and completely amoral behavior?
This is just my opinion – I think that journalists keep putting more and more shocking images and words together. It has normalized violent behavior. I wonder if the images of dead people laying in the streets of war ravaged countries would have been shown 40 years ago. Are we becoming desensitized by these ‘news’ reports? Is death and destruction not just in wars overseas but in our own ‘war on drugs’, ‘war on gangs’ etc. becoming so commonplace we’ve lost the ability to feel distressed by what other ‘humans’ do to people? Are we becoming victims of the ‘Horror Movie’ Skyhooks sang about all those years ago?
When I was a child I was terrified the police would come and put me in jail for misbehaving. I was taught right from wrong, good from bad, the difference between a good decision and a bad one, consequences for actions both positive and negative. It didn’t stop me from pushing the envelope at times! But I knew where to stop. Others I know didn’t and paid the price.
Is it because of the morals instilled as a child?
We had a daughter ring us from school and inform us she wasn’t coming home. She was going to live with a friend. She is my step daughter but I have always treated her as one of my own. While her parents were bickering I took it upon myself to be the parent her and her brother needed. I taught them all the things I had been taught. So even though she lost her way, what I had given her as a moral compass guided her and she didn’t end up where a lot of these kids do. Doesn’t mean she didn’t have a go, though! She even thanked me for being so ‘tough’ on her and often try’s to tell her 13 year old sister that I am not the bully I’m made out to be.
A lot of it is blamed on TV. That shows like Breaking Bad have caused an increase in meth labs for example. I don’t know really. I haven’t seen an increase in bikey activity since SOA came out. Or an outbreak of serial killers dying. Or vampires taking over the streets. Watching Law and Order – SVU hasn’t made me want to abuse a child or rape a woman. Watching shows and reading books on Ivan Millat hasn’t turned me into a sadist. And I became pretty obsessed with Ivan!
What I do see is children believing the idyllic life they witness on sitcoms and tweeny shows is the way life is. No responsibilities, doing whatever you want, having the best most supportive friends, perfect skin, perfect body, perfect grades without any work, money never being a problem.
And I do believe there is a link between video games and violence. If you’re involved in the killing of humans on a regular basis where no real emotion is felt by the victim it has to effect your mind. At least in paintball you can see the bruises on your friends!
I worry for the future of our children. Our society is increasingly becoming more about rights and less about responsibility. That a 14 year old child has the right to call us and say she’s not coming home from school but we as responsible parents don’t have the right to turn up and remove her from an unsafe situation has to got to be seriously looked at.
That someone who has raped and murdered before can be released from jail to do it again because it isn’t right to keep people locked up can’t ever be considered the right.
I hope the fact we don’t let our children watch copious amounts of TV – they can go days without watching it – and that they both have jobs on our farm and rules they have to abide by will help make them hard working adults who contribute positively to the world. But our way of parenting seems to be the exception these days.
Maybe I do seem hard on my kids to the outside world. Maybe they are deprived in some ways. But they know they’re loved and have a safe place to come to and people who will go in to bat for them when required. And that none of that came from a TV show.
If kids came with a manual, I’m sure the first instruction would be turn the bloody TV off and spend time getting to know your kids!
I don’t have the answers. I wish I did! Our world has been filled with violence since the beginning of recorded history. When or if it will ever stop, I don’t know.
What I do know is this. TV has less to do with our children’s - and society as a wholes - behavior than people give it credit for. If the idyllic idea isn’t reinforced then it won’t be reality. Its up to us as parents to create the world we want for our children by teaching our children its up to them to create the world they want to live in and give them the tools to achieve it.