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Television by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screen- writer, and fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. He has been referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”.  (Wikipedia)
Unfortunately, in this era of multiple ‘screens’ per family member, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to give less time to electronic devices and more time to good books. Smartphones and tablets provide us with distractions which may not always be a bad thing. There’s an app for almost everything. Logic puzzles and games are good, and we have wonderful resources such as Wikipedia. We should endeavour to reach a balance in the time we spend with our smartphones and televisions, in order to spend more time with our families and perhaps almost as importantly, to books.  The University of Michigan has an online guide Television and Children.  They also have information on Reading, Literacy and Your Child.
Roald Dahl passed away in 1990. Imagine what he would have had to say about computer games and smartphones!
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. Rat 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

design
website
Thorsen Services
© copyright             Created and Developed by Thorsen Services        President: Bob Thorsen   Vice President: Trevor Thorsen
Links Links
Distraction of TV
Unfortunately, in this era of multiple ‘screens’ per family member, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to give less time to electronic devices and more time to good books. Smartphones and tablets provide us with distractions which may not always be a bad thing. There’s an app for almost everything. Logic puzzles and games are good, and we have wonderful resources such as Wikipedia. We should endeavour to reach a balance in the time we spend with our smartphones and televisions, in order to spend more time with our families and perhaps almost as importantly, to books.  The University of Michigan has an online guide Television and Children.  They also have information on Reading, Literacy and Your Child.