Smash the TV and burn all the books

“Nobody can say with certainty what the effects of unsupervised late-night reading will be.”
– Tom Robinson


From the archives: 2004

(A satirical piece!)

Everybody knows that television is responsible for increased violence among teenagers. Dammit, TV is a problem. But let’s not underestimate the danger of books. How many naive, well-meaning parents do you know who allow their child to keep an actual bookshelf in his bedroom? Nobody can say with certainty what the effects of unsupervised late-night reading will be.

The consumption of certain books outside the home may currently be on the rise. Too often I have witnessed rows of children staring glassy-eyed at thin sheets of paper. These sheaves of artificially-bleached cellulose are literally helping to create fantasy worlds within their minds. Not to mention the increased demand for wood pulp, which contributes directly to global warming. Consider also the low price and high availability of murder mystery and cheap thriller novels in airports and bookshops. It just makes effective parental censorship all the more difficult. Should we—as a society—be exposing our children to this kind of material? Where do murderers and rapists get their ideas from, if not from TV and books?

It’s time to step back from industrially produced words and re-discover the more traditional childhood pleasures, like conversation. Recent studies have shown that just forty minutes of daily controlled conversation with your children can lead to increased levels of synapta-beta-trophin, a neurotransmitter associated with enhanced coordination and long-term memory skills.

So, have you burnt your books yet?

See also:

Tom Robinson, 2004, ‘Smash the TV and burn all the books’,