Friday, March 16, 2007

Only 38 days left! Are you ready?

Thirty-eight days left? Are you ready to meet what?

Your blank TV screens, of course.

Yes, it's another inspiring TV-B-Gone/TV Turnoff Week post.

First, repeated posts on this subject require this rhetorical inoculation—hold still, you won't feel a thing:

Psst, this blog shills for no one—and no thing, including clever stealth TV remotes.

The "Three-Eyed Red One" (see photo) is just trying to level the media playing field with the blog-spatula it's been given.

I mean, think of all those effusive articles glorifying this or that flat-screen TV. The stories never question whether you need pulsating plasma panels planted on your walls in the first place.

Well, a growing legion of us is asking you—and ourselves.

So, as TV-Turnoff week nears on April 23, the excitement mounts.

Only 38 days left! Not too early to ask how you and your family are planning to celebrate. (Remember, tips and benefits are here at this special Kaiser Permanente TVTO site as well as at the TV Turnoff Network site.)

I'm thinking along the lines of a week of Scrabble, backgammon, darts, horseshoe pitching, bicycling, typewriter puttering, garage-door painting, lawn reseeding, ivy pulling...and, of course, blog writing (and, yes, time spent here is "screen time." So call me a hypocrite. At least the mind is engaged—well, mostly.)

Or I might take Henry David's advice and fit in some long walks in the woods. (If you have to ask, "Henry David" who?" you haven't been paying attention. See recent posts.) The "woods" that beckons many Portlanders is Forest Park with its 30-mile-long Wildwood Trail. But there are countless others.

And, as they say, there's more!

Coming here soon will be a blog-review of the just published book, "The Big Turnoff, Confessions of a TV-Addicted Mom trying to raise a TV-Free Kid." The author is Hillsdale author and neighbor Ellen Currey-Wilson. Ellen will discuss her book at Annie Bloom's on April 24. According to the publicity advance, Ellen goes after TV insanity with one of the deepest penetrating knives in the drawer: self-deprecating humor.

Meanwhile, TV-B-Gone inventor Mitch Altman and I have been corresponding again.

Always dangerous.

When I recently put in my bulk order for 20 stealth remotes, I asked about some interesting uses for them. Also, with our TV Turnoff Week celebrations coming up, I wondered about what message he carries to his TV-Turnoff audiences.

Here are his answers:

Different people and organizations have used TV-B-Gone in different ways.

I've used it as a fun excuse to talk in schools about TV and its effects. Adbusters, and Culture Jammers in North America and Europe roamed around in small and large groups turning off TVs in public places, leaving fun literature behind them. Some organizations have used it as raffle prize gifts, pledge gifts, sales for enhancing revenue, making fun videos to promote their work.

TV-B-Gone gives people an opportunity to think about TV and its effects. I think it is important to make these concepts fun, easy and non-threatening, since otherwise people have a tendency to become defensive (just as addicts are often quite defensive when talking about their substance of choice).

In my presentations at schools I introduce myself as an inventor and show them my invention TV-B-Gone, which is a fun way to start. If there's a TV in the room I tell them I'll give them a demo later.

My talks are very personal and autobiographical, talking about being really unhappy and depressed as a kid, bullied and tormented daily, retreating into TV when I got home. I use that as a way in to talk about TV and its effects on me, personally. I ask questions of the kids as we go along to see what thoughts they have on how TV may be effecting them.

Before ending with an inspirational message about choosing well what you do with your time, I ask them their favorite things in the whole world, then talk about inventing, one of my favorite things, giving TV-B-Gone as an example.

Then I ask them what they'll be doing instead of watching TV for the next week. They're usually pretty excited by that point.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Rita Humphrey said...

The City of Gresham is sponsoring a TV-Turnoff Week event - Family Game Day on Saturday, April 28, from 2-8 p.m. at City Hall. www.ci.gresham.or.us/parks/ for more information.

3:21 PM  

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