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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Yourself to blame

March 1st, 2006

BY MILLICENT MARSHALL

Dear Millie,

Our two kids are starting to raise hell because my husband and I restrict their television viewing to shows we can all watch together on our one TV set in the living room. This deprives them, they say, of a lot of the most popular programs. And why can’t they have winkinggal.jpgTVs in their rooms, they ask? After all, their parents watch TV after they’ve gone to bed. Any advice?

Generation Gap

Dear Gap,

I have to admit I have trouble imagining what the four of you, whatever ages your kids are, can watch together, without either the older or younger generation nodding off or stomping out of the room in disgust. But if you are able to find programs that satisfy all of you, I say keep up the good work. Anyway, the kids have plenty of opportunities to watch their favorite junk when they visit their friends’ houses.

One TV in your house? Well done.

Millie

Dear Millicent Marshall,

Am I imagining things, or has the vast increase in the number of television channels only led to a vast increase in the amount of crap on the tube? What happened to the variety all those channels was supposed to provide?

Bummed in Boston

Dear Bummed,

TV ain’t perfect, even with all those hundreds of channels. But it’s a damned sight more interesting than ever before, especially if you get a satellite dish, as I have here in the Rocky Mountains. Thirty years ago, on American TV, where were the wonderful British dramatic series? Where were the history shows? (Don’t despair, they’ll get off World War II one of these days.) Where was Turner Classic Movies? HBO? Not to mention Olympic coverage from other countries, incomparably better than our own chauvinistic version? And news broadcasts from abroad, necessary for political perspective? Nowhere, that’s where.

Sorry, but I’m not one of those “television is the death knell of culture” zealots. If millions of cretins choose to sit glued to idiotic sitcoms and police dramas, so what? No skin off my nose.

No one forces you to turn the damned thing on. Read a book if you like, talk with your family and friends, experiment in the kitchen with new recipes, go to the opera or theater, and don’t blame TV if you don’t.

If you do get around to watching, stop asking the box to make your life better. It’s only entertainment, but as such, it’s never been better. Pick and choose. Use your noodle. Stop whining.

Millie

Send your query to Millicent Marshall care of Black Lamb. Letters may be edited for length. Replies not guaranteed confidential.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Television Issue, Ask Millie, Marshall | Link to this Entry

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