Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Another Rant from Ponzi

Put this in the category of "Over My Dead Body!" Satellite T.V. in your car? My kids are going to have a long list of reasons to feel deprived if people keep insisting on these kinds of "innovations." I admit to the portable mini-DVD--but only for VERY long trips. Seriously, what ever happened to "talking" to your kids while in the car? Must we be entertained to death?

Discussions - 11 Comments

Yeah, talking...and watching the world go by! I always used to just hang out the window when I was a kid, and still do. Aren’t people interested in the world around them anymore? Even the most boring terrain has something of interest...well almost any...even if it’s just the sheer size and emptiness of a place like Northern Nevada or West Texas. Between onboard TV and cell phones, it seems like people just want to shut everything out that doesn’t pertain to themselves.

Amen. We almost did not accept a free
car from my in-laws because it has
something like 8 t.v.s in it, replete
with headphones for the kiddies so
absolutely no conversation could
possibly take place. Our rule is
that it is never to be turned on
around towns or short trips. And
on long trips, maybe only one or
two carefully chosen movies. But,
mostly talking, reading books,
coloring, or just enjoying each
other’s presence.

Man, you make it very hard to disagree with you sometimes. :)

Actually, this is something I’m concerned about. I always knew the first TV generation had a shorter attention span, but the damage seemed limited, and there were advantages. Now, I’ve noticed that my own attention span has eroded in the wake of the Internet. I have trouble watching hour-long programming these days...I TiVo it, tape it, and then never get around to watching it. Is the whole nation being converted into a bunch of ADHD digital junkies? If it can happen to me (and I’m fighting it), it can happen to most people.

I was in the passenger seat in a car with a television, this is when they were first included, and it was up front, in front of the stick shift. And sure enough, returning home from college one afternoon, we were knocked into a complete 360 by some car doing 50 mph, easy.

It’s not a very good idea, as for the back, for kids ....... ?

Julie, you realize with this minor rant, compared with your earlier rant against rubber wrist bands, that you are heading towards that NETWORK moment, when you arrive at work in a trenchcoat, hair soaked, coat soaked, ready to go on the air and urge everyone to stick their heads out of their window and proclaim: "I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!"

Here are two more topics to set you off: Tattoos and men wearing ear rings. And here’s a third for good measure: The loud hip hop music played during stoppages at sporting events.

Dude--have you ever driven in rush hour traffic toward Los Angeles with a 5 year-old in the back seat?? It’s a serious testament to the strength of my sanity that these TV and rubber bracelet rants are the depth of my fall! And at least I know when I’m ranting! Perhaps people will laugh and say I’m just a country bumpkin from the Midwest, but if I had to do that every day I’d need a rubber room, not a rubber bracelet. No wonder people driving in that want T.V.s in their cars--they’re trying to forget how much their lives suck!

Yes . . . on second thought I’m all wet here. I should have packed the DVD player! But then this trip should have taken me a little more than 20 minutes and it took me more than an hour and a half (in the carpool lane)! All of this for a field trip?! What, I ask you, could a 5 year-old possibly need to see that warrants this much aggravation?

The next thing we�ll witness is Julie Ponzi recommending that we read -- with the kids, on short trips anyway -- Burma-Shave signs! Or that we watch for rare license plates! Or play 20 questions.

TV is an abomination. But controlled watching of DVDs in the car might be a Good Thing. Parents should participate. (Fade for irony.) It�s an opportunity to make wry and outrageous comments: "Look!, Liam, never mind what Bernie the Turnip is saying, Look! a Burma-Shave commercial on the roadside signs!"

When I was a child, I expected to be bored most of the time. Expecting to be stimulated on all occasions seems to be no advance at all.

According to my son’s teacher, I’m supposed to be quizzing them on math problems! Enough already! I’m with you Steve--let them be naturally bored instead of driven to it.

Wow, it’s growing, just like in the Network movie.

Kids should learn how to deal with being bored though. That’s a good point. Sometimes handheld games and such things come in handy. My sister and my nephews were stuck all day in an airport recently, and she might have had her hands full but for some handheld games. Which she had just purchased for them.

"Dude--have you ever driven in rush hour traffic toward Los Angeles with a 5 year-old in the back seat??"


Yes, it can get aggravating. I’ve driven around Los Angeles with kids that age in both cars with TVs and cars without, and the ones with the TVs are usually more annoying rides.


I used to drive two and a half hours (with light traffic) from Central California into Los Angeles every weekend, from the age of six to the age of sixteen. I managed to preoccupy myself with my walkman, bringing some CDs along the way with me and just zoning out as I listened to the music. When I was younger I’d play silly car games too. As I got older I started having some nice conversations along the way. I mean, yeah, it got really boring if I hit a bunch of traffic in Santa Barbara or some other automobile accident was blocking the 101, but you learn to just sit through it as a kid. I remember once my father had a portable television that could sometimes get signals along the coast while driving, but I got bored with it after two rides.
I don’t see why people need a TV for a simple car ride. I drove from Cleveland to Los Angeles and then from Los Angeles to Cleveland a couple of summers back, and I survived fine with my iPod and a fascination with the American landscape.


If a kid starts complaining and whining about not being able to watch TV or a movie for a drive, I say just let ’em suck it up. If it weren’t for growing up being stuck in Los Angeles traffic for most of my life, I doubt I’d be able to think as clearly as I do, because that’s when as a kid I spent my time day dreaming and as a teenager spent my time thinking about things in my life. The minor "inconvenience" of boredom will force ’em to find something interesting to occupy their time with.

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