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 Post subject: CATCF Question #5 - Mike Teavee
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:14 am 
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Dahl seems to be making a statement through Mike Teavee. What do you think it is? And do you agree with it?



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:34 pm 
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When you read the Oompa-Loompa song after Mike is "beamed" into the tv you can see that Dahl is lamenting the fact that children aren't reading enough and watching too much television. He also seems to be chiding parents for taking the easy way out and using the television as a babysitter instead of giving more of their time to their children and encouraging them to read and use their imaginations. Even though this book was written 40 years ago, that problem has never gone away and possibly become even more prevalent these days with video games.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:46 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
When you read the Oompa-Loompa song after Mike is "beamed" into the tv you can see that Dahl is lamenting the fact that children aren't reading enough and watching too much television. He also seems to be chiding parents for taking the easy way out and using the television as a babysitter instead of giving more of their time to their children and encouraging them to read and use their imaginations. Even though this book was written 40 years ago, that problem has never gone away and possibly become even more prevalent these days with video games.


Yes, unfortunately I'll have to agree with you. Definitely a grave case. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:49 pm 
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Agreed! I can only imagine what Dahl would have had to say about Nintendo and the like. For one thing, he could probably roll Augustus Gloop and Mike Teavee into one character!



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:12 pm 
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I agree, DIDHOT. Willy Wonka complains that children never take it in small doses but want to sit there staring at it all the time. I think it is quite symbolic that Mike is reduced in size when he gets into the TV, too. Also, when his mother complains that he won't be able to do anything and he claims he will still be able to watch TV. He is reduced as a person and so is his life. I do agree with RD on this point, actually, because children do spend a lot of time watching TV and when they are doing that, they are not doing something else, like playing or reading. It isn't inherently bad in itself; it's just if it's over used and not questioned.
When the book was first published, it was a relatively new phenomenon and I think RD was quite quick to pick up on this aspect, when patterns of behaviour were changing as there were increasing numbers of households with them. They used to bring families together, in some ways, because viewing was a shared experience. Nowadays, it is more frequent for children to have their own TVs in their rooms, along with their own CD players and PCs, so I think in some cases, communication is diminished. One father I know, comes to mind, who complained about the impact this technology has had on his family life. And of course, it is less easy for parents to control what their children are exposed to, if the sets are up in the children's rooms.
Earlier in the book, he seems to be suggesting a link between TV violence and violence in reality, when he shows Mike commenting on gangster stories and being festooned with toy guns. I don't know about that one. Is it art imitating life or life imitating art?



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:38 pm 
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suec wrote:
Earlier in the book, he seems to be suggesting a link between TV violence and violence in reality, when he shows Mike commenting on gangster stories and being festooned with toy guns. I don't know about that one. Is it art imitating life or life imitating art?


That is what I picked up on, Suec. As you are probably aware, there are many experts that say that many of the violent crimes committed by teenagers (i.e. Columbine) can be traced back to influences from movies, TV and music. I personally don't agree with that philosophy. But that's neither here nor there. I think, as someone pointed out, TV addiction was a fairly new phenomenon that Dahl suspected could have a very negative influence on children. And as DITHOT pointed out, it can keep them from reading, socializing with the family and exercise. This is a definite problem in my house as it relates to video and computer games. I daresay I have a little addiction in this area myself. :eyebrow:



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:40 pm 
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Liz, at least the Zone can be considered socializing!



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:02 pm 
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Liz wrote:
suec wrote:
Earlier in the book, he seems to be suggesting a link between TV violence and violence in reality, when he shows Mike commenting on gangster stories and being festooned with toy guns. I don't know about that one. Is it art imitating life or life imitating art?


That is what I picked up on, Suec. As you are probably aware, there are many experts that say that many of the violent crimes committed by teenagers (i.e. Columbine) can be traced back to influences from movies, TV and music. I personally don't agree with that philosophy. But that's neither here nor there.


Yes, I'm inclined to agree with you Liz, although I must admit I haven't entirely come off the fence. Laziness on my part. BTW, here in the UK, we had a soap character imprisoned in some plot line or another, and it actually drew the attention of some of our MPs, including Tony Blair, no less. I'm providing the link to the story. Talk about madness!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/71934.stm



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:58 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
When you read the Oompa-Loompa song after Mike is "beamed" into the tv you can see that Dahl is lamenting the fact that children aren't reading enough and watching too much television. He also seems to be chiding parents for taking the easy way out and using the television as a babysitter instead of giving more of their time to their children and encouraging them to read and use their imaginations. Even though this book was written 40 years ago, that problem has never gone away and possibly become even more prevalent these days with video games.

I agree. And that whole poem made me feel guilty about the fact that both my kids have TV's in their bedrooms, next to their computers. When my kids were young, books were incredibly important in our house. They both grew up reading before they entered kindergarten. Unfortunately only my older daughter is still a voracious reader. Too much time is given to both TV and the computer (although some days, I do not set a good example for them where the internet is concerned....too much computer time, not enough book time) It also leads to lack of time outside, lack of exercise and lack of face to face conversation.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:17 pm 
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lumineuse wrote:
Liz, at least the Zone can be considered socializing!


Thank you, Lumineuse, for giving me my excuse.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:27 am 
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Liz wrote:
lumineuse wrote:
Liz, at least the Zone can be considered socializing!


Thank you, Lumineuse, for giving me my excuse.


i told a friend of mine who happens to be a counsellor that i spend at least two hours a day on the zone
she said well at least its interactive
also i reckon its ok cause ive replaced tv watching with the zone
and im learning about all sorts of things, books movies (ok and Johnny)! :cloud9:



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:22 am 
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truelymadlydepply wrote:
Liz wrote:
lumineuse wrote:
Liz, at least the Zone can be considered socializing!


Thank you, Lumineuse, for giving me my excuse.


i told a friend of mine who happens to be a counsellor that i spend at least two hours a day on the zone
she said well at least its interactive
also i reckon its ok cause ive replaced tv watching with the zone
and im learning about all sorts of things, books movies (ok and Johnny)! :cloud9:


Oh Good! No worries then.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:45 am 
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yes our mr dahl wasnt a fan of the tv but i have to say that i dont agree with him on that.
its just a matter of proportion,even with reading books you can say too much isnt good for a child.
i think if you can find a good balance in all their activity there nothing wrong with a tv even in the childsbedroom.
ofcourse there must be rules,but even with playing outside there are rules so i just dont see a problem.

and on the zone thing,i learned here from garagegames to chocaletcookies so theres indeed nothing to worry about!
greetings,
es


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:03 am 

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well, yes he makes a very good point, but I suppose I'm one of those kids who was raised by the boob tube, for better or worse. I turned out ok, I think, yes-- it all comes out in the wash!


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 Post subject: Mike Teevee
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:01 am 
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Dahl often spoke about the demon influence of T.V and it's role in replacing reading.He was a heavy promoter of literacy and childen- reading all his life.I'm with the consensus. T.V has it's place as long it is not dominant.My son is Autistic and communes better with his T.V and computer than people.!!!But he is also a voracious reader-so as Deppraved says ,it's a question of balance.Mike Teevee's punishment seems to vastly out weigh his crime,don't you think?The heavy punishment of the children,except Charlie always freaked me out as a child and gave the book it's creepy air.


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