Learning in the media

Something was on the dog’s ear. Something we hadn’t noticed before.

The thing looked like a kernel of corn, but we haven’t had corn in days so that didn’t make any sense. It hadn’t been there the day before. I guessed it was a big, fat, fully engorged tick. Grabbing the body and pulling can leave the head behind to cause trouble, but I have heard of several ways to remove a tick.

I didn’t think Brutus would sit still while we encouraged the tick to back out by placing the hot end of a match (you are supposed to blowout the flame first) near the tick’s head. I could have rubbed something on the tick, if only I remembered what, which of course was no help at all. Luckily, I had watched Dr OZ the other day, and the doctor said to take a tweezers, grab the head of the tick, and just lift it off. Success!! I disposed of the tick. Brutus was a happy dog. A happy ending thanks to one of the best attributes of the medium of television. The ability to teach.

I’ve learned about the rise and fall of western civilizations, space travel, geology and evolution. Television has shown me the beauty of and customs of places in the world where I will never visit. I’ve learned how to build a house, pour a driveway, landscape the yard and decorate my home, with furnishings I can build and create. (I don’t really do any of these things, but that is not the point. I know how it is done, and I feel smart.)

I have been convinced of the need for sunscreen and have learned other ways, in addition to removing ticks, to preserve the health of myself and my family. I have learned cooking, sewing and needlework, painting, and how to train my pets.

I have also learned about pole dancing, what to look for when casing out a property for robbery, and how to handle those pesky watch dogs, and drive off with the loot in the family car whose key is on a hook right by the back door.

Which brings me to the story in the news of a dance recital routine posted on YouTube. Dance moves were taken from a popular music video. People were shocked at young girls performing such moves on stage as well as the public arena of the internet. The critics say that certainly dance teachers and parents would know better than to allow children to perform such suggestive moves.

What is sexy is something television teaches very well, ask any three year old and they can tell you what we consider sexy. From sexy cars to sexy moves, it is paraded on television on every channel, every day, all day and night. We are sexual creatures. Sexuality is at the heart of adorning ourselves, and our lives. Sexuality is at the heart of our greatest drama and conflicts.

Much of what television teaches us about sexuality is wonderful. Television can show wholesome, loving relationships that include sex, teach the values of protected sex and sex in a loving, monogamous relationship. Television can provide such useful information as how to perform a breast self exam, when to see a doctor, and where the G-spot is.

While television can teach us much about sexuality, it should not be left to teach our children everything about the world. The good, the bad and the ugly will be included. We have to talk to our children about what they are seeing, and help them understand what can happen in real life if they choose the wrong thing. We have to make sure learning and understanding grow together.

Unfortunately, our children, just as we have ourselves, will make some wrong choices. Some of these choices will have lasting consequences. That is how life is. Do your best. Good luck.

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