Off Button

Today marks Martin Luther King’s birthday. He stands for taking a stand, doing something, despite any cost. He used the platform available to him to make a change, to point out what was wrong, to speak out. Take a minute and look up something about King on the Internet. Investigate a legacy today.

Simultaneous to remembrance of a violent transition, there’s been a huge flap out there about The Book of Daniel, the story of a seriously dysfunctional family whose pill dependent leader just happens to be an Episcopal priest. Protesters have been speaking up and want to talk about it.

Last Sunday, after the debut on Friday, I was offering my disapproval of the premise based on reports and one of our class members actually watched it (how novel an approach to a discussion). He didn’t see it in the same light. He sympathized with the character. Okay. But what were the author’s motives, and the studio’s motives? Were they ignorant of real Christianity (y’think?) or were they expressly attempting to misrepresent Christianity and why? So we agreed to keep our eyes and ears open to further comment and watch the next episode.

We both were busy and missed it. However, during the week I pulled some reviews off the internet, and printed them for him. It seems that NBC’s statement was that they were endeavoring to and believed they had actually succeeded in representing the average Christian family! The author says Jesus was a nice guy with some good ideas, if He had even existed. Real authorities here; lots of research….not.

What the talk show host insisted was that protesting only makes people want to see it more. The best way to kill a program you don’t want out there is to ignore it and turn the button to OFF. He was yelling! And he would not change his mind (I guess he has the right not to) after multiple callers pointed out that there are impressionable kids out there whose parents aren’t around to turn the button to Off.

Let me point something out that we should have learned from the 60’s. Speaking up, demonstrating, and marching works. Ignoring something like this does not make it go away. I have gone on record several times in saying that the 60’s generation (that would be my peers–I was there to see it) and its relentless protesting of the Evil Establishment has caused irreparable harm to the family and other areas of our lives to this day. The same system of protest worked to the good for civil rights in the south. My point is not what I do and don’t approve of. My point is that had no one spoken up, certain things would not have been changed.

When I was growing up we knew a family out in the country who didn’t own a TV or a radio. They read, they worked, they …. actually, I’m not sure what they filled all their time with, but it wasn’t TV or radio. Yet, despite their decision to ignore programming they didn’t approve of, it was broadcast anyway. Without them. All in the Family proceeded with breakthrough programming without them. Without who?

I turn away from Fear Factor. It’s stupid. Is it still running? I deplore Sex in the City by virtue of its title. Never tuned in. Their feelings weren’t hurt. Wild Girl ads are running during CSI breaks on Spike. They didn’t ask me if it was ok. Desparate Housewives? Very successful. I tuned it out.  It’s still running.

Who am I if I don’t introduce myself? Where am I if I’m not seen? Nothing stops without resistance. Discuss it. Examine it. Test it against your inborn sense of right and wrong and if it’s necessary to stop it, fight it.

The most successful means by which to lose is to do nothing. Passivity is consent.


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