Our T.V. (1/2)
You know, I don't dream of a world without problems. I don't dream of a world without poverty. I don't dream of a world without tears. I only dream of a world without disorder.
Where does one begin to end disorder? Certainly not by simply closing down the welder's shop in our neighbourhood or by chasing the unwanted animals out of the two cities. Disorder can only be rooted out by upbringing.
In the past, upbringing started in the family. Today upbringing starts on television. In the past, kids would look at their parents and listen as they spoke. Today, everybody looks at the television set and all silence one another if a handsome actor is speaking or a ravishing songstress is singing. Today the Koran is television. The Bible is television. The Truth is television. Happiness is television. And if you don't look like the people you like on television, then you don't belong to the world of today. That's perhaps why the Taleban banned television.
But television could be wonderful. It could help put the disordered world into order. It could make our world a better world. It could do all that and more if it weren't like the one I know. The television I know could only put the already disordered world into a little more disorder.
How could there be order when a girl could win in just half an hour by citing the maximum of names of songs and singers on television more than a distinguished engineer could earn in sixty days or more? How could there be order when a schoolboy sees with his own eyes and hears with his own ears on television that it would be much better for him to be a long-distance runner than a doctor in his own private hospital in the country's biggest city? How could there be order when illiterate women cooks and amateur teenage singers become TV stars while the country's finest minds are "remembered" only when their death is announced to the press?
No need for the Taleban to ban television in my country. I won't watch it, anyway, until I hear that someone like you, all spruced up in the so-much-missed Arabian fashion, would be there to read the news or to present my country's finest writers, thinkers, engineers and uncorrupted politicians.
Meanwhile, I'll keep dreaming of a better world.
dimanche 9 septembre 2007
Our T.V. (2/2)
Last time I told you about our television. Now, Layla, there’s not only our television that’s so bad. There are so many bad televisions around the world. What’s bad about television, if you ask me, is that spending too much time watching it will kill in the viewer all power of dreaming.
By watching television everyday one might get the feeling that “successful” people are already there––filling the TV screen with their glamour and beatific smiles, and there’s just nothing left for a poor televiewer to dream of.
A poor girl might feel that she’d never become like her (famous, glamorous) idolized actress (who has millions of fans all over the world). What would she do then? I don’t know, but perhaps –and I’m sorry to say it– she might probably turn to cheap sex. Some girls, you know, sell their body to Internet sex websites “businessmen”. Others would display their bodily treasures on a personal blog or a skyblog. Another group would post their best (and less impudent) pics and intimate personal information on “professional” sites specialized in finding people mates and pen-pals. What about males?
Well, they too join in the chorus. They too join in the sex game, since it’s easier than obtaining a university degree. That’s why we have more porn stars than people like Bill Gates or J.K Rawlings. And there’s no sex –or almost– without drugs. Cocaine, Marijuana and the like are easy ways to make one feel that he/she has “fulfilled” all his/her dreams. Otherwise, how could one have even the opportunity to dream? Not by watching television, anyway.
In the past there was no television. But there were schools. People went to school to learn, but also to dream. When you are alone reading a book of history or a book of poetry or a novel, or any kind of book, you find yourself thinking of something as you read. Television won’t leave you that privilege. Only at school one can still hope to find the opportunity to dream at leisure. But when I say school, I don’t mean the schools I know.