Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Stranger .... A Must Read

I reblogged this from Coolchange.. spend a few minutes and read it

it is well worth it-



The Stranger

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger... He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.

(I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not from us, our friends or any visitors. After our long time visitor stayed longer he became more daring however, and even got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing..

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

Continue reading.....

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first.Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?....

We just call him 'TV.'

He has a wife now....we call her 'Computer.'

Their first child is "Cell Phone".

Second child "I Pod "


  1. Oh, please. Just more demonizing of objects because people's parenting skills suck. I didn't swear or act up in school. If I did, I got my ass beat. I watched whatever I wanted on tv, and kept my dick away from dirty nasty sex until I was an adult. Didn't drink a drop until I was 19 and still don't smoke except for the occasional premium cigar. People want to blame tv, society, video games, and music for the fact that can't teach their kids right and wrong by providing good examples AND punishment for screwing up.

  2. Robert I agree with you on the parenting thing that is where it starts. The problem is that so many parents nowadays both have to work and don't nearly spend as much time with their children as they should. You also have to admit that today's programs SUCK compared to what we watched when we were younger. ( 60's and 70's). Just look at MTV for instance. I barely watch anything on the boob tube anymore. I prefer reading books or the internet.

  3. As in most households, it seems the parents in this story allowed unrestricted viewing of the TV. Not in my home when I was a young child. I was not allowed to watch shows like: The Outter limits, One Step Beyond, The Ed Sullivan Show. I could watch the I could watch the Red Skelton Show under supervision as part of a family watch.I could watch Mitch Miller now and again. I could watch Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, My Three Sons, Flipper, the Rifleman on my own. I could watch some cartoons on my own. Of course, things losened up as I grew older, I got to watch the Jackie Gleason show. As opposed to the father in the story who did not cuss, I learned most of my cuss words from my father. Heaven forbid I use them back then though, that is how I learned about the taste of brown soap, my mother was adept with it.

    I learned a lot of good things from television by watching shows like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, Jacques Cousteau, National Geographic specials, The Andy Griffith Show, The Addams Family (surprisingly the characters were always very polite) and so on.

    Television had both bad and good influences but try to remember that it was not the television talking to you, it was the people who made the shows. Thus each was different and any experience with TV was based upon what you watched or were allowed to watch by those who were responsible for your upbringing.

    All the best,

  4. Pissed, most parents would save money if one stayed home with the kids and one worked. I've got enough friends who do it and have significantly more disposable income than those who have kids and both work. And if you can't afford to have kids and put the time into good parenting that is necessary to raising good people, then don't have kids.

    I love old tv and movies, but Have Gun, Will Travel has nothing on Justified, Troy is better than Cleopatra, and I'll take the amusing social commentary of South Park over Looney Toons all day long. That said, I prefer books as well. I'm usually reading a couple of different ones at a time.

    As with Glenn, I learned to cuss from a parent, but I was too terrified to actually engage in it until he deemed me old enough.

  5. I graduated high school late '70's. I watched the same old shows when I was a kid as Glen and Robert. I was jacked when we got cable and I could watch MTV. That was early 1980 and was to cool for school, look at it now.
    I am old school with 3 kids, all college graduates, and they did it on there own. Very limited television growing up for them. For what it's worth.

  6. Robert M Glenn B - right on - I am with you guys 100%...

    Most people miss that parenting actually begins with the parent... I always used to tell my friends there is no such thing as a bad kid, just a bad parent. vidoe Games, TV, computers, Iphones.... Kids dont just get them, parents give them - hence they should be excersizing parental skills with the kids us of them...


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