Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stand Down, Spongebob!

Grant and I do some of our best talking either on the telephone or while riding in the car at night. It probably has something to do with not having to look at one another directly in the face while speaking that makes the conversation be a little bit more flowy and candid. So tonight we were driving home from dinner at his parents house (about a 30 minute trip) and I was telling him about a story about a blogger who used to have a really funny, thought provoking little blog going and how it has gone completely south. I was searching for the right words to describe it, "... and now it's like... like..." and he said, "Like yours?"

I feigned shock and shot him a "How Could You"-face but the truth is I know what he meant. He decided to enlighten me anyway, "Well, you were pretty funny there for a while, but now it is all just filler crap." Touche.

Well, the truth is I am not a writer, but sometimes I like to write. I am not a photographer, but sometimes I like to take pictures. These things pass into and out of my life from time to time, season to season, and I am completely in touch with how fickle I really am. But when I really needle it down to the truth I must confess: the reason I lag in creativity right now is because the fall seasons started on the television and I have been using my evening brain drain for that instead. Is it a less worthy use of my time? Oh, I wish I could say no, but the truth is yes.

Upon having this realization, I started to think again about the amount of time my kids have been spending in front of screens - television, computer, video games - and how I don't want that for them. I started to think again about the over-branding of our culture and how children don't want anything to do with anything that doesn't boast the label of something that is familiar to them. Forget about ethnic food - kids won't eat anything without a McDonald's label. Don't even think about taking them to the theater - kids don't want to watch anything but the latest installment of the GI Joe saga. All of these familiarities provide them with a sense of belonging, recognition ... comfort, comfort, comfort. I just want my kids to be able to think outside of all these labels. To interpret freely what they like and dislike. But guess what? I really want the same thing for myself.

And so tonight when we got home, fresh off of the conversation/realization I had in the car, I received an email from someone talking about her impending Florida vacation. She made reference to staying at the Nickelodeon Hotel. Since I don't know this person well, and I am curious about her tastes in vacation spots, I googled Nickelodeon Hotel and this is what I found ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Someone would actually purchase an airplane ticket for her entire family to fly to a place where murals of Spongebob adorn the walls of their hotel room? Come on. This has to be some kind of joke. Listen here friends, it's not. (And I thought all-inclusive resorts were tacky.....) But seriously, how can you think in a place like that? How can you relax? I just don't want that for our family. But is partaking in just some of it the slippery slope into a vacation in a pineapple under the sea? I sure hope not - but maybe.

To sum it up a bit, (as always) we have some revamping to do. Just for this week, let's trade tv screens for board games. Let's trade XBox for lively debate. Let's trade the internet for extra prayer time. These are my ambitions. Let's just see if I am not too fickle to keep them.

1 comment:

Anne said...

My family watches plenty of TV and James is certainly a victim of the gigantic mass media advertising engine...but the mere sight of this place makes me cringe. I mean, screaming and running as far as I can from my computer screen. OH MY GOD!

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