20 Feb 2010

Twaddly telly and good books


It has been a busy week. I'm tired and when I'm tired I can't think of anything profound to talk about. Which is why you haven't heard anything particularly inspiring from me since...well, actually, I can't remember when I actually wrote anything of value. Since then, anyhow. I'm working on a couple of vaguely interesting posts. One's on etiquette and the other's on scientific writing. They are interesting, I promise, but I don't seem inclined to look at either of them right now.

Jemimah has a house guest this weekend. They managed to stay up most of last night, and are tired and grumpy this morning. They are currently blobbing in front of GO channel on the teev. It's a new channel full of nostalgic old faves like Marine Boy, Josie and the Pussycats, Flinstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo and Get Smart. All blasts from my past and quite good fun. Well, I think so anyhow. Hubby thinks it is twaddle and he's probably certainly right, but he's off at a Men's Breakfast at church this morning, and while the cat's away...

Anyhow, nostalgic telly. My mum totally disapproved of the Flinstones when I was a kid. She hated the way Fred was portrayed as a bumbling idiot whereas Wilma was strong and clearly the real head of the family. We ignored her (my mum, I mean - nobody was game to ignore Wilma, least of all her husband) and watched it anyway. Nowadays I feel the same about the bad values of The Simpsons, only I'm a bad mummy and won't let Jemimah watch it. Funny how I'm still okay about the Flinstones, although I was pleased that Jemimah understood my mum's reservations with the show when I talked to her about them.

I was such a square-eyed kid. My general trivia knowledge of 70s TV is terrific - I watched them all. I was talking about this with my sister last night. My parents were a generation ahead of their times. Mum worked full time, raised a family full time, was hugely involved with church, and managed to have a life as well. I actually think she did a pretty good job. Look how wonderful her kids turned out? I mean, hey! Look at us!! We did, however, have little (!) too much freedom, and much too much television. Nowadays we watch almost none, as if to make up for the excesses of my youth, but I still get all gooey about my childhood favourites and am prone to getting somewhat over-excited when I see Jemimah enjoying the same shows as I did. I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, for example...despite the fact that the women ruled the men in both of those shows as well, in addition to doing lots of other things I totally do not approve of. Ooh, I can see you all shaking your heads at me right now, and deciding I'm a bad influence on you...and a bad role model for my daughter as well. Surely some of you feel the same way about chilhood telly... Anyone? Shucks.

Porky Pig's on now. He just said, "I know when I'm beat...I acquiesce." Bad grammar and a word like acquiesce in the same sentence. Hmmm. Now Bug's Bunny's being shot into space in a rocket. It's too small for him..."I usually take a size 36," he says. Chuckle. Still love it.

You'll be somewhat relieved to hear that we're reading some quality literature. It's all in the balance, surely? Our family read-alouds currently include the following:
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Men of Iron by Howard Pyle
  • Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
  • Wilderness Orphan by Dorothy Cottrell
  • English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs
We're adoring them all. There is a skill involved in selecting books to read together CM style in short chunks. They need to be different enough from each other that there is no risk of getting them confused. Hubby read 1984 and Brave New World at the same time, and has them forever entwined in his brain. We've done particularly well with this selection, I reckon. A great mix of old and new, Aussie and international. I'm planning of reviews of both Wilderness Orphan and Charlotte Sometimes sometime soon. Wilderness Orphan, the story of Chut the kangaroo formed the basis for Ken Hall's film Orphan of the Wilderness which had the notorious boxing kangaroo scene that resulted in the film being banned in Britain. You can view it here if you're interested, but I don't recommend it. It is sad and cruel. The book's not though. It's great.

I'm reading Stravinsky's Lunch by Drusilla Modjeska. It is a wonderfully rich and engrossing book about the lives of two Australian women artists, Stella Bowen (1893-19470) and Grace Cossington Smith (1892-1984). I can't put it down. Jemimah is back reading another story about Bonnie and Sam in Horse Crazy! by Alison Lester. She says it's great. She's also enjoying Asterix and the Goths. Don't know that you call that reading, but it is good for French culture. Hubby is reading The Marriage you've Always Wanted by Dr Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages. You can never work too hard on your marriage in our opinion. I'll be interested to hear what he's thinking of this one. (My love languages are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. His are Acts of Service and Physical touch. Sure makes life interesting. What are yours?)

Jemimah and I are reading Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons for a bedtime read-aloud and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner for school. Lulu la Tortue by Antoon Krings is our French story.

A little twaddle on telly this morning's not going to hurt us too much...is it?

Hubby's just phoned to say he's on his way home, so I'll press the Publish' button. No editing the choppy unconnected sentences. No correcting repetitive words. No picture.


I'll write something of value next week.


  1. I never thought about the Flintstones, but I have thought The Simpsons, Family Guy, and most of the regular sitcoms (here in the US anyway)never have a man of the house. I am not saying that women aren't important in the home, but God made the men the head of the home. What show is on today that a man is a good, strong leader? I have yet to see one. I enjoy the humor. I watch. But I also find myself thinking there's something wrong. Thank you for your thought-provoking post! Loved it!

  2. Hi Jeanne,
    The Simpsons's are not allowed here, either, as the values are definitely NOT Christian values. :P

    I used to read LOTS and LOTS of books, as I really couldn't do much else stuck in an oxygen tent, although I did colouring in as well.

    I do love Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny. Curiously, so do our children.

    Thanks for the memories,

  3. I had a "deprived childhood" free of all that TV:(
    We didn't get a tv until I was twelve and even then we only had a few shows on at night, watching the news was the daily news on TV was the highlight often....so you can imagine the rest:)
    We absolutely LOATHE the Simpsons!!!
    I think a bit of the others you mentioned is like eating a little junk food now and then....not too bad is it? :)
    Yes, you and your dh have very different love languages which would have to make you both work so hard to "love" each other:)
    Fortunately Ron and I have "quality time" as a common one and I also have gifts and acts of service as mine. So atleast we speak one common language and work on the rest:)
    I hopped on here as Rebekah remembered it was Jemimah's b/d on Monday and wanted to wish her a happy b/d....so please do....
    Sorry about my extra long comments though:) Ron has woken up from his nap (yes Ron) and I better go....

  4. No Simpsons here either but I do rather like Penelope Farmer. Not into tv at all, not even as a kid. I read through what few shows we were allowed to watch & when I was allowed to choose I went for things like Callum ~ BBC spy series. Black. Very black. And dark. As only the English can. lol

  5. Definate thumbs down to the Simpsons. Of course, as in your Flinstones experience, the children get older and its what they want to watch because Mum and Dad said it had bad values and that makes it attractive. Still not in our house as goes for most of the recent shows.
    Hubby and I love the old pre-dinner time slot shows! Currently we have the kids hooked on F Troop! Completely politically incorrect but screaming funny non the less. Was Wrangler a dominating woman? Bet you a bucket of buzzards she was!

  6. We don't watch alot of TV - me especially and we didn't have one at home until I was 12 either. Though we did hire one sometimes in the holidays - and I remember with some nostalgia,
    'The Waltons' and 'Kimba the white lion' from then. I'm absolutely hopeless when it comes to TV trivia. We have a no TV policy for our little one (aged 3). Read 'Endangered Minds' by Jane Healy for why.

    It's easy to get sucked in though if someone else is watching the box.

    My hubby and I scored very interestingly with the love languages. Both of us had about 5 points from our 1st to 5th language. I scored 3 exactly the same and my husband 2. So either we are very easy to please or high maintainance because we want everything! Thankfully we are so similar though. Interesting to me how my children's changed quite a bit as they grew.

  7. We had a no telly policy with Jemimah as a toddler as well. She didn't miss it either!

  8. "Family Guy" is verboten at our house [well, when we still had tv] What? No one misses "SKippy the kangaroo?" That's my generations picture of Australia for godness sake! And my niece/nephew learned "slip, slap, slop" [slip on a tshirt, slap on a hat, slop on sunscreen] from a newer generation!!! lol--awufl show-as bad as Lassie! I miss the Waltons, even though I realized as an adult that the trees never matched the supposed season of the year!

  9. Hey Jeanne...this is a funny post! I'm still trying to work out what your main plot was in this post!

    Anyway, I loved the flinstones, The jetsons, Tom & Jerry, road runner and all those classic cartoons! Woule I let my kids watch them?...YEP! They're pretty harmless!

    They have only watched re runs of Tom & Jerry by the way, and they love them, so do I!


    Love Sarah xxx

  10. oh p.s! Can't stand the simpsons or any of the other ridiculous so called cartoons out now! Never on in our home! My children don't even know bart! xxx


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