Ten Things to do Besides Watching Television

by Derek Powling

I know. The argument can be made that TV has some value. There are some programs that may be worth your time. I do not plan to persuade you to get rid of your television set. However, I hope to convince of the overall destructive effect of television and offer some alternatives to spending your hours watching it. Television promulgates destructive behavior, such as spending your free time sitting around drinking beer and watching sports as 'cool guy stuff.' When did it become cool to sit around drinking beer and watching sports?

My grandfather could care less about television. I have seen him watch a boxing match or 'two, but that is about it. He is in his 70s and still works outdoors doing hard, physical labor five or six days a week. He started working full time around the age of 12 to help support his family. Education was different then, though. Although he only went as far as sixth grade he can read, write, and do enough math to successfully run a small business. He can handle a team of horses or run heavy equipment, he can run a chainsaw like a pro or use a crosscut saw at a pace 20-year-olds cannot match, and he can drop a deer and have it dressed, butchered, and in his freezer quicker than you can get through a checkout at the supermarket. I think he is pretty cool even though he has no idea who is guest starring on Friends next week or who Frasier is. I remember my father watching the occasional playoff game or super bowl, a James Bond movie now and then, and we watched an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man together once. He loved hunting, playing softball, bowling, playing cards, and working on car engines with his family and friends. He was not perfect, as a lot of his activities did include drinking beer at the same time. But he could run a skidder, a backhoe, a logtruck, and maintain small engines, gasoline engines, or diesel engines. He knew basic electrical and livestock skills. I doubt he ever knew who starred in Three¹s Company or Chico and the Man. Maybe he was not 'hip,' but I wish he were alive for my kids to meet.

For starters, let me give you my general impression of TV. Most programs currently depict Whites as bumbling, uncool, unenlightened ³losers.² They depict homosexuals as cool, hip, and funny. Blacks are hip, strong, honorable, and overcome racism with dignity -- or are rowdy, cool, unrestrained studs. Hispanics are sexy, suave, and underappreciated. Jews represent enlightened wisdom and bearers of great burdens (Oh, Vey! How ve have suffered so!) At seven or eight o¹clock p.m., when your young children are awake, these programs typically provide language such as 'bitch,' 'hell,' and 'damn' in addition to portraying homosexuality, miscegenation, laziness, and disloyalty as normal, acceptable attributes. This is typical of baseline 'regular' programming. I won't even begin to comment on Rosie, Jerry Springer, MTV or HBO. In addition to what programming depicts, television is a major vehicle for the cancer of consumerism to metastasize throughout our culture. 'Cool' trends are started and spread, commercials repetitively pound into our brains the need to go buy stuff we do not need, and we are encouraged to send our kids to day care or school to be indoctrinated so both parents can work and buy things. Please take a few moments to consider a few alternatives to television.

1.Sit down with your children and read to them. I mean read them real books. Magazines are nothing more than printed commercials to fuel consumerism and show you more things to go buy. Newspapers are not even thinly veiled vehicles to indoctrinate you into liberal viewpoints by repeating lies and misrepresenting events. Books are probably the single most important alternative to watching television and letting television 'baby-sit' your children. Lots of books exist that will educate your children while you spend time bonding with them. For younger children, almost any pre-Sesame Street and Barney era works will do. Start with any picture book to get them used to reading. As they get older, move on to more serious stuff. Children love dinosaur and animal books. They will also learn about geology, geography, speciation and phylogeny, predators and prey, anatomy, and carbon dating while getting to see really neat pictures while you get to spend time bonding with them.

How can you better spend an hour every other day or so?

Other good choices include Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan series and Robert Heinlein books or stories. The Tarzan series captivates your children at the expense of a little fantasy (a pretend animal language, etc.) and also depicts Africans realistically. Heinlein books stress rugged independence, survivalism, education, and merit-based rewards. Deep down, Heinlein was a true libertarian, and somewhat anti-racist in stressing that all individuals be judged independently. But, bless his heart, I was the same way until a few years ago. Overall the values his works introduce our young to are beneficial. In particular, I recommend: Revolt in 2100, where a conformist military officer realizes the error of his ways and joins a revolution against an oppressive, religious regime; Farnham's Freehold, in which a cantankerous middle-aged man resists a future society ruled by Africans; Starship Troopers, which provides some interesting commentary on a republic vs. a democracy, and some insight into what Russia underwent in WWII; and Fifth Column, where a movement is initiated to overthrow an Asian occupation army. The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck is another good choice. Jack London and Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens also wrote works you should be familiar with. Small, out of the way used bookstores are a great source to find acceptable reading material. Your patronage will keep them in business. If Waldenbooks, Barnes and Noble, and Borders drive these people out of business, the only books available will be those that they choose to offer to you.

2. Take your children to a range and teach them to shoot. I was shooting a .22 rifle before I started first grade, and a .22 revolver around the time I was six. Use appropriate safety/handling rules, wear eye protection, use ear protection, and instill the proper respect a firearm deserves in them. I am from a rural, all-White area where every household owns several firearms. The crime rate is among the lowest in the nation, and kids start hunting legally before they are out of gradeschool. You will not convince me that 'guns are the cause of crime,' or that 'kids with guns' makes an epidemic of violence. If you are reading this website, I assume you have an idea who is responsible for most of the violent crime in this nation. Teach kids to hunt as well. An armed populace cannot be oppressed and a hunter can always feed his family. Several youth-sized firearms are currently available on the market and will make it a much more enjoyable experience for them.

3. Take your family on a hike, at most it will take an hour or two. The exercise is good for them. It will give you time to talk with and bond with them. Show them edible plants and plants to avoid. Show them animal tracks and water sources. Let them appreciate nature and understand it. You will raise children that enjoy being with you, have some survival skills, and appreciate a stretch of woods more than development or a strip mall. With more time, a camping trip is a great extension of this. Fish or hunt for your food, show them how to use a water purifier, and teach them about weather/environment-appropriate clothes and equipment.

4. Take the money you would spend on a big screen TV and cable or satellite bill, and use it to buy a few free weights and a punching bag. Teach your kids that exercise and being strong are cool. Explain to them how smoking, drinking, drugs, and sitting on their ass 'hanging out' or playing video games with their friends is unhealthy. Teach them some fighting skills (and I don't mean Tae Bo or Kickercise!) that would allow them to disable or kill someone threatening their life. You will give your kids an alternative to drugs and other destructive behavior, plus give them some ability to protect themselves.

5. Make or fix something with them. Kids love to play with tools. Make a little bookshelf or something they can keep. Several projects come to mind. They will enjoy using the tools, will learn some useful skills, and will have something long lasting to remind them of the time you spent together. I still keep a small wooden car I made with my father. I learned about whittling,sanding, painting, graphite lubricant, and using a torch in the few hours it took. Teach your kid to change the bearings and repack them with grease, change tires, repair flats, etc. on their bike. These are all useful skills, keep them from doing something less wholesome, and save you money.

6.Buy a pet. Depending on your budget and living area, several different mammals provide healthy interaction in your lives. Even if you have no use for a working or a hunting dog, a 'family' dog is a great addition to your life. You and your children will get exercise walking it, they will learn responsibility caring for it, and a well-trained dog can offer protection and security to your home and family. Would you rather have your teenage daughter out at the mall with her 'friends' smoking, drinking, and flirting with boys, or grooming, feeding and riding a horse? Do you think your son would be better off out skateboarding with kids that try to get him to smoke pot with them, or playing with his dog?

7. Teach meaningful history to your children and learn about it yourself. Wow, imagine what the world would be like if Catholic and Protestant Irishmen did not kill each other, if Scots and English had not spent years fighting each other, if Germans and Frenchmen and British had not spent years killing each other, or if hundreds of thousands of White Americans had not killed each other in the Civil War. We Europeans and peoples of European descent represent the highest potential on this planet. Know our cultures, our history, and our accomplishments. Compare Argentina and Chile to South and Central American countries populated by less European peoples. Introduce them to Sub-Saharan Africa and let them learn what sort of native traditions prevail in lands outside European control. Do not leave them adrift like flotsam and jetsam in a sea of 'multiculturalism' with no identity. They will drift towards what is pushed on them as 'cool,' 'trendy,' and 'popular,' such as drugs, promiscuity, homosexuality, Save The Last Dance, and MTV if you do not provide an anchor.

8. Expose yourself and your children to their family. Tell them about their family history and the culture of their ancestors. Most of us will go to no ends to make it some family member's funeral when we have not seen them in years. Never mind making it to someone's funeral. Make the effort see the grandparent that fought in WWII and talk with him about it, let your kids meet the uncle who was a SEAL in Vietnam, or the grandmother who supplied her entire family with vegetables just by keeping a small garden. Help your grandfather get some hay in the silo and talk to him about what it was like growing up in Scotland and then moving to America. At least sit down and look through a photo album with your kids. Make one of your children's ancestors their hero, not some African that gets paid millions to play with a ball, put his name on clothing and sneakers, do drugs, and abuse women. Connect with your family, your culture, and your identity and ensure your kids do the same.

9. Learn first aid at the least. Better yet, become a qualified EMT or Paramedic. Make sure your family knows basic medicine as well. This is just another of the basic skills you should know. Do you think watching ER or some other medical program is going to be of any benefit to you? Robert Heinlein wrote a short story called The Roads Must Roll about fifty years ago. It depicts a society where qualified engineers, doctors, and other intelligent, productive members of society with useful skills are a distinct, over-worked minority, who can no longer keep up with the demands of the uneducated, unskilled, and unintelligent majority of society. Although race/immigration is not mentioned in the story, I think you can draw your own conclusions. Anything that engenders self-reliance and independence in yourself and your family is positive.

10. Spend some quality time with your spouse. Do you get anything out of your time at home while your wife reads a magazine or watches TV? Does watching 'the big game' and drinking beer make your wife proud of you? Your spouse is your partner in your life. He or she will raise your children with you. Do not let some box that provides destructive entertainment and insane commercials destroy your bond with him or her.

Ok, that about sums it up. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but just some alternatives you should consider. I have placed a heavy emphasis on your children in this. Do not forget that television is just another way used to set our young against our old and further weaken our culture. If you do not have kids, I can sum it up quicker: Read, Shoot, Hunt, Learn Survival Skills, Exercise, Learn Practical Skills, Own Pets or Work Animals, Study History, and Know Your Family, Your Culture, and Your Identity. Thank you for your time.


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