Tuesday, January 23, 2007


From Peter Hitchens

"...It's the plain duty of civilised people to turn off the TV most of the time. And it ought to be a criminal offence to let small children watch it unsupervised, ever.

You'd be doing far less harm if you put a dollop of gin in their cocoa. Not that I'm actually recommending the gin, you understand.

In George Orwell's prophecy, 1984, which everyone talks about knowingly but hardly anyone actually seems to have read, it was a privilege reserved for the inner elite to be allowed to turn off their TVs.

In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, firemen, with robot sniffers able to detect paper and ink, patrol the country burning any remaining books.

Television screens, meanwhile, have become so large that they take up entire walls, on which drivel is shown all the time.

Not far off the truth, though instead of official book-burners we have State schools that refuse to teach children to read, which has the same result.

This malign invention, television, has, in the space of 50 years, plundered, copied, chewed up, spat out and eventually spat on the treasures of 20 centuries of culture.

It has turned whole nations into passive conformists who wear the same things, adopt the same slang, laugh at the same jokes and imagine that their brainwashed opinions are their own.

So, in a way, the liquid manure of Channel 4' s Big Brother has earned its grandiose name - even though most of those who watch it have no idea who or what Orwell's original Big Brother was, or would care if they did.

Switch it off while you still can and while you still have the willpower to do so and the knowledge that what is being placed before you is unfit for human consumption..."