Watching Television?

Interesting discussion from Thomas Merton on television. Note: he wrote this is in the late 50’s/early 60’s at time when there was limited options on TV and the content was tame by today’s standards …

“I am certainly no judge of television, since I have never watched it. All I know is that there is a sufficiently general agreement, among men whose judgment I respect, that commercial television is degraded, meretricious and absurd. Certainly it would seem that TV could become a kind of surrogate for contemplation: a completely inert subjection to vulgar images, a descent to a sub-natural passivity rather than an ascent into a supremely active passivity in understanding and love. It would seem that television should be used with extreme care and discrimination by anyone who might hope to take interior life seriously.”

mer·e·tri·cious/merəˈtriSHəs/ Adjective: Apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity
vul·gar/ˈvəlgər/Adjective: ordinary; characteristic of or belonging to the masses
dis·crim·i·na·tion/disˌkriməˈnāSHən/Noun: Recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another

Love the phrase: “an ascent into a supremely active passivity in understanding and love”

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~ by Ted Wueste on August 12, 2011.

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