Friday, 20 April 2007
By Norm Jenson of Mostly Anecdotal
I really would like a crack at the parental controls on my father's TV. I'd set Hannity and Colmes off limits. I'd require a password for that Bill O'Reilly fellow. I'm thinking "never" would be a good one. Fox News would be devastated; they would lose their biggest fan.
If there were parental controls on radios I'd ban Rush Limbaugh, and tell Dad Laura Ingraham was whoring herself again. I'd adjust the tuning knob on his radio just enough that Rush would sound a bit off. Dad would worry that Rush was back on the Oxcycotin. "He sounds funny," he'd say. "Something in his voice, I hope it's not the drugs again." I'd smile.
I love my Dad, really I do, but I wish he'd leave his caveman politics in the cave. I wish he'd quit giving me the latest book by Billo as soon as he finishes reading it. Oh, the discussions never get out of hand, nor do they go anywhere. Is he as frustrated as I am after one of our chats? I'd like to talk about baseball. I'd enjoy a chat about his childhood, a fishing pole in hand.
Could I get away with setting the parental controls? Probably. He'd call for help. “I can't get Sean on the TV,” he'd say. “I'll drop by,” I'd say. Maybe if I stalled long enough, he'd find other stations to watch and enjoy. His requests for help would go from once a week to once a month. I'd promise to come by and help, knowing he'd forget, and instead we'd talk about his latest round of golf, his latest trip, and even revisit his good old days. I'd be a good son.
My wife says the controls are for limiting what children watch. I remind her that our children are no longer children. I think she's wrong about the control, I'm sure of it; parental controls are for controlling our parents.