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Friday, 20 April 2007

Parental Control

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.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 03:45 AM | Permalink | Email this post


This is terrific! I know someone for whom I'd set the same controls, for all your reasons! Love it.

A neat idea, Norm, I like it. And you have put me on my guard now to watch for signs of my (grownup) kids trying to contol me. They'll have a job, I can tell you!

I just sent a copy of this blog to my daughter. I'm sure she would like to use the Parental Control on her stepdad! :-)

Norm, you make me smile! Really enjoy your stories, and grateful Ronni pointed me in your blog direction.

This one is a jewel.

Indeed Norm....thanks for the refreshing smile. It actully went all the way from one side of the face to the other.


This is so right. I loved watching my aunt and uncle when I last visited them. He watched Fox news all day. She went in the bedroom and listened to a liberal radio show all day. Basically, both versions of reality were nothing but one-sided rants where truth never strayed. Once in a while they would meet in the same room and argue about the news.

That's the way I feel about "balanced news." Truth never strays anywhere near when all you get is two opposing views that don't explain the actual facts.

Good luck with your next visit with your dad and a nice chat about golf.

Ha! I feel like doing that to my daughter's father-in-law sometimes. May I add Paul Harvey to the list? He's a total B.S. artist and snake oil salesman. There was a story on 'This American Life' about a guy I think was working for Paul Harvey. The story was called 'The Smiling Man' and I really liked it.
and 'What Virginia Said!' about 'balanced news'! :)

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