Is T.V. brainwashing our kids?


THE OTHER EVENING I arrived home to meet the 18-monthold cycling up and down the hall on his trike, shrieking 'Red Rum, Red Rum' at the top of his little voice. Someone had left a copy of 'The Shining' lying about and while I was off working, he had decided to treat himself to a viewing.

OK, I'm joking, but there is a serious point to be considered about the influence television is having on our kids. And how it develops their brains.

A fellow parent came to stay recently and lamented that his nine-year-old daughter had become Americanised to a worrying extent.

An over-indulgence of shows such as 'Hannah Montana' and the 'Suite Life of Zack and Cody' had seeped into her system and now every second outburst was either ' neat', 'cool' or 'he's soooooo cute'. He also aired concerns about the level of respect with which these on-screen kids addressed on-screen adults.

Though our young lad is a long way off fast cars and girls in high heels, the programmes he's exposed to will determine just how quickly his mind starts being directed that way.

So I've decided from here on that he'll only be allowed watch TG4. Only those programmes which have children playing tin whistles, wearing Aran jumpers and saying their prayers in Latin before they bite into a strawberry jam sandwich. And then, when he does eventually morph into adulthood he'll have perfected the manly way to chew on a mouthful of tobacco, and when to spit it out before choking.

Irish kids have a reputation for watching too much T.V. compared to their European counterparts, but then the rest of the continent doesn't have to put up with as many rainy days as we do.

Realistically, there's no way of avoiding Mickey Mouse or Daisy Duck, and kids will find themselves in front of the box from time to time.

What they watch and how long they watch it for however, is up to the parents.


EVERYONE, well supposedly everyone, got a mighty shock when they opened their most recent payslip and saw how much old 'Lightfingers Lenihan' had whisked away from our salaries this time.

Last week I had one election hopeful at the door and when asked for an opinion on the Government's recent €8.5m library spending spree, I was told that the decision for that would have been made a while ago.

So there you have it, once the Government makes a decision, they can't backtrack under any circumstances. Isn't that reassuring to hear.


BOB DYLAN and his band lit up the O2 in Dublin and it was a pleasure to be there.

They were good, actually very good, and Dylan gave a fine performance for a man of his age.

But as is growing increasingly popular with artists these days, his repertoire was starved of the hits. There were even a couple of occasions when he did play the classics, only alternative versions that were barely recognisable.

If fans are willing to fork out on overpriced tickets to hear the 'Greats', then the honourable thing to do is to play the great songs that they want to hear.