THE V-CHIP'S ELITE TRIP
Are you an elitist swine? Take this quiz and find out!
[Source: "Chip Thrills," by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, 1/20/97]
Read each quote and pick the appropriate response.
1. "According to one recent study, somewhere between 20 and
27 percent of the parents of four- to six-year-olds never
restrict their children's viewing hours, never decide what programs they
can watch, never change the channel when something objectionable comes on,
and never forbid the watching of certain programs."
a) Shocking! Don't these people know about studies linking
violence in society to violence on TV?
b) Heartening! There are some parents who have more to do
than police their children's TV viewing.
c) What about "when something objectionable comes on" the floor?
d) This reminds me of that episode of Fantasy Island where Mr. Rourke says,
"See, Tattoo, how sad Mr. and Mrs. Wilson look? This is because they have
not learned that to love <dramatic pause> is to let go. But I think I can
2. "It has apparently never occurred to these parents that television can
be a bad influence, and it strains credulity to think that the advent of
the V-chip is going to wake them up."
a) Doesn't anything occur to these people, or are they just zombies who
believe everything anyone tells them?!!
b) It has apparently never occurred to the remaining 80 percent that without
television, their children will turn into awkward little outcasts.
c) It has apparently never occurred to the masses how much they could learn
from pointy-nosed intellectuals who write for The New Yorker.
d) That reminds me of this scene in HBO's special Night of the Living Dead
Parents in which this kid has to smack his dad over the head with a mallet
just to wake him up.
3. "Yet their families - mainly lower-income, ill-educated - are the very
ones most in need of protection from television violence."
This statement begs the question...
a) What can we do about these lower-class idiots to protect them from
television violence? Maybe if they played outside - don't they have some
kind of game called "drive-by"?
b) Did the study indicate that this 20 to 27 percent consists of "lower-income,
ill-educated" families, or is the author making a higher-income,
c) Ill-educated? Does that mean educated in how to make upper-crust
d) Isn't it true that Florida Evans from Good Times never had any problem
teaching her kids right from wrong?
4. "Watching television for four or five hours a day is a very bad thing
for children, even if every minute of what they watch is brilliant
a) So cut down on TV - come on, give it a try! It's easier than leaping
capital T in a single bound. Count with me, children - ONE hour of
television, TWO hours of television...
b) Actually, four out of five doctors recommend public TV for their patients who
c) Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?
d) Aaaaaay! TV is cool! Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale! It's
exciting and new! Nanoo-Nanoo! So watch a little longer! Give us any
chance, we'll take it! Come and knock on our door! Surprise, surprise,
surprise! We've finally got a piece of the pi-hi-hi-hi-hie!
If you answered all As, you're elitist swine.
If you answered all Bs or Cs, you're appropriately cynical.
If you answered all Ds, you're a genius who once watched "too much" TV and
now watches next to none.