So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai. He chose thirty thousand of his best fighting men and sent them out at night with these orders: “Listen carefully. You are to set an ambush behind the city. Don’t go very far from it. All of you be on the alert. I and all those with me will advance on the city, and when the men come out against us, as they did before, we will flee from them. They will pursue us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are running away from us as they did before.’ So when we flee from them, you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The Lord your God will give it into your hand.
- Joshua 8:3-7
They close up their callous hearts,
and their mouths speak with arrogance.
They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
They are like a lion hungry for prey,
like a fierce lion crouching in cover.
- Psalm 17:10-12
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
- 1 Peter 1:13-16
I consider my upbringing to be that of a “tube head.” Much of my babysitting was in front of the television, but when my mother was at home, she had two things that were at the top of her most hated things: television during the day and air conditioning. I loved it when she went to work on Saturday morning. I could watch cartoons all morning. If she was home, I was allotted one show. When I was in college, I learned to program the computer, and since chemical engineers often perform complex calculations, I fell in love with manipulating these large monsters to give me the answers that I required. The were large in those days, but a cellphone is more powerful these days than many mainframe computers in the old days. My first job out of college, while going to graduate school, was as a computer application engineer, making chemical engineering calculations. My nirvana was staring into a computer screen.
Of course, when the boys came along, computer games began to appear, then gaming systems. Even today, if they have a little extra money, they buy a new video game.
We recently went to Tennessee to visit our younger son and his family. Two family members would be on the television screens, either streaming something or playing a game. One was buried in a laptop, and the other two had handheld game systems. Very little communication was made between family members except by the youngest (6) who felt his life’s work was to pester the other four.
But when we, as a family, went to Georgia for a short vacation, the eldest son and I became roommates and the television in our room never came on. My wife laughed that our grandson was trying to please me. While he worked some problem-solving puzzles on a handheld device, he mostly read a book and solved Sudoku puzzles in another book. He loves fantasy, especially when dragons are involved. I really think that he enjoyed the silence of no television.
But because my wife had teased me, I asked him if he wanted to watch television. Hey, we did not even know if our television worked. He said that he was good, and if the television were on, he would make more mistakes on his Sudoku puzzles.
That was my first datum. It was not enough for a theory. These secular scientists might learn from that.
Then, we returned to Tennessee. Our son was fussing the first full day back at the children, who were 1) not listening, 2) watching a cartoon, and 3) obviously disconnected. Our son wanted to know if the dogs had been fed.
I told our son that I saw his daughter measuring dog food earlier. He asked her and she was completely hypnotized by the television screen. I told the person with the remote to turn off the television. I then asked my son to repeat the question.
This time, without hesitation, as if just awake from slumber, she said, “Father, I fed Farkel.”
Okay, the dog’s name is supposed to be Sparkle, but since they bought the dog at the shelter, she has been Farkel. I asked if she was a member of the Farkel family. My son did not know what that meant until I led him to some videos from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In. The first video is the Farkel family with the trusted friend Ferd Burfel dancing the Farkel. A dance that my grandchildren have all learned.
If doing the Farkel does not “explain” the further adventures of the Farkel family and their fine, faithful “trusted” friend Ferd Burfel. Here is the first of the installments. Nothing more needs to be said.
But back to my point, I had one more datum. I now had data. When the television was on, the nine-year-old was hypnotized, but once the idiot box was turned off, she spoke with clarity in full sentences.
My theory is that when the television is ON, the brain falls asleep. I would say that the brain is dead, but it quickly revives when the idiot box is turned off.
This may require more experimentation. I am sure there is varying degrees of hypnotism. Some may function slightly above involuntary functions only, as it seems the younger grandchildren suffer. Maybe some people can answer simple questions, but my problem is twofold.
The cartoon subject matter was a dark subject, filled with gloom, doom, and immorality – carefully disguised as a foreign-made (Japanese or Korean) cartoon for the whole family. It was nothing as wholesome as the further adventures of the Farkel family. Oops, maybe that is a bad example. But maybe the subtext of the Farkel family was laughed off as being absurd in the 60-70s and Hollywood realized what they could get away with.
And we have been sliding down that slippery slope ever since.
Streaming television shows gives the parents great control over what the children watch, if they screen the shows. Some of the cartoons that they saw, and live programming as well, I had to leave the room in fear of nightmares. In a way, the shows slowly brainwash the children into the woke agenda, at least the part about how we are internally good, and we can solve our issues alone. No wonder the grandchildren do not become afraid of a ghostlike monster, when the cartoon child has a summoning device in their pocket that can summon an even more ferocious ghostlike monster.
I hope my initial theory is true that their brains are asleep, and they are not buying into the subtle woke agenda.
As for the Scriptures, the Joshua Scripture is Joshua giving the plan to destroy Ai after their first attempt failed. His first command was for the army to remain alert. The psalm speaks of the enemy being alert. And finally, the Apostle Peter tells us to be alert and sober. We cannot do that when we are hypnotized by an electronic device.
I used to play one hidden item searching game for no more than two hours and usually one hour each day, but I was so busy on my vacation that I never played it. I may uninstall it. On vacation, I used that time with the grandchildren, and at home, with God and my wife. Even old folks can learn new things.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
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