Boston An informative letter: “There

May 21st, 2001


An informative letter:
“There are several books that discuss television. The one I told you about is called ‘Deadly Persuasion.’ This particular book doesn’t concentrate on television so much but on the media and advertising industry in general (including billboards), discussing the destructive influence of advertising on the sense of self. It’s by Jean Kilbourne. She also has other such books.”

“Here’s a quick quote from her book about the effect television advertisers and other media have on children. This was taken from an internal memo circulated in a cigarette company:

‘It is important to get children while they are young ‘so that the habit may become an integral part of the image of themselves. . . . The temptation must be pressed just as the sense of self is forming, just as the child is facing the world at large for the first time, or it will not take hold.’

“I suppose we could use this vulnerable time in a child’s life so expertly analyzed by the tobacco companies to give them Krishna consciousness ‘just as the sense of self is forming,’ or we can turn them over to the advertisers.

“There’s another good book though, which is more geared to television’s influence in family life and in the healthy growth of children. One is by Marie Winn, I think, called ‘The Plug-in Drug.’ She has another book, too?something like, ‘What To Do When You Unplug the Plug-In Drug.’ Of course, there are numerous articles and studies on the bad effects of television on children (and adults).”

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