The Monster In The Living Room

by Dick Puddlecote

Yes, your kid will die!

No slippery slope here, obviously.

Ban under-threes from watching television, says study

Doctors and government health officials should set limits, as they do for alcohol, on the amount of time children spend watching screens – and under-threes should be kept away from the television altogether, according to a paper in an influential medical journal published on Tuesday.

Wow! We’ve seen the ‘no safe limit’ for tobacco ensconced in the feeble-minded political class, and the same agitprop is being developed for alcohol as we speak, but this guy has gone ‘all in’ already for TV watching.

The review was written by psychologist Dr Aric Sigman, author of a book on the subject …

Reckon that might be significant?

On average, he says, a British teenager spends six hours a day looking at screens at home – not including any time at school. In North America, it is nearer eight hours. But, says Sigman, negative effects on health kick in after about two hours of sitting still, with increased long-term risks of obesity and heart problems.

Think of the children coupled with moral health panic. It’s like ticking off a bingo card, isn’t it? One wonders when someone may start thinking of the poor parents, constantlyhaving guilt cascaded on them by stories like this.

Now, such anti-TV scaremongery has been played out by miserable arseholes since even your tabloid-gushing host was watching Champion the Wonder Horse and Robinson Crusoe on 1970s Saturday morning TV. However, they were at least more honest back then and didn’t trot out anything as classless as heart problems and obesity. They were joy-hating bastards, and proud of it! Not like the spineless modern equivalent, oh for the good old days, eh?

What’s more Sigman has form. He doesn’t like any screens at all.

Social networking sites such as Facebook could raise your risk of serious health problems by reducing levels of face-to-face contact, a doctor claims.

Emailing people rather than meeting up with them may have wide-ranging biological effects, said psychologist Dr Aric Sigman.

Increased isolation could alter the way genes work and upset immune responses, hormone levels and the function of arteries. It could also impair mental performance.

This could increase the risk of problems as serious as cancer, strokes, heart disease and dementia, Dr Sigman says in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.

That’s a hell of a lot of ‘coulds’ there. I do hope he has the research to back it up.

But the issue is controversial and his opinions and standing are questioned by Dorothy Bishop, professor of developmental neuropsychology at Oxford University who says that although this is an important topic, Sigman’s paper is not “an impartial expert review of evidence for effects on health and child development”. “Aric Sigman does not appear to have any academic or clinical position, or to have done any original research on this topic,” she said. “His comments about impact of screen time on brain development and empathy seem speculative in my opinion, and the arguments that he makes could equally well be used to conclude that children should not read books.”

Books like ones Sigman writes do you mean? Hush, Dorothy, you’ll cock up his scam!

No. Of course he doesn’t have any decent research, his kind never do. Others, like him, also pretend to be health professors instead of, say, aircraft engineers or sociologists. Just yet another self-enriching cocktrumpet, then, which the health lobby is infested with these days. The one thing in this particular guy’s favour is that at least he doesn’t force us to pay for his bullshit through our taxes, like biblical plagues of others we could mention.

Still, we’re likely to see these limits barked at us at some point considering – as the article mentions – they are already being promoted across the Atlantic. Some furrow-browed, publicity-chasing MP proposing the same here is just a matter of time away.

H/T the must-bookmark Harridanic.

8 responses to “The Monster In The Living Room

  1. What about Casey Jones? What about the Flashing Blade and the Desert Crusader who (must have killed about 100 saracens per show). What about that “White Horses” crap they used to put on the the school summer holidays. I never watched it but the theme playing and the fact it was on was always an occassion of joy becauseit meant six weeks out of crappy school.
    I also remember Robinson Crusoe and that soulful, wonderful theme. All the time he was on the island all he could think of was England and home. When he got home after 25 years all he could think of was his island, his cave and the grave of his dog. There is the human condition for you.

  2. Nearly forgot–piss on the psychology clown.

  3. Facebook isn’t a face and certainly isn’t a book either g*d I can’t handle this it is too much; psychobabble meltdown imminent!

    How are to cope with all this drivel? Shock, horror! It needs deconstructing before we catch another bout of negative social interactive indifference syndrome or syncope. One is given, in the darker moments in the cloud of unknowing, to assume the therapeutic state is far from benevolent. Oops! That’s giving the game away, now we are all adrift in the sea of absurdity that supports the therapeutic ship of state, the emperor never did take delivery of those Oh so fine clothes. No I am not on an acid trip only a splenic response to more of Bovinia’s deposits of steamy rose fertilizer.

    One smells the aroma of the Rattus Rattus or perhaps his close cousin Rattus Norvegicus here, this is just another goodly so well informed doctor doom spelling out the end of human existence and if only we would take his silly notions seriously we will avoid that inevitable doom that Dr. Doom foresees. Perhaps I am suffering from sociologist/psychologist anti appreciation disassociation syndrome too….. sorry about that. This is more of the man with a red flag in front of the loco to prevent people suffering a foul death at speeds over 30 MPH. More anti-technology ranting in the boonies, so favoured in some corners of the academy or what is left of it. Was this research subsidized and do I now need to turn off my PC immediately before I descend into apoplectic shock?

    Word of advice to the living, moral panics are just more noise from the busy industry of nonsense production emanating from the dark recesses of the intellectual fright machine, that place where mushrooms are bred in the dark and fed on you know what from Bovinia and her friends…… ignore all health panics and scares, it leaves you in a better state of welfare.

  4. Don’t remember Desert Crusader.Wish they’d repeat White Horses. They were slagging off television in the 1950s-keeps children out of bed (good!), spoils school homework (ditto), ruins a man’s hobby-usual patronising crap.

    • I remember an episode of Sexton Blake, c.1968, where someone had his throat cut in a public toilet, and the hero noticed this from the pool of blood spreading under the door. And don’t forget the golden age of Doctor Who – monsters alternating with claustrophobic horror.

  5. The Zarbi–giant ants–from the William Hartnell era so terrified me that I really did hide behind the sofa.

    Those were the days.

  6. Well, you just know, don’t you, without even looking, that similar concerns about the people’s well being, were raised in opposition to having the Bible in English and, thinking the earth might not be flat after all.
    I wonder what argument today’s psychobabilists (new word-and probably new award, coming to a uni near you very soon)) would have offered. Bad for the children perhaps?