Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: TV (10/04/18)
TITLE: Why would you?
By Karen Vlantis
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Elaine put her knitting down, crackled her arthritic fingers and glanced out the bay window. She smiled as she looked at the view beyond her unfenced garden. A raven distracted her as it circled the neighbor's house. Oh that I had a shotgun!
She flicked her head and bought her attention back to Thomas. She observed her current lodger study one photograph after the next on the mantelpiece as he warmed himself in front of the fire. Her eyes moistened as he fingered the solitary birthday card celebrating her 80th. So like my own boy at that age.
She turned and pointed out the window, “Look at the neighbors… high walls, electrified security fencing, electric gates and beyond those walls - burglar bars, alarms, laser beams… “
Thomas interrupted, “Oh, were you burgled?”
“Quite the contrary.”
“Aah, I get it! you don’t want the hassle of all that security just to keep the thieves out.”
“Well, that’s the irony of it.” Elaine adjusted her spectacles, “Trouble is, people don’t realize that the biggest weakness in building their Fort Knox, is that much cherished television set.”
Thomas raised an eyebrow and then his eyes widened.
“Oh, of course! All that security would publicize that you probably owned a massive Smart TV…and make the house even more appealing to burglars. ”
“No, it’s more subtle than that…. and more sinister.”
Thomas furrowed his eyebrows.
“Even if you owned a castle, complete with moat and drawbridge, the open gate would be the television set.”
Thomas inclined his head, “Now I really am confused!”
“Indoctrination and mind control…streaming in through the enshrined TV…now, that’s the thief to watch out for.”
Elaine’s eyes twinkled, “You probably think I’m a dipsy old dame, but I’ve been around the block a few more time than you.”
Thomas shifted, “Aw, c’mom, Lainey… mind control?”
Elaine shrugged, “Agendas get pushed… and if the bias gets repeated often enough, viewers start thinking along similar lines.”
Thomas guffawed, “I disagree! What I watch on TV doesn’t affect me - I know my own mind!”
The corners of Elaine’s mouth curled into a smile, “I’m sure you do… but answer me this. Have you watched a TV advert and as a result become a tad discontent because you don’t have the latest version of, say, a car, or a phone or something else, even though your current one works perfectly well?
Thomas slowly nodded his head, “Ummm…. Guilty.”
Elaine's hands flopped open, “Sneaky thief stole your peace!”
Thomas pursed his lips.
Elaine clasped her hands, “Have you ever hankered after a singer that excited you with her provocative moves in a dance video but left you feeling a bit empty because you can’t have her?”
Thomas chuckled nervously, “Oops, Guilty again!”
“Deceitful plunderer stole your joy!”
Thomas squinted and tilted his head.
“And what about the movies and sitcoms that slip in the message that if it feels good to you and you are not hurting anyone else then it must be OK? If you believe there is no objective truth - wily coyote just robbed you blind!”
“Have you got a favorite series that is action packed with violence, guts and gore and gets your adrenaline pumping… and then prevents sleep as you lie awake haunted by vivid images that rush through your mind?”
Thomas’ eyebrows shot up
Elaine jabbed her finger in the air, “So, not only does that insidious thief come to rob… but comes to destroy as well!”
Thomas took a deep breath. The crackle from the fire filled the silence. “Hmmm, perhaps you’ve got a point… I noticed that I’m not as agitated as I used to be since I stopped watching the news.”
Elaine chuckled, “Don’t get me started on that one! I’m not sure we get fed the news anymore… more like political opinion.”
Thomas nodded as he watched the flames devour the wood-logs, “T-r-u-u-e… the channels can be one-sided…” He nestled into the hollow of the couch cushion. The cat purred loudly as he stroked the fur of her neck. He closed his eyes, relaxed in the warmth of the fire and drawled, “Lainey, your home sure is a haven.”
Elaine smiled, hugged herself and took a deep breath. As she picked up her knitting, she spotted the raven perched on the satellite dish of the neighbor's house. Oh that I had a shotgun!
Mark 4:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
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