As a cultural archaeologist, as well as a devotee of classic television, I would be remiss if I did not note this statement from Andrew Stuttaford at NRO, in response to Jonah Goldberg's admiration for parents who ban TV from their childrens' lives. I think there's a lot of bad stuff on TV today, and there's no question in my mind that it has had a destructive element on society; nonetheless, I think Stuttaford hits the nail on the head with this comment:
There's plenty that's rubbish (or worse) on television, and there's plenty that's not. What's more, like it or not (and I like it) television is an essential part of our culture. For parents to try to control what their children watch is absolutely within their rights, perfectly understandable, often necessary, and frequently futile, but to deny their offspring the entire medium is, I suspect, to ensure a certain degree of cultural illiteracy.
This is a point that I've made time and time again: to attempt to minimize the impact of pop culture on you, to keep from being overrun by its excesses, is admirable. To pretend it doesn't exist, or to refuse to try to understand it, is foolish and shortsighted, like sticking your head in the sand. Not to mention impossible.