Well, not really. But believe it or not, I stumbled on an interesting similarity.
A good friend and fellow scribbler recommended a book on writing. Authored by Steven King, On Writing provides a kind of narrative illustration of writing. It’s in the book’s first section, dubbed “CV” by the author, that I found a little crystal of similarity between an author whose tomes I’ve never cracked and an education that’s dear to me.
It goes a little like this:
“… TV came relatively late to the King household. And I’m glad. I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of american novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit.”
I can’t apologize for the decidedly non-Waldorfian language; King certainly doesn’t. Yet I can applaud his honesty. He continues:
“This might not be important. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do a lot worse that strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.”
I think that he’s talking about TV as an anti-creative. I’m not saying that TV isn’t creative — and I suppose that he’s not either. I really think that it’s an art, TV. At least an artistic medium. And so it demands creativity — to be good at least. After all, it took creative minds to write and produce all those episodes of M*A*S*H and put together a show like “Whose Line Is It Anyway.”
But TV offers creativity in the same way a frozen entrée offers you gourmet fare: you may get it, but it’s not your creation. That’s where Waldorf comes in. The idea behind the education — at least as far as media and screens are concerned — is not to shun technology, the oft-misunderstood intent, but rather to delay its introduction into a child’s life so that (and here it comes … forgive the 4-line sentence) creativity can develop on its own.
Give it time, in other words.
Something else that Steven King included in this book rings true with the Waldorf approach:
“I’d like to suggest that turning off that endlessly quacking box is apt to improve the quality of your life as well as the quality of your writing.”
A blog post is too short a span to expand on Waldorf’s concurrence with that statement. But let me say that the benefits of limiting screen time are tremendous.
Before this book, I’d not read any King novels. While I don’t like his preferred genre (’cause I get spooked easy!) I might pick up Stand By Me or Shawshank Redemption also written by that master of macabre. But I just have to wonder, if, when I do read the latter, will I hear Morgan Freeman’s voice in my head since I saw the movie first?