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Many people in the United States spend most of their free time watching television. Certainly, there are many worthwhile programs on television, including news, educational programs for children, programs on current social problems, plays, movies, concerts, and so on. Nevertheless, perhaps people should not be spending so much of their time in front of the TV. Mr Mayer imagines what we might do if we were forced to find other activities.

Turning off TV: a Quiet Hour

I would like to propose that for sixty to ninety minutes each evening, right after the early evening news, all television broadcasting in the United States be prohibited by law.

Let us take a serious, reasonable look at what the results be if such a proposal were accepted. Families might use the time for a real family hour. Without the distraction of TV, they might sit around together after dinner and actually talk to one another. It is well known that many of our problems —— everything, in fact, from the generation gap to the high divorce rate to some forms of mental illness —— are caused at least in part by failure to communicate. We do not tell each other what is disturbing us. The result is emotional difficulty of one kindoranother. By using the quiet family hour to discuss our problems, we might get to know each other better, and to like each other better.

On evenings when such talk is unnecessary, families could rediscover more active pastimes. Freed from TV, forced to find their own activities, they might take a ride together to watch the sunset.orthey might take a walk together (remember feet?) and see the neighborhood with fresh, new eyes.

With free time and no TV, children and adults might rediscover reading. There is more entertainment in a good book than in a month of typical TV programming. Educators report that the generation growing up with television can barely write an English sentence, even at the college level. Writing is often learned from reading. A more literate new generation could be a product of the quiet hour.

A different form of reading might also be done, as it was in the past: reading aloud. Few pastimes bring a family closer together than gathering around and listening to motherorfather read a good story. The quiet hour could become the story hour. When the quiet hour ends, the TV networks might even be forced to come up with better shows in order to get us back from our newly discovered activities.

At first glance, the idea of an hour without TV seems radical. What will parents do without the electronic baby-sitter? How will we spend the time? But it is not radical at all. It has been only twenty-five years since television came to control American free time. Those of us thirty-five and older can remember childhoods without television, spent partly with radio —— which at least involved the listeners imagination —— but also with reading, learning, talking, playing games, inventing new activities. It wasnt that difficult. Honest. The truth is we had a ball.


worthwhile a.good enough for the timeoreffort needed; valuable 值得花时间(或精力)的;有价值的

program (me)

n.performance on radioortelevision 节目

educational a.oforfor education; providing educationorinformation 教育的;有教育意义的

current a.of the present time 当前的

social a.oforin society 社会的

movie n.film that one sees at a cinema电影

nevertheless conj. but; however 然而,不过

propose vt. suggest 建议

broadcasting n.the action of sending out sound (or images) by radio (or television) 广播

prohibit v & n. forbid by law 禁止

proposal vt. suggestion 提议,建议

actually n.in actual fact, really 实际上

generation n.all the people about the same age (一)代

gap n.an empty space between two thingsortwo parts of a thing; a wide difference of opinion, character,orthe like 缺口,间隙;分歧,隔阂


n.end of a marriage by law离婚

rate n.率

mental a.of the mind 精神的;思想上的

communicate vi. shareorexchange opinions, ideas, etc. 交流意见,思想等

disturb vt. make (sb.) worried 使烦恼

emotional a.感情的

pastime n.anything done to pass time pleasantly 消遣,娱乐

sunset n.the going down of the sun; the time when the sun goes down 日落(时分)

neighborhood n.the area around a pointorplace 邻近地区;地段

adult n.成年人

typical a.典型的

educator n.a person whose profession is education 教育家

barely ad. hardly仅仅,勉强;几乎没有

literate a.able to read and write 能读写的;有文化的

product n.sth. madeorgrown 产品

network n.广播(或电视)联播公司;广播(或电视)网

glance n.quick look 一瞥;扫视

radical a.extreme; very different 激进的

electronic a.电子的

electron n.

baby-sitter n.someone who looks after a child when the parents are away for a short time (代人临时)照看婴儿

childhood n.time when one is a child 童年

partly ad. not completely; in some degree 部分地;在一定程度上

involve vt. have as a partorresult (必须)包括

imagination n.the ability to imagine 想像力

learning n.the gaining of knowledgeorskill through studying; knowledgeorskill gained through studying 学习;学问,知识

invent vt. produce (sth.) for the first time 发明


generation gap

failure of the younger and older generations to communicate and understand one another 代沟

in part

in some degree; partly 在一定程度上;部分地

grow up

change from a child to a manora woman 成长,长大

bring together

cause to meet 使相聚

come up with

think of; produce 想出;提出

at first glance

when first seenorthought about 乍一看;最初考虑时

have a ball

(sl.) enjoy oneself, have a very good time 玩得开心




the United States美国

a.more dangerous than it seems 暗藏危险的;奸诈的

cape n.海角

rough a.(of weatherorthe sea) stormy; not calm (气候)有暴风雨的;(海)波涛汹涌的

fortunately ad. luckily 幸运地;幸亏

fortunate a.

contact vt. get in touch with 联系,接触

nearby ad. close by 在附近

following a.next; to be mentioned immediately 接着的;下列的

waken v.(cause to) wake 唤醒;醒来

nightmare n.terrible dream 恶梦

drag vt. pull along with great effort 拖,拉

sinister a.凶恶的,邪恶的

knight n.爵士vt. 封…… 为爵士

sword n.剑,刀

accomplish vt. finish successfully 完成

conquer vt. overcome 征服

undoubtedly ad. certainly 无疑地

moreover ad. in addition 此外,而且

human a.oforconcerning people 人们

being n.a living thing, esp. a person 生物;人


set out

begin a course if action 着手,开始

give up

atop doing 放弃

be determined to (do)

have a strong will to (do) 决心(做)

(all) by oneself

(completely) alone

in spite of

not taking notice of; not caring about 尽管;虽然

by far

by a large amountordegree……得多

turn over

(cause to) fall over, upset (使)翻倒,(使)倾覆

can not help

can not keep oneself from 禁不住

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