Many people in the United States spend most of
their free time watching television. Certainly, there
are many worthwhile programs on television, includ-
ing news, educational programs for children, pro-
grams on current social problems, plays, oziies, con-
erts, and so on. Nevrtheless, 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 might be if
5 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 di-
vorce rate to some forms of mental illness - are caused at least in part by
10 failure to communicate. We do not tell each other what is disturbirig us.
The result is emotional difficulty of one kind or another. By using the quiet
family hour to discuss our problems, we might get to know each other bet-
ter, and to like each other better.
On evenings when such talk is unnecessary , families could rediscover
15 more active pastimes. Freed form TV, forced to find their own ctivities,
they might take a ride together to watch the sunset. Or they might take a
walk together (remember feet? ) and see the neighborhood with fresh , new
With free time and no TV, children and adults might rediscover read-
20 ing. 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 ntence, even at the college level.
Writing is often learned from reading. A more literate new generation could
be a product of the quiet hour.
25 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 mother or father 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
30 frorn our newly diseovered activities.
At first glance, the idea of an hour without TV seems radical. What
will parents do without the electroriic 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
35 older can remember childhoods without television, spent partly with ra-
dio -- which at least involved the listener's imagination -- but also with
reading , learning , talking , playing games , inventing new activities. It
wasn't that difficult. Honest. The truth is we had a ball.
|worthwhile /'wa:6'wail/ a.
||good enough for the time or effort needed;valu-
|| able 值得花时间（或精力）的；有价值的
|program(me) /'prau~aem/ n.
||performance on radio or television 节目
||of or for education; providing education or infor-
|current /'k~rant/ a.
||of the present time 当前的
|social /'sauf al/ a.
||of or in society 社会的
|movie /'mu:vi/ n.
||film that one sees at a cinema 电影
|nevertheless /,neva8a'les/ conj.
||but; however 然而，不过
|broadCasting /'bra:d,kaatir~/ n.
||the action of sending out sound ( or images ) by
| broadcast v. & n.
|| radio (or television) 广 播
|prohibit /prahibit/ vt.
||forbid by law 禁止
|proposal /prapauzal/ n.
||suggestion 提议, 建议
||in actual fact, really 实际上
|generation /,dgena reif an/ n .
||all the people about the same age ( 一 ) 代
|gap /gaep/ n.
||an empty space between two things or two parts
|| of a thing;a wide difference of opinion, char-
|| acter, or the like 缺口, 间隙; 分歧 , 隔阂
|divorce /divoa/ n.
||end of a marriage by law 离婚
|rate /reit/ n.
|mental /'mentl/ a.
||of the mind 精神的;思想上的
|Communicate /kamju:nikeit/ vi.
||share or exchange opinions,ideas,etc.交流意
|disturb /dista:b/ vt.
||make (sb. )worried 使烦恼
|emotional /i mauf anl/ a.
|pastime /'paataim / n.
||anything done to pass time pleasantly 消遣, 娱乐
|sunset /'s~nset/ n.
||the going down of the sun; the time when the
|| sun goes down 日落 ( 时分 )
||the area around a point or place 邻近地区 ; 地段
|adult /'~delt/ n.
|typical /'tipikal/ a.
|educator /'edju(:)keita/ n.
||a person whose profession is education 教育家
|barely /'beali/ ad.
||hardly 仅仅, 勉强; 几乎没有
|literate /'litarit/ a.
||able to read and write 能读写的 ; 有文化的
|product /'pradakt/ n.
||sth. made or grown 产品
|network /'netwa:k/ n.
|glance /gla:ns/ n.
||quick look 一瞥 ; 扫视
|radical /'r~dikal/ a.
||extreme; very different 激进的
|electronic /ilek'tronilf/ a
| electron n.
|baby-sitter /'beibi,sita/ n
||someone who looks after a child when the parents
||are away for a short time ( 代人临时 ) 照看婴儿者
|childhood /'tfaildhud/ n.
||time when one is a child 童年
|partly /'partli/ ad.
||not completely; in some degree 部分地；在一定程度上
|involve /irivolv/ vt.
||have as a part or result (必须) 包括
||the ability to imagine 想象力
||the gaining of knowledge or skill through studying;
|| knowledge or skill gained through studying 学习;
|invent /iriyent/ vt .
||produce (sth. ) for the first time 发明
Phrases & Expressions
||failure of the younger and older generations to communi-
|| cate and understand one another 代沟
||in some degree; partly 在一定程度上；部分地
||change from a child to a man or a woman 长成, 长大
||cause to meet 使相聚
|come up wit
||think of ; produce 想出 , 提出
|at first glance
||when first seen or thought 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