Does Entertainment Shrivel Your Brain?

Image result for images of 3 stooges throwing pies

For as long as there have been people, there have been story-tellers. God created us in His image, and so we like to create things, too. And one of the things we create is stories.

Being sinners, we also create idols, street gangs, rap music, poison gas, and communism, among other things. And we create stories that edify, stories that ease or stir the soul–and stories that debase and corrupt the hearer.

Some of you have said you’re fed up with “entertainment,” especially TV and movies, it’s all cheap and worthless, if not downright malevolent–and I’m not here to disagree with you. Crikey–it’s gotten so anyone who’s looking for a life partner demands that he or she be “funny.” Like it’s everybody’s job to entertain you, all the time.

You will note I have posted a picture of the Three Stooges. Why? Well, if I’m really stressed out, their inane antics are a pick-me-up. And that’s a legitimate purpose of a story. As J.R.R. Tolkien said, fiction often provides a kind of escape, and no one blames a prisoner for trying to escape.

In addition to meeting my needs for vegging out from time to time, movies and novels, etc., are my diet as a story-teller. I learn by listening to other people’s stories; that’s how I learn to tell my stories. I gobble up stories, always trying to learn from them even while I’m chilling out. I hope the finished product convinces you that I’m on the right track.

This is a large subject and I don’t propose to write a book about it. Some “entertainment” is good for us, some is bad, and some is only good or bad depending on how we as individuals respond to it. There is a huge amount of entertainment out there that’s downright toxic, pure crapola. It’s good stuff to avoid.

I do know a few persons who never consume any form of fiction, and I just can’t imagine how they get by without any stories at all. Well, true, all of them watch TV news, and some of that’s fiction, and the sum total of all its parts is more fiction than anything else. But I would much rather get my fiction from Jules Verne than from CNN.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

5 responses to “Does Entertainment Shrivel Your Brain?

  • UnKnowable

    Entertainment isn’t, in and of itself, a problem. There’s been a lot of great entertainment created over the years. As I see it, the problem stems from a culture that has chosen to flaunt its immorality and to say what is bad is now good and what was good in now bad.

    I guess that’s not exactly new, but the preponderance of such an attitude seems to have grown rapidly in the last fifty years or so. It seems that in the mid ’60s, it suddenly became fashionable to rebel against all standards and morality and many songs, movies, TV shows and written works made a point of challenging the moral standards of our parent’s generation. The results are all around us in the form of broken families, poverty, homelessness and multitude other social ills.

    With the exception of your books, I read very little fiction, but that is mostly because I’m up to my neck with much of what is depicted in today’s fiction. Older books, TV shows from the ’60s and older movies are all within my scope of entertainment, but I find very little to enjoy among newer productions.

    Within my life’s experiences, I have seen far too many examples of the fruitage of today’s immoral standards. A few years ago, I lost a friend to an early death. Her life had been a roller coaster because her mother was highly immoral. She was a good person, but she had a much harder life because of having been exposed to such negative influences. Eventually, the emotional tumult contributed to her death as the medications prescribed for her choked the life from her.

    That’s but one example, of many. The bottom line is that the immoral standards of our day have seeded misery earth-wide. Knowing that, I can no longer shrug off a line suggestive of immorality in some comedy with our remembering the bitter fruitage of such behavior.

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  • Watchman

    They say you can judge a nation on how it treats its prisoners, well I think you can judge a nation by how it entertains itself as well. For instance, in ancient Rome they entertained themselves with bloody gladiators fights to the death, and feeding Christians to wild animals. Were not that bad yet, but I’ve noticed entertainment has gotten progressively worse in recent decades. TV shows in particular have a daily dose of profanity, sexual immorality, and the occult. I can’t imagine this is healthy for society. For this reason I find myself watching less and less TV these days.

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  • Phoebe

    Entertainment in itself isn’t bad; it’s how we choose to be entertained that can be good or bad. Most contemporary attempts to entertain do tend to range from smarmy to evil, but there are also good clean films, songs, novels, and other sources of entertainment, even if they aren’t well publicized. For that matter, sitting around and joking with friends can be very entertaining — and so can cat videos. 🙂

    I myself don’t even have a television. I threw my last one out in 1999 when I realized I hadn’t turned it on since 1991. There just didn’t seem to be anything worth watching. And although I do like murder mysteries of the “cozy” variety, I find that I have to skim all the novels quickly before I borrow them from the library, to see whether any dirty words pop up out of the pages, and whether there’s any indication that the central character is having an affair or even about to have one. If so, I leave the book in the library. These days, we just have to be careful of what we watch, listen to, and read. But there’s always something good out there.

    Hey, even in ancient Rome, they had Vergil and Horace as well as the gladiators and the lions!

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    • UnKnowable

      I’m with you 100% on TV. I watch zero broadcast/cable/satellite TV. Zero! I do own a fairly nice TV set and watch DVDs, etc. I have Netflix on demand, which has some great old movies and some interesting documentaries, but it also has a lot of trash, which I studiously avoid.Even with all of that, I watch use the TV very little.

      I have found some good documentaries on science from the Intelligent Design perspective and there’s a documentary called Patterns of Evidence which discusses the historical evidence of the Exodus from Egypt. There are some excellent documentaries regarding the complexity of the proteins within the cell and the astounding odds agains even one protein self organizing, not to mention an entire cell.

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