Forget apple pie and fatherhood. Here's something which is really worrying even though the material is now 15 years old. It's what you get when you clear out old files from a long abandoned media beat. Brandon S. Centerwall, assistant professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington wrote in Public Interest magazine about the impacts of TV on infants. Basically he was saying kids will imitate anything, including behaviour adults regard as anti-social and disruptive.
"It may give pause for thought then, to learn that infants as young as 14 months demonstrably observe and incorporate behaviour seen on television" he wrote. And added: "There are no limits to their credulity. To cite one example, an Indiana School Board had to issue an advisory to young children that, no, there is no such thing as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Children had been crawling down storm drains looking for them"….
But wait there's more! In a June 1994 issue of Australia's AdNews, Kiwi Dr Margo Buchanan-Oliver an agency director of Strategic Planning had this to say about the decline of viewer attention spans among the young:
"This audience which once had an attention span of one hour in 1958 and 20 minutes in 1988, is estimated to now have an attention span of 12 minutes, which is predicted to shorten by another five minutes by the year 2010".
A month ago, anybody thinking of writing off Winston was misreading history. The guy isn't named after the most pugnacious leaders in the 20th Century for nothing. A few days ago he still seemed relatively untouched. But history has a strange way of revealing the future. When Winnie was courting Grey Power voters last week he reprimanded one for taking a cell phone call during his speech. And who did that bring to mind? Sir Robert Muldoon….
Off the Net: Health nuts are going to feel stupid some day, lying in hospitals dying of nothing…