There was a time when the hearth fire occupied the central position in the home. The hearth fire represented the Sun and the heart of Maid. Now, the position that used to be occupied by the hearth fire has been given to the television. It is hard to imagine a living room without a television in a central location, and televisions themselves have become bigger and fancier. Enormous televisions, 50 inches or larger, sell for mere hundreds of dollars.
The television is not only entertainment, but it brings the Agora into the Hestia. We are given shows that are produced for us by the outside world, and companies advertise goods and services over our television. Television programs themselves have become worse and worse. My grandmother often complains of having hundreds of channels, without anything good to watch.
I have heard quite a bit of discussion regarding whether watching violent shows makes one violent, with studies that give contradictory results. I believe that these discussions miss the point, however. I think that what we watch does impact us, in ways we do not even notice.
One of the things that I have started to do is to control what I am watching on television and other media. It is fortunate now that we have services such as Netflix and the Internet, so that we have access to television and media from the past, and from other parts of the world, such as Japan. It is instructive to see how differently people acted, dressed, and viewed the world prior to the early 1950’s. There is an innocence to these shows that is quite refreshing.
In addition to the innocence and wholesomeness of such shows, they give us a glimpse of a time when the Hestia did have value. In my feminist days, I was taught to be dismissive of these shows as portraying women as subservient. Now, that I have a new understanding of these matters, I am seeing these things in a new light. I can see an understanding of the Hestia that is very much lost in this day and age.
Thank you for your indulgence in reading my musings regarding the television. It may seem like a strange place to begin a discussion of reclaiming the Hestia, but I think that it is good for us to be aware of what we are bringing into the Hestia, and the media we bring into the Hestia has a profound impact, and much more profound than we might otherwise think.