Wednesday, September 22, 2010

570 Channels and ONE Thing On

I have been without TV for two decades, since early 1991. When I speak of television I always think about that Bruce Springsteen song- 57 Channels and Nothing On. I think he should remake that song and call it 570 channels and nothing on because my dish satellite goes about that high and I have searched up and down the digital ladder for two weeks now and until last night, there was nothing on worth watching.

However, as I flipped between some old western full of bad acting and whatever came next, I saw a nine year old boy in the Amazon, with his slightly younger brother propel their little canoe with an outboard motor up against the side of a large commuter boat traveling 28 miles per hour and grab a rope that dangled from the side of it. The boy then rapidly repelled him, his little brother and their rickety boat back to behind the large vessel, to within two feet of a propeller the size of a car. He then pulled his boat up to the back of the speeding boat and tied onto the back and climbed out as though he just crossed the street!

Why would these boys take such an insane risk? To sell a sack of fruit and dates to the passengers, so they could buy a meal from the cook downstairs. It is a feat they do every day in order to eat and so do dozens of other children as they fend for themselves deep in the Amazon.

So when you child is reluctant to take the trash out or walk the dog, clean his or her room or complete their homework, let me suggest that you reflect upon this boy and his ability to get dinner for himself. Then consider how long your child would last in a place like that. The boy was sad to admit that he had not been to school for more than a month and could not write his name. He said that his days are busy hunting in the forest, bartering with locals and chasing commercial ships in his tiny canoe. As for me, I think I will cancel my stupid satellite TV because I already saw the one thing worth watching.

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