Supposedly you shouldn’t expose small children to the evils of television, but we’ve been doing that in small doses. Programmes like Plaza Sésamo, Pikku Kakkonen, Mr Bloom’s Nursery and the Numtums seem to be our son’s favourites.
He’s so active that I don’t need to worry about him “getting sucked in” as he can only concentrate in 10 minute intervals and plays a lot in the house. I just want to make sure he gets as much exposure as possible to the three languages that are the most important for him. Furthermore, I prefer these programmes than, say, Nickelodeon, as they don’t feel so annoyingly commercial.
Televisa (the largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world) is not a company I have traditionally liked very much due to its very strong ties to the PRI, the party that dominated Mexican politics for 71 years. Their operations have been usually extremely conservative with a tint of monopoly. The company, however, holds the rights for broadcasting the matches of the Mexican national football team together with its main rival, TV Azteca.
My surprise has been that in the year or two they have completely changed their attitude towards the internet, offering some of their TV content for free over the web, broadcasting live some matches of the national team (not the WC), and pushing Facebook and Twitter heavily in their mainstream media.
While I do not have enough information to know whether they have reacted this favourably because they have a solid online strategy or just through fear, it’s nice to watch Mexican news for a change even if the news items themselves are not that nice.
Robert J. Sawyer, one of my favourite sci-fi authors (moderately famous now that his novel Flashforward has been adapted as a TV series of the same name) scored another coup with his latest novel. I won’t spoil it for you, but it touches upon how it is to live with blindness, Chinese censorship of the WWW and emerging consciousness. The good news is that it’s the first of a trilogy to be completed in the next couple of years, so I’ll be gladly waiting for more.
Continuing with the theme of the previous post, RTVE published a documentary where they interviewed 12 Spanish families resident in Germany, Poland and Finland and asked them of their experiences in what has been described as the coldest winter in northern Europe in years. Funnily enough, one of the families they chose are good friends of mine.
If there is one thing that drives me insane is when I turn the TV to get my news fix and stumble into any bulletins by YLE or the MTV3 morning news (their evening news are OK, even if their sense of humour is on the very basic side of the scale). Their focus on inane ultra-local stories (like a recent one on neighbourhood cats) reminds me of a sketch a comedian used when I was growing up called Ranch News, or Noti Rancho in Spanish. The amount of navel-gazing is mind-numbing for a guy like me who needs to know what is going on with the world.
Mexican news programmes, on the other hand, focus on three things: the latest celebrity scandal, the latest political scandal, or the latest violent deaths caused by the drug situation (with as many graphic details as possible).
No wonder I’ll be stuck with the BBC for the time being, even if I couldn’t care less about cricket.