TV Shines a Light on Issues in Our Diverse Society

I don’t have a TV, and haven’t since high school. I’m not a big fan of it and I don’t feel like I need TV in my life. But I also know that this choice comes with a sacrifice: a huge gap in my familiarity with current events and pop culture. TV catch-phrases seep naturally into our lingo and people are always quoting TV moments, expecting you to understand the context. TV is also often the medium that educates and enlightens. I’m not just talking about Discovery Channel or PBS. TV often takes on the difficult or fringe topics that face or that divide our society. For example, take gay marriage in “Modern Family” or obesity on “Huge”. TV is a “non-threatening” medium through which we can be exposed to the individuals behind the labels, and become familiar with the topic from another perspective. It shows us the other side of the coin, and leads, subtley, to understanding and acceptance. At the same time, it exposes our taboos and our prejudices. Yes, TV exaggerates, but it also is a mirror of society and a window into how the other side lives. So, as someone who believes in respect for cultural diversity, I was very happy to learn about “Little Mosque on the Prairie“, a show that portrays a Muslim community in a small town in Canada. Because with so much uncertainty and prejudice surrounding Islam, this show can be one of the channels educating the rest of us by showing us the other side of the coin. In the Los Angeles Times article
‘Cultural Exchange: The world cottons to ‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’, Marcia Adair points out the disappointing fact that the subject is clearly so taboo for US audiences, that it is not yet shown in the US. But that doesn’t exclude people in 83 other countries from watching it. If I had a TV, I’d be one of the first to watch this show in order to counter my ignorance and begin to understand. Luckily these days, you don’t need a TV. It’s enough to have a computer, and I will be watching all the YouTube clips of the show that I can find.

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