One thing you can’t help but notice about the Patterson children is that they spend an ungodly amount of time watching television; as a matter of fact, they spend so much of their time glued to the idiot lantern that I just can’t picture them doing anything else. Another thing that you have to contend with is that they have a mother who doesn’t like it one bit. As the Lynnsights tell us, our author set out to block her children from having access to the horrifying source of dangerous information and societal ruin (thereby turning herself not into the sort of leftie weirdo Andy Fox is but into a clone of PJ Botha) only to have to bow to the pressure of things. Unlike the mother on Foxtrot, Elly’s impulse was not to protect her children from things that they like because she ‘knew’ better but to impress people who think of her as deluded white trash no matter what she does with what a great person she is and how she’s got her children on a tight leash. The reason that Elly is powerless in the face of scary, scary societal change is that while there are any number of things that the children can do to occupy their time, most of those things involve things that surprise, anger, confuse and terrify the idiot woman with the bitchface addiction. Said things involve making noise, demanding her precious time, running around, getting messy and generally being the sort of bad child who does the bad thing of not sitting quietly until the evil, scary, wrong and confusing need they have to stimulation and attention goes away and they become what a child is “supposed” to be: a passive receptacle for parental commands who only moves, thinks and acts when it’s desired. Thus, the television goes back on so that their brains can turn into mush and horses can be owned. Also, Elly can go right on not scaring herself by thinking of whatever it is that her children might be doing while also satisfying herself by convincing herself that she has done all she can to stave off chaos. The great thing for her is that any advice outsiders might give about actually reading to children can be dismissed as the well-meaning but actually futile and destructive ravings of ignorant people.