Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Good Old Days, Live on PBS 

by Dave
Think of it as reality TV for the discriminating viewer: Colonial House, an 8-episode televised adventure of a small colony of people living as if it were 1628. From the intro page, here's the setup: "Indentured servitude. No baths or showers. Public punishments. Welcome to daily life in the year 1628!" I haven't seen an episode yet, just a preview, but it looks like fun. What a great way to teach the kids how lucky they are for simple conveniences like central heating, refrigerators, and the Eighth Amendment (no cruel or unusual punishments).

The Governor really administers laws and punishments, including being placed in stocks (limit two hours), "a ceremony of public humiliation," and a label pinned to one's clothes announcing one's transgression to the world. This offers real possibilities for a creative Home Evening lesson (and I'll bet the kids pay actually pay attention to this one!).

I don't think the real colonists brought lawyers along (probably why the colonies succeeded), but Colonial House has a long list of civil and criminal transgressions, including profanity, wicked tongues (that's scolding, not kissing, but don't push your luck), slander, lying, stealing beasts, wife beating, fornication and adultery, and lewdness to women ("Men may not make uncivil words or carriages to any woman"). There are punishments too, of course.

So when will the first Mormon-themed reality TV series pop up? And what will it be: A group crossing the plains in wagons? Cameras following a pair of missionaries as they proselyte in Peru? How about Polygamy House? You know it's just a matter of time.
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