Apparently I was not the only one inspired by Mr. Pine – you gotta love the internet 🙂 My crush, Jon Stewart, was talking on The Daily Show this week about painting your house mauve… in response to Glenn Beck’s crazy Marxist utopia Independence USA. He likened it to Main Street USA at Disneyland. Disneyland was fun to visit but it was not for the independent of mind. So the comparison is apt.
And Jon is my age so I am wondering if he picked mauve because he also knew about Mr. Pine 🙂 Purple is an awesome colour – with lots of interesting associations – but we’ll talk about the colour purple some other time…
Jon’s take on the whole crazy mess is hilarious and you should watch it, rather than listen to me paraphrase it (Jan 29, 2013)
It points out the strange, conceptually warped place that is the present day USA. It’s such a complicated, remarkable and twisted place. Watching The Daily Show freaks me out a little – and makes me recall my first public speech. I was an atrocious public speaker. But a precocious, serious child. So aged 11 I warned about the dangers of watching too much television. Back when all I could watch was the CBC! No danger of wanting to watch it for too long 🙂
But I did LEARN some stuff from TV. And was usually reading a book in the background because I wasn’t intellectually engaged enough. But luckily my mom really liked small children and engaged us, rather than popping us in front of a video so we could have the storyline of every Disney animated classic memorized.
The media IS powerful. And independent thought is essential when you are sitting in front of a TV. Or a movie screen (more on that soon 😉
So… I am really grateful that reading was highly encouraged by my parents. First, they read to us. My internet research revealed that I was 3 when Mr. Pine painted his house purple – so it was likely one of my very first books. Maybe that’s why it ended up as my favourite. We had at least one story every night. And I cleaned out the small town library once I could read on my own. One of my favourite childhood memories were the boxes of books that came into my house courtesy of auction sales.
It certainly wasn’t all high brow! That’s how my best friend and I found “The Happy Hooker” and read racy passages aloud to each other when her mother was at work. We didn’t even really know what was being described – but we knew it was forbidden 🙂
Maybe your child shouldn’t read “The Happy Hooker” but it’s good to be exposed to new ideas and situations outside your own personal realm. It was books that saved my ass when I ventured out as a young adult with very little knowledge about the great, wide world in which I wanted to wander.
The first boy I seriously considered marrying sealed the deal because we would chime, almost in unison, “let’s go get a book about that!” We figured books were the answer to every obstacle or new situation life threw at us.
There is something to be said for human contact – and expert advice from live humans 🙂 But it took me a rather long time to figure that out. In the meantime, I had books…
All sorts of points of view, myriad experiences I would never be able to create for myself, a chance to delve into both the past and the imagined future to try to figure out how to make the present better…
All that reading will also give you a point of view. You don’t need to paint your house purple (it’s likely not a good idea 🙂 But you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe. People love a maverick! Just ask Mr. Pine. His purple house made him the toast of the town 🙂
p.s I have carried Mr. Pine’s Purple House with me to over 30 residences and three continents – but I learned all the lessons by age six – so the physical book is just nostalgia 😉