It also sounds like the content on general TV can be at least as bad as anything you'd see on cable now. From the point of view of Omar, who came from the rural village of Glenrock to the Safe Lands:
One show depicted two men trying to kill each other on a stage surrounded by cheering onlookers. On a cooking show, a woman taught Omar how to cook his own strawberry savarin, whatever that was. What Omar assumed was meant to be a beauty program showed fat people--bigger than Mary, Shay, and Megan combined--and how one woman wanted to go back in time and relive her third life to earn better fortune. On C Factor, a man with earrings was having relations with a woman. On TV! There had been a scene like that in the Old movie Titanic, but they hadn't shown it. A channel that seemed to be devoted to displaying things he could buy was selling something called a Personal Vaporizer that could be used to make candy, alcohol, medications, and stimulants--whatever those were--turn into a breathable form. (pp. 126-127)(I didn't know what a savarin was either, but upon finding it's a cake, I do think it would bring me pleasure in life!)
At first glance, it looks like the old movies--even those that have some objectionable content--are being hailed as something positive. But then, this is Omar's point of view, and he is not exactly the hero. Or maybe it's just being realistic...most Christians (including myself) watch, and even own, media like Titanic that has some redeeming qualities but doesn't have a Christian world view. (And in fairness, the "entertainment" in the Safe Lands doesn't seem to have any redeeming qualities, though I'm biased against "reality" TV.)
And yes, the people in rustic Glenrock do watch movies and even play video games. As I touched on in my review, Levi and Jemma, the "perfect" couple in the novel, love the film "The Princess Bride," so much so that Jemma's convinced that Levi, her "Westley," will save her when she's captured, and uses the codename Buttercup.
I just assumed Williamson was writing this as a sweet, innocent, positive thing, though I didn't see the basis for their romance (except that they were pretty, they loved each other, and presumably liked the same movies). For me, this romance didn't work, and not just because I'm not a sucker for the romance featured in "The Princess Bride." Actually, if Levi had called Jemma his Belle, his Tiana, even his Anastasia, I still would have thought it was much more creepy than cute.
And in fairness, I'm sure that in real life, people get tired of me quoting TV shows they're not interested in.
I guess a takeaway (whether intended or not) is that we probably should be living our lives in the "real" world. Not that we can't enjoy entertainment, but fixating on ANY media--"wholesome" or not--is at best silly and at worst as destructive as life in the Safe Lands.
Not fixating on media is easier said than done, of course, and I don't know that I can do it. Certainly not on my own.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11:14, NIV)
Here are the tour participants!
Julie Bihn (that's me!)
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Morgan L. Busse
Emma or Audrey Engel
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Asha Marie Pena
*In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book.