Room for Dining
Why Tolkien's Middle-earth Table Manners Matter Today
by Arthur W. Hunt III
So you are watching television and Will Ferrell appears in a commercial scrolling his smartphone and says, "This filter makes me look like a cat. It's so funny it's making me cry." His family stares at him pathetically because he is doing this in the middle of dinner. The public service announcement you have just seen is sponsored by Common Sense Media and is part of its #DeviceFreeDinner campaign.
Common Sense Media is not the only voice on television promoting proper table manners. Every week on the hit show Blue Bloods the Reagan family sits down to a device-free Sunday dinner. The show stars Tom Selleck as New York City's Police Commissioner and is reminiscent of the old western series Bonanza, where the central character is a strong father figure who maintains law and order with the help of his offspring. If any member of the Reagan family were to pull out a smartphone at the table, he might find himself washing the dishes at the Reagan kitchen sink.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Arthur W. Hunt III is a former professor of public speaking at the University of Tennesse at Martin. He is now preparing to transition to ministry-related service and lives in the greater Memphis area.
more on J. R. R. Tolkien from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives