Communion Of Dreams

Kill your TV.
December 29, 2008, 8:25 pm
Filed under: Alzheimer's, Politics, Religion, Society

Let’s see how many people I can piss off . . .

Saw a good thread over on Balloon Juice. In a nice rant about the stupidity of how the mainstream media is covering the effects of the financial collapse on Wall Street, John Cole made the comment “I may have to just shoot my tv.”

This particular sentiment was picked up in the discussion which followed. One of the best passages from that said, in part:

Fifteen years ago I was so broke I sold my tv to make rent. I didn’t have much of a withdrawl. I spent the next 10 years without a tv, and I began to notice very weird things. I noticed how a ton of people couldn’t describe an event or situation without referring to some TV show. I call it the Seinfeld Effect, because at that time so many people would try to describe some event in their life and they just couldn’t without saying ‘Omygod it’s just like that Seinfeld where George and Jerry do that thing with..blah blah blah’.

I don’t watch TV. We got out of the habit when caring for my Mother-in-Law, since regular programing would greatly confuse her Alzheimer’s-addled brain. Eventually, we just dropped our cable service altogether, and didn’t bother to reconnect it once she passed away. I don’t miss it in the slightest. I get my news online and from the radio, I watch movies (and a few select TV shows which enough people will recommend) via DVD/NetFlix. And I think that I think more clearly as a result. It’s a lot like giving up on religion.

Seriously – you stop believing stuff just because it is on the tube. You stop buying-into the whole cultural imperative to be on top of the latest fad, the latest product, the latest brainwashing. You start to think more for yourself, and to give less of yourself over to others.

This isn’t the first time I have given up on TV. While in grad school my TV died, and I really didn’t see the sense in buying a new one. For about four years I just didn’t watch TV. Then I learned the same lessons as I have this time. Except this time, I look back on the period between those two absences, when I did occasionally watch TV (though still a hell of a lot less than average), and I am convinced that I lost more of myself to being sucked into the TV than I ever thought possible at the time. It is only when you are outside of that trap that you see just how insidious it is.

So, the old adage is right: kill your television. Because it is killing your ability to think.

Jim Downey

(Cross posted to UTI.)

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I quite agree. I’m not a big TV watcher, and I could probably go without it.

I slowly drifted away from watching Television. Not for any noble reason of wanting to preserve my brain, I simply got bored or annoyed with it and found more interesting stuff on the radio.

This is a problem over here though – the only radio thats not music (and worth listening to) is BBC Radio 4, and thus paid for by TV licence-payers. Hmmm.

I left TV because I enjoyed computer games and the internet, much more interactive (and social!!), it really irks me to see my sister plonk herself down infront of the damn box, or the way she needs it on all the damn time.

Still, you can tell the TV isnt important in our house – its small and in the kitchen, I deliberately chose the seat with my back to it.

Comment by Troika21

We’ve also gone for years without TV at various times. I’ve come to believe that it isn’t the medium, but the choices that determine whether it kills your (or my) ability to think. I’ve learned lots about home improvement from This Old House and I’ll never forget watching the 2008 election returns and the speeches. Normally I get my news from the radio as well, but in this case it was great to see it as well.

Comment by Steve Tuck

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