23 May 2006

Doing Without

Is it possible to live without TV? Of course it is! Ask the average American to do so, and they may last a day or two. For many it is easier to give up smoking than their gleaming box of rubbish.

This weekend, after a rather violent storm, my roommate (Dad) and I were left for three days without our cable. As a result, Dad had no channels on his TV while I had two somewhat fuzzy network channels. I was a bit excited at the prospect of putting more time into reading, but my Dad was absolutely bereft. He spent an hour reading before he could take it no longer. Suddenly he was digging out old video cassettes of Sherlock Holmes from the early 1990's, then visiting Blockbuster. He even watched my Napoleon Dynamite DVD, and other choice features of my small DVD collection.

The cable repairman arrived late yesterday afternoon, and know it's business as usual at home. It's a shame, really. So many hours are wasted watching programs that are usually worthless. One should really cut down on the news as it's depressing: I try to catch the weather and the main headlines, and then get on with my life. Besides, it didn't rain all weekend and the weather is looking up now. A pleasant walk to the park in the spring is so much better than afternoon reruns.

During the hour he read, I made tea and broke out the Trader Joe's Blueberry Lemon Tea Cake. It was fantastic. If only people could appreciate the simpler moments in life. Hey, I was able to read 200 pages of a book, completing it after months of enjoying it. Would I have done that if I were watching some Friday night something or other? Doubt it!


BonBon said...

Yup, tv is a thief of time. And it can be a source of noise pollution. It's the lazy man's(or woman's)recreation. Not that we don't all have hour moments (that was an accidental misspelling of our, but I think I'll leave it)of laziness; I mean, sometimes just staring at flashing images really is all you can handle after a long day, but generally there are way more productive and soothing ways to spend your free time.

Catherine said...

I like that use of hour. It really works!

k said...

man, I wish ours would break, as I too come from a family of TV-addicts. it's kind of sickening hearing all the hokey TV voices drowning out moments that could be better spent meditating on more important things...

Stevie ~ mono no aware said...

We lived about 1 and a half years without a TV--and I never noticed. JP did. It was a difficult decision when we opted to get cable back (we need it or no reception...whats up with that?)The sound of the TV in our small space resonates and irritates me.
It is without doubt responsible for the modern worlds downfall via its promotional and flash imagery.
Its entered our reality with anothers perception of truth and what makes for normal and has killed 'family' activity.

Marie said...

I love not being attached to watching TV. I barely watch it. I don't follow any shows. It is a time waster also. You know when you are sick and you watch tv all day? It actually makes you feel worse. My mom and grandma are both TV addicts, and while they were over my house, I was annoyed to find the tv on downstairs and upstairs. The noise just irritates me like you don't know. I actually watched something last night, the discover channel on rodents. It was pretty interesting. Other than that, the shows are just not funny anymore, they are lame and corney. How many CSI's are out there??

Stevie ~ mono no aware said...

There is an old movie called Network and theres a scene where a character is fed up with all the nonsense and he incites folks to round up their TV at a particular hour and on a count down nationwide plunge their tubes out the window screaming..."WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!"
The scene following had TV's being dropped out of windows from all over...its brilliant!
After 2001 ---the incident---I did not watch TV for about two months as everything about it seemed so futile and ridiculous...even the bleaking news...which BTW is bias and slanted towards whose favor in politics they lean towards. Foreign news presents a fuller picture.
Tv ; a progeny of the grand illusionist.