Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I swear I'm not one of those pious and condescending people who boasts about not watching television. You know the type, I'm sure. These people practically nullify the merits of a untelevised household with their sheer arrogance and intellectual snobbery. I did however, go for nearly a year without having a tv in my house. Not because I'm morally or intellectually superior but because I didn't have the funds to buy one and it really wasn't that important to me (or I would have managed a way to afford one) In that year I watched plenty of tv but on my computer and therefore was able to be selective with my viewing. I was also, for the most part, able to avoid the bombardment of advertising that is seen on network tv.
Recently one of my daughters gave me her old set, a pre-digital model which involved needing a converter box, another hand me down. Then about 2 weeks ago my computer had an unfortunate meeting of minds with a cup of hot chocolate. There I was, no netflix, no X-files reruns, no YouTube jackassery, so I turned on the tube.
Within an hour of reengaging myself with my old friend I was convinced I needed to run down to Victoria's Secret and buy a new bra. By the next day I was squinting in the mirror at my wrinkles and uneven skin tone. By day 3 I realized that if this relationship were to continue I was going to have to mute the ads or change the channel when they appeared. Since staring at a muted screen is rather boring, I quickly rediscovered the senseless joy of channel surfing, the champion sport of the attentionally deficit.
This is when you know you have a problem; when you're not watching with intent and purpose but are beginning to 'turn', like a zombie or old milk. Having acknowledged I had a problem I immediately set out to find a handy source of rationalization to accommodate my viewing pleasure. This is when I discovered the retro channel. Ah, childhood memories. I Love Lucy, The Rifleman, Gunsmoke and Dragnet. Wait, Dragnet? Did I like that show even then? Heck no, but I remember it was always good for a few laughs when nothing else was on. And let me tell you, it still is.
Aside from the hipster ironic television enjoyment I discovered there is some pretty decent programming available, on PBS of course...any snob will tell you that. But seriously since network tv went digital and has had to compete with cable they have upped the ante on many of the public tv stations from travel shows to arts and crafts to documentaries.
Now I'm back online and able to be more discriminating in my viewing choices I'm not giving up my tv time. Like all pastimes it can be productive, mediocre or just plain unhealthy but as long as we can maintain some perspective and discrimination we're okay. Just skip the ads.
© 2010-2013 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard
Posted by Jennifer Hazard at 9:48 AM