Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The vapid stare of television



My roommates don't believe in television. Crazy, I know. They say it's becauses they have important, busy lives and much better things to do than rot their brain. And, get this, apparently there's nothing "good" on. Have they not heard of 30 Rock? My Name is Earl? Snapped? I say it's comforting, it's entertaining, it's a great way to bond with other people who can quote the same silly Micheal line from The Office. But alas, no television. It's not that we don't have a television. We do. It's mine. But there was a vote and cable went goodbye. Network tv would have been fine except without cable we get no reception. We have no antenna so it's just snow except for some reason the TV land channel. I'm so sick of the Munsters. It's one of the many reasons I've thought of moving...except I like the house, and most of the time the roommates. It's comfortable. We get along, but all do our own thing. It would be nice to have a closet bigger than the fridge. and it'd be great to not deal with the spider problem my roommate/landlord swears she'll fix but never does cuz we're friends and she knows she doesn't have to cuz I'm so nice about it. That and the asbestos problem. But tv. It's tv. It's fun. puzzles will only take me so far. Uno is all but worn out its welcome. I do sometimes catch up online, but it's not the same. I miss my tv. Rots your brain? Too late. My roommates (and for some reason a good portion of my female friends) who don't watch for moral and/or mental reasons will never understand.


p.s. I meant that mental thing in the nicest way possible. But seriously, tv really does exist, even if YOU don't believe in it.

12 comments:

Sherpa said...

I really don't watch a whole lot of tv...but I don't really understand people who say it rots your brain. There's just as much entertainment out there that rots your brain as much or more as tv.

"mormon romance novels" are the number one thing, I'm thinking of.

Scully said...

Check out the book "Everything Bad Is Good For You" by Steven Johnson. He talks about the cognitive demands shows like Lost and the Sopranos make on ones reasoning skills, as opposed to TV from the previous decades. He says it is making us smarter, because of how many story lines, plots, characters etc. we have to keep track of for each show. Plus, how can you have any understanding of the world if you don't know the pop culture? And ditto on the 'mormon romance novels'. Should I ever actually publish a novel, my very worst fear would be to become known as a "mormon author" as opposed to an author. And spiders are of the devil!

Sneakers said...

HA, we had the exact OPPOSITE thing happen at our house. The roommates were so tired of basic cable that we mutinied and demanded real channels!

Ah, to be foolish men.

esperanza said...

LOL> Sorry! I am one of the freaky friends of yours! But I just can't sit still long enough to watch t.v. I do watch all 11 t.v. channels at the gym at once though, so I get bits and peices of every show. I do however, schedule in time every week at the gym to watch the new show October Road that is on after Grey's. Its so good! And cute boys on it too!

mj said...

i am perhaps a weirdo. i don't really think about if tv rots your brain anymore. but, i have not watched tv consistently (mostly only over vacation or at someone else's house) since possibly the nineties. when i was about sixteen i watched tv all hours of the night to go along with my insomnia. so i think one day i just decided i was done. i already had my fill. i think i might watch a little bit of tv when i get married so i can, you know, join my culture and stuff. sometimes we watch random stuff at chris' house. and i like the fix i get over vacations when my family sticks in DVDs of the office and arrested development and such. but mostly i find it impossible to get all the things done i want to get done, like go running, make a real dinner, read, write that fiction stuff i got a master's degree for, attend events that seem worth attending, spend quality time with my bf, go outside. i do every single one of these things less than i mean to, so i basically get your roommates. it would be a waste of money for me too.

Steve said...

There are 'mormon romance novels'? (shudder!)

My ex didn't watch tv growing up (or still I think) and it caused a big riff with us b/c there was so much stuff from growing up about pop culture that I would make references to or allude to or make witty jokes about, but she had no clue. 'Seriously, not even the Smurfs?' It was this, along with the fact that she needed Rx-strength meds, that we broke up b/c I realized we had no common background. Trying to explain the importance of SNL in the mid-90's to someone that had no base is impossible. But I digress.

I think TV can be both good and bad. There are plenty of good shows, both for entertainment (Lost, etc.) and education (Mythbusters), and Kelly and I do bond over watching TV together.

Living overseas and traveling so much I've learned work arounds that could work for you too, iTunes, as much as I hate the DRM-infested fascism, is good for keeping up on shows. You can even buy a whole season ahead of time for about the price it'd be on DVD when it came out 6 months AFTER the season was over. Although, this could get pricey, but at least you can get your fix. It's how we've watched The Office and Lost while overseas to stay current with the US market.

Steve said...

SJ,
Sorry, got all worked up and forgot to tell you what I really wanted to tell you.....

There is a hilarious article in this month's GQ about Second Life. You really should find it. I think you would definitely appreciate after your project on it.

Jefe said...

Thinking TV is evil is so 97, TV has been cool ever since Freaks and Geeks hit the air waves. People got married so young because they didn't have TV and needed something to do at night. Trust me good conversation has an experation date.

Stand up for your right to watch TV!

SJ said...

A little less conversation and a lot more action...at least supposedly that's how it goes when you are first married...but I'll bet most people watch tv cuz they can't get any action. Er, maybe you are right and that's why none of us are hooking up cuz tv's just so damn good.

*by hooking up I mean in the Biblical sense

Jefe said...

But here's the question now...Do I feel lonley and downhearted or, uhm, you know, uhm anxiously horney...Either way I think it brings me right back to despondency, and since I refuse to medicate, what better medication than tv, music, movies and the occasional book.

I need a hobby.

SJ said...

you could be horny and lonely...but I'll bet that really sucks, and your addictions are not the answer my friend. Well, maybe they are a safe answer...for now. Intervention? Girlfriend? Stop professing your love for Lee?

Dainon said...

I don't watch TV either ... but I come out of hiding this weekend once the Sopranos hits the airwaves again. It used to be the only reason I ever watched TV. Once it goes away for good, though, I may as well chuck it. Eh, who needs it? I'm forced to pay cable at my complex and I only manage to turn it on once or twice in as many months. Bah humbug!