I HATE TV

My favorite cartoonist: Berkeley Breathed

A few weeks back Wifely and I stayed at a (h/m)otel because our home AC motor blew up. All our creatures — Gibson the Dog, Betty the Cat, and Henry the Cat — stayed with us. I loved the clarity of the clean rooms — there wasn’t Stuff all over the place. Just us, just what we needed to MY TEETH LOOKED EXTREMELY WHITE SO THAT WAS LIKE AN AWESOME THING (Sorry! Her TV interrupted my blog!) I was saying, It was just us, it was just a little home with only what Kate and I needed to be together. DARK AS THE FRICKIN’, LIKE, CHALKBOARD (Sorry again; trying to ignore it!)

Wifely was watching one of her most cherished shows, Jersey Shore.

Essentially, Chuck E. Cheese’s for adults.

One of my earliest memories of TV is watching, from across the room, a friend and his brother watch it. I remember their hands descending into the popcorn dish, lifting the popcorn to their mouths, their mouths chewing, gazes never leaving the screen, not even when it changed from one show to another, because it didn’t matter to them what they were perceiving. Unlike readers, who actively collaborate with texts to create stories in their minds, these two were passive receptacles of whatever was decided by whomever to be stuffed down their eyeballs.

I’m not opposed to entertainment; I’m opposed to mindless entertainment. He better not hope I don’t find out his name, bro. (What?)

A 2010 BLS survey says on average almost everyone 15 and up in the States watched nearly three hours of TV per day every day and I assume they will do so for the rest of their lives. There’s enough time to be mindless when you’re dead. I’m from THE SHORE BITCH!!! (Okay?)

Give me a piece of my preferred mindless entertainment and you will receive a lengthy confabulation justifying its importance. One man’s treasure, yadda. Actually I think it’s the BIG LOUD BASHING NOISE of TV that bothers me, the whole disorderly, sensate chaos of the thing. How the hell is that relaxing? I must be the wrong Myers-Briggs. Somebody pull out the McLuhan and say something wiser, because right now I have to put on some headphones and go write a scholarly article on the hobbies of the Puritans.

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I HATE TV by Douglas Lucas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.douglaslucas.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.douglaslucas.com.

5 comments ↓

#1 Kristin Janz on 08.16.11 at 8:34 pm

I don’t even understand how people find the time to watch 3 hours of TV every day.

#2 Bryan Drenner on 08.19.11 at 9:01 am

Three TV recommendations. Well, four technically.

1. The Daily Show / The Colbert Report – Brilliant satire, frequent interviews with authors and academics who know their stuff, meta-news.

2. Lost – An epic character drama that centers around questions of religion and philosophy, with a dash of highly original sci-fi-fantasy.

3. Battlestar Galactica (the re-imagined series) – Same as Lost, but more political and more overtly sci-fi.

My friend Jesse Alick, who is a playwright and poet with sci-fi leanings, recommended Battlestar, and I must admit that I was highly skeptical. It looks, from the cover, like another Star Trek / Star Wars copy. Be assured that nothing could be further from the truth.

All of these shows have contributed a wealth of new understanding to my life and have enriched my appreciation of things. Unfortunately there are no shirtless Italian men, but you can’t have everything.

#3 Bryan Drenner on 08.19.11 at 9:05 am

When I was staying with my parents last summer, I was shocked by the amount of TV they watched and how much of it was meaningless noise. They have developed a resistance to it, so they don’t notice how obnoxious the commercials are and how shallow the news stories tend to be. I could hardly stay in the room while the TV was on.

#4 K. on 09.02.11 at 6:52 pm

Television is pointless…I watch none of it; comment #3 is right on target.

#5 Hunny5 on 09.30.11 at 7:19 am

The History Channel and National Geographic channels are great. Fun to watch with young people. What I ‘hate’ are those young teens in family sitcoms who spew line after line of smart alecky comments with demeaning and minimizing attitudes. I never make more than 2-3 minutes on those and only because I happen to walk through the room. Who said it back in the fiftys?sixtys? “TV is the chewing gum of the eye.”

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