I've been blessedly televisionless for most of my life. And for many, many months in this flat, the set lived peacefully on the other side of the room from the cable plug. But then, one day - I arrive home to find that the TV has made its way to the plug-wall.
I made ":/"-face and went about my biznatch.
Since the cable plug snuck into the wall, there have been several changes in myself and my world that I'm not likin'. I'm a little jumpier; more fussy. A titch more worried. Somewhat less intimate. A bit less imaginative about my free time. I don't like it, and I'm saying NO.
Yesterday morning at yoga, I accidentally meditated on the problem in final savasana (and made it to work on time by the skin of my teeth, but it was worth it.)
Here's my manifesto:
1. Television is not relaxing. It's a mild stimulant, full of sawdust shots and empty-calorie fast cuts, that has none of the natural openings and closings of narrative film.
2. Television does not keep you better informed. Far better to be on an information diet than have the nonsense of TV news pumped through your head, or to listen to pundits punt endlessly in useless circles.
3. It's a very insidious thing, TV. It becomes a habit without announcing itself. It tidily covers up the things that you would be doing with that time, and American TV's non-self-limiting nature makes it difficult to restrict effectively.
4. It's in TV's interest to bring every viewer down to their lowest common denominator so that they consume more. I should know. I assist the harvesting process. It's very good at its job.
So there you have it - if the TV's on, I'm walking away.
I'll miss you, Jon Stewart. But it's best for both of us.