I joined my daughter's class for a field trip today. It is always interesting to see the kids that I have heard a bit about, snatches from here and there. Some kids names are repeated more often for good or for bad reasons, and sometimes it is interesting to hear the names of the kids who are never mentioned.
Today, one of the other parents on the trip referenced three television programs in just as many sentences, and then went on to say she really doesn't watch that much television. It is always interesting to see their reaction if I tell them that we have a TV without a digital converter box, it only plays videos. When someone asks me if I've seen Honey Boo Boo or a funny commercial, the answer is usually, no. Reality TV? Nope. The real shocker they get is when they ask when I stopped watching TV, I answer,"Back in the mid-'80's.". They usually take a minute to think before they speak next.
The major issue I have had with not watching TV is that I have lost a
major topic of small talk, and since small talk bores me to tears,
that's okay. What I find fascinating though is the denials of so many
people. They quote commercials and television programs constantly.
They buy what they are told to buy (more on that in a moment). Almost everyone insists that they watch
very little television, they only watch this one program or the other,
but for some reason they seem to have the whole pantheon of characters, shows and ads memorized, despite the fact that they say that they watch only one or two programs a week.
There are a just few honest people (usually under 25) out there who do admit to watching a
significant amount of television, and these folks will ask me what I do
with all my time. Depends on the week...this week I am building a
chicken coop, I am reading two books one on the art of the Sistine Chapel and
the other on the food ways of several immigrant families who passed
through a tenement building in New York City. I ran three times and did
a bit of yoga, tried several recipes using chick pea flour...all this done in the hours when most folks will watch television.
What I "miss" is the marketing mess they put forth as entertainment, and the advertisements that try to convince you that you need things that you really don't need. I don't need fashion, I don't care what is hot this year, be it trendy food, shoes, electronics, or a car. I can make my own food, I don't need food with poly-syllabic ingredients. I can still wear clothes I wore ten years ago, I buy new ones when they wear out or I spill something on them. My car is seven years old and has its spot in my driveway until the day when the payments to a mechanic exceed a new car payment. I find the ads to be offensive, folks are trying to tell me what to do, think and buy, because it benefits them.
The characters in the comedies are stock, the smart one, the buffoon, the clueless one, the sneaky one and the loud mouth. The dark shows all seem to have just a few plot lines, they change the names of the characters and the music that is used to create the mood. The action shows, all have their version of the car chase or shoot 'em up scene at one quarter till the hour. I know the story, tell me a new one.
I have stood up with viewer's remorse too many times, I can't ever get that time wasted on drivel back