Removing the Feeding Tube
Just got back from formal (aka Fear and Loathing in Destin), a not-that-much needed rest/stayed up for three days straight. Sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend. Luckily I made it back just in time to not watch TV for a week.
I have to admit that I like Adbusters, I don't mind paying six or seven bucks an issue. They started this TV Turnoff Week a few years ago and now it is catching on a bit, much like their Buy Nothing Day. This year's fest features a nifty little gadget called TV-B-Gone. The keychain-sized remotes are universal remonsters designed to turn off televisions in public spaces.
Television has always been an interest of mine. My roommate and I made a conscious decision not to own one, however I find myself gravitating towards my neighbor's when I am bored or stoned. I recently picked up Mitchell Stephens' "Rise of the Image/Fall of the Word," a research packed piece of academie that argues in favor of a TV Nation. Stephens makes the point that visual literacy has greater potential than the written word, and that all new forms of media are met with trepidation before they become the norm.
I do truly find TV deplorable. Not only is it a venture that leaves participants feeling worthless but I have always felt that its greatest danger is its ability to lower attention spans. I quote my other main motherfucking man David Foster Wallace from "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never do Again":
In younger Americans' experience, people in the same room don't do all that much direct conversing with each other. What most of the people I know do is they sit and face the same direction and stare at the same thing and then structure commercial-length conversations around the sorts of questions that myopic car-crash witnesses might ask each other - 'Did you see what I just saw?'
Although my generation can destroy yours in Madden 2011, we probably can't pay attention long enough to remember we did so. If none of these reasons appeal to you to throw your TV out the window (and then pick it back up in a week) then look at it as challenge. Can you do without TV? I think I can, but its easy for me because the Knicks never make the fucking playoffs.