Friday, September 18, 2009

The Boob Tube & I

I experienced an "aha" moment today; my daughter likes to call them "ephi-nots" (revelations which aren't weighty enough to qualify as an epiphany). As long as I can remember I have been a TV addict; even if I'm not watching I have the set on for noise. But, to be honest, it's more than the noise, the sound of some shows and dialogue are comforting to me.

As a child of the 50's, 60's and 70's I was part of the TV loving crowd. But as we grown up hippies began to look around it was decided, by most, that TV was unhealthy. We all know the statements, "rots your brain", "robs time from real life", "read a book". I stood up to the criticism and advice to get rid of my "boob tube" but eventually caved and threw it out. I bought a new one about 4 weeks later but it was a valiant effort.

As the pressure grew so did my defensiveness and I was like an alcoholic looking for a place to sneak a drink. Thank God for children, now I had an excuse for more TV time with Disney movies and Barney. I was prone to pine for "I Love Lucy" or "X-Files" but at least it was the wonderful noise that calmed my nerves.

With time I reached the age where I didn't care what people thought. I learned to question every bit of "wisdom" and advice thrown my way. Imagine, all those years, all that rubbish and I had no clue. Television, like all things, has a value which is determined by the individual. The aesthetic and psychological value are hard to pin down but, like anything, it is a source of knowledge.

Having finally become comfortable with my use of the TV I realized that I had begun to turn the thing off more. Perhaps part of my dependency had to do with feeling defensive but my need to have it on certainly has waned. For the first time I have come to like it off when I sleep, truly enjoying the lack of sound. This is a good thing, my dreams are already odd enough without the sounds from a reality show twisting them further.

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