Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Recommended Reading

I don't even know this guy, but I LOVE his writing. His post for today reminds me of why I got irritated at the hubster when, shortly before the wedding, he went and bought a great, big TV without so much as consulting me first.



I quit watching TV in 1985, at the age of 15. When I was in grad school, I proudly slapped a "Kill Your Television" bumper sticker on my car (along with "Question Reality" and an upside-down "Why Be Normal?". And Grateful Dead dancing bears. )



When thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, I often found myself in TV-related conversations to which I could contribute absolutely nothing. Usually, the conversations revolved around "Friends," or "Seinfeld," or "Frasier," all of which I'm sure were very amusing shows. People would repeat snippets of conversation from these shows, or talk about the characters as if they were mutual friends. And I didn't know any of them. But that was fine with me. I kind of liked the fact that my mind wasn't filled with all that garbage, even if it meant I was out of the proverbial loop with the rest of America.



I did buy a TV in 2001, shortly after 9-11. But, because I tended to get my news from the internet anyway, the TV turned out to be a wasted purchase.



Now that we have a TV, I am addicted to Law and Order: SVU. I'd never seen it before, until after we got the great, big TV. And the great, big TV is always on. Usually, it's on Fox News or football, but I've been guilty of switching the channel to VH1 so I can watch "I Love the Seventies" or some other fun but mindless program.



I hate it. If I lived alone, I would not have a TV. I hate how it sits like an idol in its shrine at the focal point of our living room. I suggested switching the TV and the piano (which is tucked away in our guest room, a.k.a. The Inner Sanctum"), but the hubster laughed at the idea.



My brain feels dead a lot of the time, and I think part of it is the mind-numbing effect of TV. During my pre-TV days, I would spend my evenings reading, writing, thinking, making music, listening to symphonies while following the score. Now I seem unable to resist its mindless spell. Except for when the hubster is out of town. When I'm home alone, I pretty much return to my pre-married ways: reading, communing with George the Piano, etc.



Last night I actually quit my exciting composing at 10:00 because Law and Order: SVU was coming on. And I knew exactly what I was doing. Said to myself, "Self, you just closed the piano and quit after two hard-earned measures of music composition to watch a television show that's going to keep you up past your bedtime and make you cranky and tired tomorrow."



"Yes, Self, that's what I'm doing. Live with it."



I like Law and Order: SVU. It's not a waste of my time. But, compared to composing, it is. Compared to working on my novel, it is. Compared to just about anything, it is.



So maybe it is a waste of my time.



"Self, something is very wrong here. Self, we should plot to kill the television. What do you think?"



"Why, Self, I do declare. You've hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head."



"You sure do love that word "proverbial," don't you, Self."



"Yup. Sure do."



Back to work.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been a huge TV fan. Unless I'm in the mood to have my brain killed, I don't watch much of it. I take Oprah and Dr. Phil every day. Oftentimes, I don't watch them. I like Survivor. But I can't sit there for hours on end.

    That was all my X used to do. On Saturday's, he'd complain because there was nothing for him to do (which meant "watch"). After 13 years, when I told him that the marriage was done, the therapist told him to turn off the TV and TALK to me. So, he'd sit there and stare at me because he didn't know what to say anymore. It was the most pathetic thing I'd ever seen.

    ReplyDelete