Friday, February 04, 2005

The Devil Returns

Before my wife and I were married we made up a budget that was calculated to show percentages of expenditures of our lifestyle. This was so we could gauge how much income we could make together and how much we would spend and where. When it was finished it occurred to us that we would have more money for ourselves if we cut back on a few luxuries. One such luxury was cable television.

I’m not going to sit here and preach to you about how my wife and I didn’t own a TV or how all we ever did was read, that would be a bold faced lie. However, I will say that if you were to turn on our television a few days ago all you would see was black. Yeah, we had a DVD player, and hell anyone who knows me knows that I am a video game fanatic. All I am taking about is paying for television programming. Since we have been married for a year and a half, I have only watched television outside of my house, and that wasn’t often. Did I still sit in front of the tube? “Hell yes!” I’d exclaim to anyone asking. Did I make a point to watch whatever God-awful show or biased network news program was on? Hell no.

What’s the point? My roomy has a subscription to Dish Network, and he just got it installed yesterday. I came home from work (yeah, I got the job), and my wife and roommate are sitting in the family room watching TV. I didn’t even put up a fight; I just sat down and vegged with them. The invention of the television is already an attractive nuisance without the stream of endless, and pointless, TV shows. If you throw the two together however, you get something much more insidious than a cheep form of entertainment. It’s like a gateway drug. By this I mean that I’ll start watching some TV shows, then some more, and finally I am channel surfing for hours while all of my hobbies get less and less time and I don’t read anything that doesn’t stimulate me the same way TV does. I’m talking to you, subscribers of Readers Digest, People, and yes even News Week. These periodicals have short-ass articles with no more substance than what you could infer from reading the cover captions. This is why National Geographic is my favorite news magazine.

How many of your office conversations revolve around what you have seen on TV somewhere? How often do you bring up some television series when talking to your friends? I would bet a lot more than you’d think. And remember I’m counting network news because, though you may not want to believe it, that’s a show like anything else. Why do you think it reports on what it does? Ever hear the term, “If it bleeds, it leads.” That’s marketing, people. For just the same reason Jerry Springer was popular. You hardly ever hear about stories after their initial report, unless there is some substantial human tragedy.

Anyway, back to topic. Instead of wasting my time on a specific movie that I wanted to see badly enough that I was willing to spend money specificaly on that item, not to mention going out to get it. Or playing a game that I am involved in. No, I will probably become more interested in watching what other people do. I'll just sit there viewing trashy people living, like a leach (Insert reality TV ad here). Not to mention that now I have a satellite dish the size of a manhole cover perched on the top of my fence out back. It’s quite breathtaking…in a bad way. Huh, I'm glad that I got that off my chest. Now I think I’ll go see what’s on. I mean…ah…oh, screw you guys.


Your New Sleeping Aid said...

relax. I got digital cable man coming tomorrow morning just so I can watch the Superbowl in High definition. I hate my life.

mommyjolle said...

Jeesh! Is this the same boy who used to sit glassy-eyed in front of the t.v. until his parents dragged him kicking and screaming towards a book? You know, Mark, you can "just say no" to mindless tv also. By the way, National Geographic has it's own channel. And of course, there's always the History channel and TLC and Discovery channel and if you want to get your political hackles up just tune in some of the news channels. I can't watch the reality shows, they don't seem very real to least it's not MY reality!
Ugh, a big old icky dish blocking the view of the moon and stars outside. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Brillig said...