Thursday, April 30, 2009

A short rant, with no point, really.

I read a lot of knitting blogs. I don't knit as much as I used to (you try making charted lace socks on dpns while chasing a feisty two-year-old), but I do enjoy ogling the work of others. One of my regulars is Dr. Steph's . (that link isn't working. sorry.)She's interesting, and she doesn't write just about knitting. Recently, for instance, she wrote about television. This is something I've been thinking and talking about quite a bit lately.

For years, I refused to pay for television. I grew up in a house without cable. When I lived with an ex-boyfriend in Chicago we had cable, but I was working and going to school full time, so I didn't watch much then, also, he was a nazi with the remote so I never got to pick anyway.

When I moved back to St. Louis, I don't think I even had a t.v.

We watched a ton of videos at the Cleveland house, but television didn't factor into the equation. It was easier to get five or six people to agree on a movie than a show.

When Matt and I bought the Petting Zoo we were young and unmarried, child-free, had less debt, yadda yadda. Long story short, we got the digital hookup. I was IN LOVE with cable. It was one all night DeGrassi marathon after another. I was addicted to the DIY channel, the Home Improvement network, Adult Swim and the power hour (John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Monday thru Thursday, 10pm central.) I watched the Sopranos, Big Love, Entourage, and Flight of the Conchords. I saw every episode of BSG. I adored BBC America, SciFi, Nick at Night, Sundance, IFC, The N, and the stupid network whose name escapes me that played all the old Star Trek episodes in the afternoons. I watched miniseries, "made for Lifetime movies" and (cringe) VH1 exposes. Basically I wasted a TON of time.

Now, t.v. can be a good thing, educational and helpful and all, but I was having too much of a good thing. It did its job, got me through the first six months of nursing, since Josser would not let me read a book or knit while he was eating. But when we finally couldn't afford it anymore, I wasn't so sad to let the cable go. I figured if I really needed to watch television, we still had the networks, right?

Then came the announcement that all television was "going digital." Anyone hooked up to cable already was fine. The rest of us had two choices; get cable or buy a "box." Since our government knew that the American people might actually riot in the streets if their beloved teevee was taken away, we all have been issued "coupons" by the government to give those of us without cable a discount on a digital converter box.

I refuse to get cable, and I refuse to buy a digital converter box because I don't want to let television back into my life. Mattie and I decided to cancel the cable service to save money about nine months ago, and I will never go back. We can watch whatever we've "missed" on Hulu, making it more of active entertainment-seeking than passive. I know we watch less of it. Every show, cable or network, seems to be available on DVD immediately after the season ends, so Netflix and collector friends are providing us with hours of entertainment.

I really feel that television can become controlling. It is too easy to veg out in front of the idiot box when you have nine billion channels to choose from. Even if there's nothing on, there's still something on. So I'm sticking to my guns. No teevee.

I have made a few observations. People I don't really want to talk to, have nothing to talk to me about. Once we cover the weather, we have nothing more in common to discuss. It may sound evil, but I'm fine with this.

Since The Sprout doesn't watch teevee, he doesn't recognize all the "marketed at kids" crap that is out in the world. My son doesn't know Dora from Adam. He doesn't ask me for fruity-oaty-bars or super-sugar-puffs at the grocery store. He knows not the Disney.

I'm sleeping better. I don't stay up late watching movies, or reality shows or whatever.

I get a lot more done around the house. I don't put off doing something "until the commercial" or "after this is over."

So basically, I don't miss television. I feel better about myself for not buying into the government coupon opiate scam, and I think I'll go spend the forty bucks I would have wasted on the box on a Botanical Gardens membership. That's all now.


Blogger Tempest ina Pot of Tea said...

Some of the best years of my life had no TV in it. I love my TVs, but I long for a life where I don't depend on an idiot box to unwind my mind.

12:13 PM  
Blogger JJ said...

Funny you just wrote this, as Dave and I have been talking about getting rid of our cable. So much money is wasted on it. Maybe I'll bring it up again, you've inspired me!!
Also, I think we are going to zoomagination at 10 tomorrow. If you're not busy, you should meet us there!

12:40 PM  

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