Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Confession to my colleagues...

In an interesting moment last week during a Flashpoint faculty meeting, I confessed with an embarrassing amount of honesty, that I do not watch television.. ...well, save for the Weather Channel [seriously]. I went on to pronounce, loudly uncovering yet another layer of my personality [what a surprise], that I am so disgusted with the self-indulgency and brainlessness of the medium, I cannot bare to spend a minute trying to find some worth in it.

So what's the deal?

I very much like the phrase, "the idiot box." Like fluorescent lights, I believe TV literally sucks brain cells right out of your head, depositing them in the bank accounts of televison programmers and executives.

[1] For information? It preys on the weak during the night, and lies through its teeth all day.
[2] For drama? Even the "quality" shows seem to have some version of Gilmore Girls built in as a thematic overtone. Snappy dialogue stepping on each other's lines, too much steadicam, and an sickening amount of drama for drama's sake. I miss Joe Mannix, Mike Stone, and Captain Lee B. Crane.
[3] For sports? The Pepsi/7-Up/Federal Express/Heinz/Procter & Gamble Bowl... ...sorry, just can't do it. And why does every movement on the field/court/floor need to be accompanied with a graphic and cheesy whoosh sound effect?
[4] For comedy? Well, I still can laugh, which is good, but I miss Buddy Sorrel, Ethel Mertz, and Murray Slaughter.

OK, now is the perfect time for the real confession: I love television. And that's why I despise it so.

I can sit down, and turn on virtually any channel and be completely captivated in no less than 30 seconds. I don't care what the program is; and guess what, the era matters not. Just the other day [true story], I turned on the tube in an effort to check out the chance for rain and maybe the 10 day outlook, when I landed on an episode of Saved By The Bell. Seriously, 20 minutes later, I realized I had sat through two commercial breaks, and an epilogue, waiting for the pay off. I'm not kidding.

I hate it. I love it.

Clearly, embedded in this post is the revealing of no self control or discipline on my part, but I want to illuminate the addictive nature of a passive activity like watching television. In the end, no work is required to "get it." I suppose that's the point, but something about that is inconsistent with the creative arts industries. Is there time for both? Surely there is for many, just not me—too many wondrous novels, records, and films in the queue.