"Television Wasteland Revisited"

I received a few comments on this one that I’d like to respond to.


Okay, guilty as charged. I confess, I do enjoy spending time in my family room, kicked back in my recliner, in front of my 50′ big screen. It’s an older, rear projection model, a dinosaur in this age of HD and flat screens, but it does the job.

That’s right, here I sit, night after night spending countless hours in front of the tube, but I’m here to tell you, I am not a TV zombie lost in the land of network programming. I imagine you’re probably scratching your heads and saying “Huh? How can that be? What a hypocrite! Well let me tell you brothers and sisters, let me ‘splain it to you.

TV zombies and couch potatoes are one and the same beast, do-nothing television watchers. They sit, remote in hand and vegetate in front of the tube! They spends every available minute engrossed in the idiot box. They are caught up in it and can scarcely look away from it. Their lives are centered on it.                                                                                    My life does not center on the tube, I do much more than just watch TV.  I do not give the TV my undivided attention. While “watching TV” I’m almost always doing something else, mostly I write, as I am doing right now.(and yes the TV is on) Sometimes I read, draw, or am on my laptop doing a variety of things, occasionally looking up to watch what’s on the screen. About the only time I give TV my full attention is if I’m watching a particularly good movie or an episode of Son’s of Anarchy, True Blood or 24 when it was still on.

I suppose you could call what I do multi-tasking, but I have always watched TV this way. I’ve never liked just sitting here doing nothing but stare at images on the screen. Oh, back in the day, when I used to indulge in the reefer, I would sit and do nothing while watching TV, but that’s because I couldn’t do anything else! but those day are in the distant past. Since then I have always multi-tasked.

I remember a time over thirty years ago, I was sitting in the family room with the TV on, reading the newspaper. My wife came home from work and came into the kitchen adjacent to the family room and began talking to me. After a bit she became upset that I hadn’t turned down the TV or put the paper down and accused me of not listening to her. I remember putting the paper down, turning to her and repeating everything she had said. She was a little surprised and said, “Oh, I guess you were listening,” then quickly added,”but you could have put the paper down.”  I really didn’t need to, but I suppose I should have…

My defense rests…



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