Friday, May 20, 2011


It's been two weeks since I gave up television. I still own a television, but I cancelled my cable; now it's just a monitor for watching DVDs.

I didn't have a TV for much of my childhood. My mom wanted to encourage my brother and me to read more, and to go outside and play more, so there was no television set in our house between my preschool days and my early teen years. And indeed, I spent a lot of time outside riding my bike or climbing trees or playing football on a local patch of grass (far too small to be called a park) with other kids, or sitting in my room alone reading library books.

As a side note, I didn't hear the word "playdate" until I was in my late 20s or early 30s. My mom used to push my brother and me out the door with the words "Dinner's at six. Be home on time." End of story. There are lots of things not to miss about the '70s and '80s, but the freedom children enjoyed in those years is definitely a major loss.

Anyway, I don't miss TV. I used to watch Morning Joe while eating breakfast, and it made me angry. I used to watch Hardball in the evenings, and it made me angry. Not angry because "dammit, Obama's takin' all our money and givin' it to [insert group I don't belong to]." Angry because journalists are so fucking stupid, myopic and above all narcissistic, because they talk only to each other or to people richer than themselves and then go on television and talk about what "the American people" want, or about how a given policy decision is going to poll, whether or not it's the right thing to do. I don't need to hear that bullshit anymore. I'm out.

And political jabber aside, there aren't any sitcoms or dramas I'm particularly interested in seeing that I can't catch up with a day later on Hulu. And I'm already reading a lot more, and writing a lot more. So this is pretty much a win from every angle. I should have done it years ago.

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