- rustle advertisement circulars next to me at 4:45 AM on Black Friday (today). Do you know how loud newsprint can be that early in the morning?
- shine a flashlight in my eyes
- shove the circular in front of me with my half-open eyes
- say, "HDTV for only $399.99 at Best Buy!"
- mention that the boys are in on the scheme
- creeping footsteps down the stairs to beat the rush at the Mall
There's a widescreen TV in my living room. Okay, now what? There will be no cable or satellite. EVER. If my family decides to get either, you can be assured that an axe or a machete will make mincemeat out of whatever box has to be added to receive wretched moving images. And believe me, it will give me much pleasure to do the honors of chopping those idiot boxes to pieces.
Watching television deadens the mind. Seriously, in an incremental and mind-numbing way. Just as internet surfing can.
Better to pick up a book, to play chess with your children, to walk the dog, to rake the leaves, to make bread. Best yet, to go to daily Mass. And by extension, go to Adoration.
Yes, I am quite displeased. You see, I was looking forward to the obsolescence of the analog TV that is locked away and gets dragged out for an occasional video movie. This new box makes my job even more difficult. It's hard to find moving images that are neutral. They burrow into your memory and in unguarded moments, they are recalled with alarming clarity.
I speak from experience of being addicted to television watching. Most of my childhood, we did not have television until I was around 11 and my parents decided that we were missing out on some cultural things. So they purchased one and my brother and I quickly became absorbed with it. When we came home from school, there was a wide array of re-runs to watch. Then in university, my roommates were addicted to soap operas. I hated them and would avoid our apartment when the shows were on. When our children started arriving, though, I found myself becoming addicted to television watching while nursing the babies. Then when the children were in their toddler years, television became a crutch. Finally, when the middle child was five, did we have the outrage to ban its presence in our lives and cut off cable. So we were able to substitute the time with group readings of Shakespeare, Tolkien, CS Lewis. Our children loved those times. We invested in play figures and our living room became re-enactment sites for Battle of Hastings or the Civil War.
For years, we were free from the pull of shows that came and went. Our daughter grew up reading and creating her own images through her art journal.
Now, our family has succumbed and I am grumpy. NO, make that really grumpy. I have every right to feel that. I have told my family that I reserve the right to unplug the television whenever I feel like it. And.My.Word.Is.Law.
*I don't apologize for this rant*