Friday, November 28, 2008

How to make me grumpy

  • 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
Realize that TV is a hated piece of appliance in my book. I.Despise.Television. That it's everywhere flashing its images, even at the gym where I work out, and at every restaurant that I go to, makes me crazy. Whenever I visit a friend with television blaring in the livingroom, I quickly go to another room.

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*


Brian Michael Page said...

No need to apologize Argent. Points well taken.

BTW, don't forget all those catalogs and tv commercials that want you to go "holiday shopping". I've yet to go out and buy presents for Labor Day. Shoot! Maybe I should! LMAO

In the meantime, if you haven't seen the 2008 Tossmas video (I posted it, and Jeff posted a link to another source that plays it), check it out. You'll love this one!


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct in condemning the idiot box.

Growing up we were not allowed to have a television in our house until there where special events that we all loved, like the 1980 Olympics and the 1986 World Series.

Other than that, despite us kids temper tantrums in lust for the "big blue baby sitter", Maw and Paw put the kibosh on the tv.

To this day, my wife and I have no cable or television hookup.
We do watch the occasional video such as old reruns of "The Rifleman" or "Here Comes Daddy", with Danny Thomas.
We also watch "Father Knows Best", with Robert Young and Jane Wyatt,
but other than the movie greats no TV will ever sully our domestic church.

Get rid of the television, Argent!
God bless.

DimBulb said...

But re-runs of Gilligan's island are soooo much better when super-sized!

Argent said...

Bri, now that's what I call procrastinating.

Dan, the TV doesn't pick up any local stations. So we have it just to play movies over which we would have absolute rule. There will be no cable or satellite.

Dim, now see what you did, I'm humming that wretched..."Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale..." Well, I guess it keeps me from singing "Frosty the Snowman" which I really, really can't stand.

I just bought Into Great Silence. How's that for a family movie? ;)

Cathy_of_Alex said...

You shouldn't apologize. Most television, especially these days, is cheaply produced, histrionic crap.

Brian Michael Page said...

Bri, now that's what I call procrastinating.

No - actually planning ahead, you see. I'm buying for Labor Day 2009. (tee hee!)

Anonymous said...

*stands up and cheers for A's rant*

I think you'll like "Into the Great Silence" on the big, hidef screen, though. So many more artistic points will be brought out! ;-)