Monday, July 17, 2006Electric Vampire
I think I've figured out what the real problem is. Or at least a big part of it.
It's the television.
The television in our living room is a sucking vortex. I'm not a big TV-watcher in any case -- I watch a few specific shows, and leave it turned off the rest of the time. I don't use it for "company," I rarely sit and watch aimlessly (unless I'm sick), and most of the time I spend in front of it is pre-determined, constructive watching -- films and the like. Without it, I would miss a few things (the Daily Show, Tom Goes To The Mayor, etc.), but nothing I couldn't see provided I had a DVD player and a broadband internet connection handy.
But second-hand television is just as much of a problem for me; I can't even concentrate with the thing on in the background. I can spend all day working up some serious creative momentum, and the minute somebody else turns on the TV, it's like letting the air out of a balloon -- pffffffft. What I'd really like is to not have the damn thing around, or at least have it disconnected from the outside world. It's not that I haven't always known that TV is a largely destructive force in the culture, and it's not that I think there's no place for it at all. But I'm beginning to strongly feel that the ol' shitpump is not an influence I need in my life. And that feeling has crystalized in the last month.
Thinking back, some of the most peaceful places I've been were free of television. Those are places where you can rest and gather your thoughts, start the ideas rolling again. I've even found that simply hiding the television creates a better atmosphere in a room -- there's just something about that glass screen that makes me restless. Especially with the internet coming of age, I'm not sure I see the point of it anymore. The only thing it seems uniquely designed to accomplish is waste time, sell crap and dissipate otherwise-useful energy. I'm happier when I don't watch TV at all, I get more done, I learn more, and my thoughts feel more like my own. And none of this is terribly original, it's the same ultimate conclusion that hundreds of thousands have reached before. But it's my turn, I guess, to have the magnitude of the issue become clear for me. |