Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm Some Strange


It happened again today. Same scene. Different faces.

“How on earth do you manage,” they say to me, “How can you possibly live without it?”

Their voices always rise a notch. Shock and horror riddled is how I would describe their faces.

“Oh, really, I don't miss it at all,” I say

“How long has it been?” one practically shouts at me.

It's always like this. Every time I break the awful news. To anyone. Shouting. Disbelief. Ascending derision.

“Oh, let me see, “ I say, using all my fingers to count, “That would be eighteen years now.”

“Sweet Jesus, did you hear that there now Nellie, she said eighteen years!” Jack's face has gone purple.

“It's not natural,” Joanna says, looking at me as if she has to now reassess my sanity. Nellie nods her agreement. Vehemently.

“What do you talk about without it, what do you do, like?” Jack asks belligerently.

“Well,” I say, carefully, "Other things like books. And movies. And art. And knitting. And stories. And games. And walks. And singing. And...”

“That sounds like an awful lot of work,” says Joanne, “I'd prefer to have a good rest with it rather than have to do all that.”

“But,” I say, “ That's how people behaved not too long ago, that's how they would fill up an evening.”

“Oh that wouldn't be for us now at all,” says Jack, “That would be going right backwards at life, don't you agree?” and he looks around at the nodding faces.

“You're some strange,” Nellie sums up,”I've never known anyone ever to give up T.V.”

18 comments:

  1. Meet your twin. I gave up TV twelve years ago and never missed it. Nowadays there are so many other ways to keep up with breaking news. I do like radio, that way I make my own pictures in my head.

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  2. A good Australian friend of ours (currently living in Belfast) doesn't have a TV and sees no need for one. The TV licensing people keep harassing her, they're convinced she must have one. We watch TV quite a lot but as you say, there're plenty of other activities just as pleasurable, who really needs it?

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  3. Ha! I read to the end, knowing what you were going to say but aren't the reactions of others amusing? Going backwards, indeed ;)

    The kids at school where I work are as aghast as the grownups when I say I don't watch TV. "What do you DO?" they ask in wide-eyed wonder. The mother of one little girl came up to me and scolded me for costing her money - her daughter told her that I said reading was a much better use of her time and the little sweetie pie demanded to go to the bookstore for some new books.

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  4. You truly are a counter-cultural radical, aren’t you? How can you ignore the single most important cultural influence in our lives that has caused governments to fall, babysitters to lose their jobs and hours and hours of precious time wasted in front of the “boob tube”? I’m certain some intensive psychotherapy would help you to over this situation or perhaps aversion therapy. Just imagine … reading a book, going to movies, KNITTING! Jack was right … you are most definitely going right backwards at life. Makes me wish I was along for the ride. Happy Sunday!

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  5. i didnt have a TV for the first five years after i moved out of my parents' house. never saw such classics of american teleivion as "roots," "three's compnay," "charlie's angels..."

    but now i need TV for the baseball games.

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  6. GM:
    Amazing how life opens up isn't it? I used to subscribe to the White Dot magazine which was directed at us TVless wans but it was discontinued as we were dwindling in number!
    Nick:
    In most homes I've noticed it is always on as a kind of Fahrenheit 451 evil presence. I find it totally disturbing. Or dominating the living room even when off.
    Pauline:
    My granddaughter has had very little exposure to TV and as a result is a voracious reader (at 15).
    VP:
    I must sign up for some good TV rehab and stop that reading nonsense at once!
    Laurie:
    And that's another thing, spectator sports - I could do a diatribe, what ever happened to participatory? When did we start paying these sports "stars" millions and millions to pimp products every 5 minutes? As to TV series, when they're good I get the DVD from the library or buy and watch on my own time. That's how I'm up to date on marvellous series like Mad Men and The Wire.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. There were periods in my life when I had nothing but a transistor radio for company - didn't miss TV then. There was a long period when I didn't go to the cinema - around 30 years in fact....often felt a bit "out of the loop", but it's fun now catching up on all I missed then.

    With computer now, I guess if I lived by myself I could be quite happy without a TV, but watching a movie or drama together is nice; and in this part of the US, in tornado season the tracking weather channels provide important info. So, all things considered, I'd not like to be without TV - but I can certainly appreciate the advantages of being sans the goggle box.

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  8. Oh T but I do see any movie or series or drama I wish, I just don't have those pimping channel nuisances. Even public TV (back 18 years ago) had their awful weeks of beggary to contend with.
    I slipped into this way of life accidentally and wouldn't trade it for the world.
    I'm very much in the minority - the only one in my outport without toxic sludge coming at me 24/7.
    Probably the only one in Newfoundland.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. I can't do completely without TV. I do use it for the boring moments. I only watch Dutch Public TV and it only has commercials in between the programs in a separate time slot, so I can choose to ignore those. There are some good programs on that I would miss and I like to watch the news. I boycott commercial TV. I had enough of that In the States. Never want to see it again.

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  10. When my husband and I first moved in together, we didn't have a TV. We'd get exactly the same reactions when people asked us whether we'd watched the latest reality TV rubbish. We only got the TV after they announced that Dr Who was coming back (and one of my colleagues was selling her huge CRT monster off cheap!)

    Even now, people find it difficult to understand that we watch two programmes a week - Dr Who, and then a Monty Python documentary afterwards. It amazes me how many people have "Did you watch...?" as their sole topic of conversation!

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  11. I actually have a TV and we get hundreds of channels. It's kind of odd that we never -- and I mean never-- want to watch it. We use it to watch our geology course, which we have finished, and now an economics course. It was fun to read that, with its titillating implication.

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  12. Nora:
    Amazing how many people say they can't do without it!
    News is better on radio as you can multi-taks (life being short and all that!)
    And the library has most of the good series on DVD. And I just love watching them all at once and not having to wait a week for part 3.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Jo:
    I hope you're not paying too much for the 2 shows you watch!
    But I do know that you live your life to the fullest (I envy you your marvellous energy!) so that doesn't leave any time for sedation by a big black box!
    XO
    WWW

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  14. 20CW:
    It was the same for me when I did my Toronto house thing for 4 months. Where I temporarily lived, they had hundreds of channels on a humungous big screen and I never watched it except for the movie DVDs I rented.
    XO
    WWW

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  15. Friends of mine had 8 kids in 10 years. After the 8th one there was no more. That happened to coincide with their buying a tv and putting a raincoat over the piano.

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  16. A raincoat?
    H'm
    Do tell us more, whose raincoat?
    XO
    WWW

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  17. WWW - we don't pay a thing for the TV (apart from the electricity to power it) - no licence fee and we are watching the terrestrial channels only, so no Sky subscription. Aside from the licence fee in the UK, I've only ever paid for TV when it came as part of a broadband and phone package (and the only thing I miss from that service is The Daily Show). If I had to pay here, (without getting the broadband and phone as part of it) then that would be it for watching TV at all!

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  18. WWW - I've never 'given up' telly, because I was brought up without one - partly because, in my long-ago childhood, tellies were for people with money (which we weren't), and partly because no-one in the family could be arsed to stop reading for long enough to watch a programme :-) I've bought a telly a few times over the years, to watch specific shows (before the advent of VCRs), and then given it away as soon as the show's run finished. These days we do have a telly, but it doesn't function as one; it's not connected to anything but the DVD player, and is there strictly for those times when I'm too unwell to sit up and watch a film or episode at the 'puter. Also, BitTorrent is my friend now - we download the few shows that interest us, and then buy them when the official DVDs come out.

    Now that you've made to move to no telly, why not take the next step and cut all news out of your life? I did it in, lessee, 1971 and I've had a happier life ever since...

    -- Dystopianna

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