So Here I Am, Not Being Entertained!
My wife and I recently decided to cancel our cable TV. There were a variety of reasons for this, some principled, some just plain old pragmatic (we don’t watch much, and we can’t afford it). I thought that we would still pick up the odd station even after we got rid of cable, but it turns out that we now get precisely zero channels. ZERO. It’s very strange. I have been watching CBC’s coverage of the World Cup on my laptop, so I am surviving thus far, but I wonder what will happen once fall rolls around and hockey season starts. My resolve will certainly be tested…
Anyway, given my new television-less reality, I got a kick out of this when it came through the inbox the other day (Calvin’s family has just had their television stolen).
Congratulations! May the continued lack of TV spur you and your family onto great things.
My wife and I long ago decided if we had cable we would never leave the house. We would just sit in front of the TV flipping channels like zombies. We do have an antenna that picks up half a dozen stations, enough for us. My prayers and condolences to you.
Yes. With Michael I think this will be a good move.
In the summer evenings I usually hike or walk in town, then read and listen to music, calm night music. The winter is the hardest time. So much more time in darkness before sleep.
The Calvin and Hobbes strip reminds me of Hemmingway’s story, A Clean Well-Lighted Place.
Our family has been without a television for 4 years. I am not an isolationist luddite there is alot of TV programming on the internet and we get to see what we want to see. The difference, is that it is purposeful, you have to go and find what you want to watch and pretty soon you realize that it is just not worth your time to go and find the crap that was washing over us by the sheer force of inertia. The days of shamefully realizing at 2am that I am watching someone market useless garbage to me when I could be engaged in sleep are over. In addition the amount of advertising I see is far less. I would encourage those who are considering it, to give it a try. You do not to feel as though you will be completely without television but you will find yourself watching the things that you find are worthwhile searching for.
I’m all for less advertising! And I think you’re right about having to be more purposeful about if/what you will watch without the possibility of just turning on the TV and watching whatever happens to be on. So far, we haven’t missed it at all. And the kids haven’t even complained yet!
I was looking through my journal from the year our family spent in Indonesia and I came across this. Our time in Indonesia was the beginning of our ‘TVlessness’.
“Oct. 11, 2005: I realized the other day that we had not seen one TV commercial in 2.5 months and there are very few billboards here and the store signs are so minimal that it is often hard to find the store that you are looking for. It feels good to not be bombarded with images, messages, and sounds trying to sell you stuff. My head feels more clear. It’s not that money isnt important, it is, but there is no this incessant, pounding drive from every direction to buy stuff and it makes a difference in how you think.”
I think that we so rarely get to escape our consumer culture that we don’t realize what it is doing to us.
I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for sharing this story!
It is interesting to ponder this from the perspective of having a choice and not having a choice. Plato’s Republic comes to mind in his criticism and ultimate rejection of certain types of art and poetry in the city. While I would never dispute the disservice the majority of television and advertisement does to our souls I question how far we would wish to see it taken. Is censorship, such as Plato proposes the most reasonable solution and the one best for humanity? Or is a system such as Aristotle proposes better for us? Where certain acts should be depicted to give us release, to satisfy the cravings of our animal souls – to show us what fulfilling those cravings leads to. Or is our capitalist-consumerist regime the best? With rules that are becoming more slack daily, but truly fulfill our desire to fulfill our desires and consume that which we do not need but we do want.