Friday, February 13, 2009

T.V. is My Friend

You know what? I’m done pretending. There’s something that I’ve grown up being ashamed to admit. It’s always been taboo to cop to this offense but after 32 years, fuggetaboutit, I’m done hiding my true self from the world.

You want to know what it is?

Are you sure, because this could potentially affect the illuminating glow in which you see me. Okay, here it goes.

I love watching television! That’s right, I said it! I love watching television and I watch plenty of it.

So what, I stayed in high school, went to college, even graduated. For as long as I can remember though, there’s always been a stigma attached to watching television excessively, therefore creating that shroud of deceit that all t.v. lovers had to hide under.

Well, forget that. I’ve been old enough for a long time to accept the consequences and repercussions of my actions even if that includes killing brain cells every time I watch my favorite show Lost, I mean 24, I mean 30 Rock, no I mean Heroes, forget it, you get the point.

I know the argument is that…wait, no I don’t know the argument. Do the radio waves emitting from the t.v. microwave our brains? Does the time on our couch or favorite chair cause cellulite and leg cramps?


But for me it has always been an escape. Television (quality television) allows you to get away from the real life drama that can be a drag and gets you all caught up in other people’s problems. My imagination borders the fine line between vivid and absurd but without it I would be a completely different person, so for that I’m thankful for the countless hours I spent in front of the boob tube as a child.

As I look back I realize that only in college did my love for primetime take a backseat to everything else (after all, there was sooooooo much “everything else” going on) and that’s fine but post college it didn’t take long to get reacquainted with old friends (Cosby, the Simpsons, Knight Rider) and to meet a bunch of new ones (Jack Bauer, Ray Ramano, Marlo Stanfield).

I get ideas and inspiration from the stuff I see on t.v. and as a writer, I’ll take inspiration anywhere I can get it. I remember my parents punishing me by not allowing me to watch t.v. when I’d done something wrong. It tore me up, why wouldn’t they just spank me and get it over with. Keeping me from Denise Huxtable or the latest Real World sex kitten was slow torture. You don’t do that to a young kid, you just don’t.

Anyway, my rant is fueled by overhearing a man telling his son that he needed to go outside and play more often and not watch so much t.v. Now the guy was right, his kid was an ounce or two on the plump side and I agree, television can play a part in our national obesity dilemma among our young ones. But t.v. can’t handcuff our kids to the couch and make them watch. The t.v. set won’t grab our kids by the arm and say “enough, go read a book or go ride a bike”.

But their parents can. As much television as I watched, there were always alternatives (can I call them alternatives if I really had no choice?). Mom made sure I was in camp every summer, Pops made a point to throw the ball around and chase me in the yard, I learned to ride a bike, etc. All of that exposed me to other things that I’d grow to enjoy and sometimes even more than t.v.

Point is, t.v.’s don’t kill people, people kill people. Wait, wrong quote. Let me try again.
Point is, all things in moderation. Stop blaming t.v. and movies for your shortcomings and your 200 pound three year-old. Television didn’t raise me, my family did. Television just entertained me and if my daughter wants to watch t.v. for entertainment I’ll tell her…

...television rots your brain, go read a book. ;-)


magdalene-sophie said...

what happened to your old blog?? :(
ahhh there's nothing shameful about loving the idiot box :)

Kiyotoe said...

mags: the old blog has been retired. It was time to start over.

Anonymous said...

I'd argue that TV is bad for you, except the kids and I are sitting here watching a show on comedy central and laughing our heads off.

paz y amor said...

Oh, you KNOW I got a problem with this one, ESPECIALLY since I've got 4th graders heavier than me who can quote cartoons and Flavor Flav but don't know their multiplication tables. What I will agree with is that it's not the kid's fault- or the T.V's fault, it's the parents!

Kiyotoe said...

Teach: See? and if you let your boys watch t.v. then it can't be all that bad.

Paz: That's all I'm saying brotha...let's place where the blame belongs.

Asara Dragoness said...

Heartily agree. All things in moderation. Be it television, or food, or games, or bubble baths..

Maybe not bubble baths.

I know where you're coming from though. My love for WoW gets the same sort of reaction. I feel like when I discuss it with family or non-WoWing friends, I have to defend the rest of my life, make sure people know that NO, I don't neglect my kids for the game, and the house gets cleaned, and I take care of my responsibilities at work... it's exhausting at times.

Cocotte said...

I've always been a fan of TV since Captain Kangaroo! And I'm a reality show addict as well. I like to be entertained, be it TV, books, music or a Broadway show.

I think it's healthy to relax at the end of the day with a good TV show.