we’re out of town this weekend. my wife and i took a dip in the pool late last night under the canopy of the desert night sky. we saw a brilliant shooting star directly over our heads and each took a moment to make a wish. mars was bright and low in the south. pure bliss.
this morning i helped the children find ‘pbs kids’ and we flipped through all the cable selections that we don’t get at home. i was completely enthralled: rappers with bikini-clad women on bouncing beds, a video by dido, the rugrats–‘all growed up’ next week, an old mash episode, kids doing complete somersaults on bmx bikes, perfectly-packaged blondes selling me the world, a commercial for a violent action movie, a ‘fangs’ show on some nature channel, an old humphrey bogart movie.
it was all so appealing–i forget sometimes how many millions are poured into creating pieces that will capture our attention and keep it. during 10 minutes of channel-surfing i was bombarded with images of sexuality, violence, commercialism and inanity that i typically keep out of my life by: a) not subscribing to cable, and b) not watching the shows we can receive on our tiny antenna. okay, okay, sometimes i watch arthur with my children. i’ll be the first to admit that there is a lot of good stuff on tv: quality entertainment, educational programs, classic movies, etc. it’s all so distracting, though. how much more would i spend on things that i don’t need if i exposed myself to the ceaseless attempts by corporations to impose urgency upon me? i want things less because i am exposed to less.
if i watched tv on a regular basis, when would i find time to annoy my neighbors with my bagpipe chanter practice? when could i read the hobbit or the greek myths or maisy books to my children? would i have seen that meteor light up a patch of desert-night blackness if i was watching david letterman instead? i’ll be the first to admit that i’m a slave to a lot of things in life, but at least i have freed myself from the tyranny of the tv. i have more time to spend on my own projects, with my family, and with you::