Monday, September 25, 2006

Children's Television Workshop - Babysitter, Teacher, Secret Lover...

This week marks the beginning of all new programming for the fall season of television.

All of my friends/relatives/co-workers/accquaintances/complete strangers tell me when they had children, they didn't get to watch TV any more.

So once our twins come, I won't have time to watch TV.


I hate TV but, I'm completely addicted. It keeps from my writing and a thousand other things more important. I just can't stop.

Telling me I won't have time for television is like telling a heroin addict he won't have time to hit the horse.

An addict will make time.

Anyhoo, I thought it was a good opportunity to revive a post I wrote for another blog about two years ago.

Enjoy. ~robAtomic TV

The One-Eyed Monster in my Living Room

There is a monster in my living room. And not the Sesame Street/Grover/happy ending children’s story where the monster only turns out to be Grover. (Possibly one of the funniest Sesame Street spawned books in a glut of them that came out in the early ‘70s. If you don’t know the story, check it out here - although I’ve already ruined the ending for you. Sorry.)

No, I mean an honest-to-God, no-shit monster.

The monster in my living room is right out of an Ishirô Honda flick. A bulbous, glassy eye that dances with seeming intelligence as I return its dispassionate stare with something that borders on familial affection.

The monster in my living room is, of course, my television.

I realized the other day that my TV was a brain-draining monster because I was watching a program that I detest. Of course this leads to the question, why didn’t I turn the channel?

Well, duh… there was nothing else on.

Think about that for a moment. I watched a show that I hated rather than turn the TV off and get something productive accomplished – like use my newly earned creative writing degree.

That’s when I realized I might have a problem.

So I do what every other American does, I start looking for someone to blame. There is probably enough blame to go around. To quote Homer Simpson, “Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.”

But in the end, it is really my own fault. Well, my mine and Sears.

Sears was having a 12 month no interest sale on big-eyed monsters – it seemed like a smart thing to do.

Well maybe not smart, but 12 months same as cash is hard to pass up, even if it is for a one-eyed monster.

The TV was paid for some time ago; perhaps I could sell it. I’m sure there’s a market for top-of-the-line Japanese, 38-inch, one-eyed monsters. Although I’ve managed to build my entire living room around it and the room just wouldn’t feel right without it.

While the TV will stay, I have decided to quit watching it so much. “So much” means that I don’t watch during prime time and I don’t watch shows I don’t like or have already seen. Pretty much I’m only watching the news. Unfortunately, in this day and age of 24-hour news channels, it is still possible to veg-out in front of the news, so I have to limit my news watching to no more than an hour at a time.

Is there a TVA (Television Viewers Anonymous)? Perhaps the people with the ‘Blow Up Your TV’ bumper stickers are some form of TVA’ers. Maybe I’ll look into it.

Quitting TV is difficult to do. If you’ve conquered the beast, my hat is off to you. I am only on day three and I can feel the familiar tugs pulling me towards the couch. They say quitting cigarettes is as difficult as quitting heroin. I stopped smoking two years ago and this feels worse. And this is rerun season… what happens when the new season starts and the shows that I like are on?

In the words of television programming – Stay Tuned for More…