watching too much tv will make us insane

    some vinatge evil edna

    [audio:terrorist tv by shampoo.mp3]
    terrorist t.v by shampoo

television, like heat magazine, is similar to an open window in a boeing 747 – it sort of sucks you in against your will. i don’t have a t.v myself having decided several years ago that i no longer wanted one skulking in the corner of my living room daring me to watch hollyoaks for THE WHOLE OF A SUNDAY AFTERNOON. these days i live on a visual diet of lovefilm, alluc and youtube. ocassionally when the dvd player is being cranky, the streaming quality is shit or the episode of louis theroux that i want to watch is split into twelve annoyingly short segments i almost crack.
watching something shouldn’t be so hard, i think. technology should be smoother. maybe i’ll just get one of them little freeview stick things after all. that won’t be so bad. i’ll still only watch good t.v…
junky mentality. ‘i will be the one to tame this wicked beast!’
last night i was staying with a relative who foolishly left me alone with the sky t.v remote control for the night. in the space of an hour and a half i had watched an episode of wife swap, 20 minutes of big brother and – as i A.D.D-ishly channel hopped – chunks of nip/tuck, silent witness, hetty wainthrop, some hideous game show hosted by jimmy carr and one scene of american dreamz. this morning my brain is like swiss cheese.
i believe that ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’ so by denying myself the enjoyment of the baser end of entertainment am i just being an intellectual snob?. certainly there have been several critical debates of the ‘everything bad is good for you’ variety that we actually learn and develop culturally though these sort of programs – but it’s not really the individual shows themselves that trouble me.
( i have a an unabashed predeliction for ‘friends’ and have recently indulged in several episodes of ‘any dream will do’)
it’s the hypnotic soma-like role that a constant stream of multichanneled t.v can all too quickly take in your life that i fear. those fatal words ‘let’s just stick the telly on’ that so frequently result in coming ‘to’ 5 hours later – as though from a coma – having been staring blankly at ‘stars in their pet’s eyes’.
that’s not a real program but it probably is.
i’m not a terribly disciplined person, so like an alchoholic i have to accept that i could loose it to t.v at any moment. best just stay away all together.
i watch a lot of movies (one most days) and a fair amount of t.v series either on dvd or online but they are always things – however intellectual or otherwise – that i actually actively want to watch. i no longer just get sucked in. i used to watch 4 soap’s a week (5 if you count ‘as if’ !) and frankly i find that a bit terrifying. of course i spend huge amounts of time online and the usefulness of spending half an hour adding a bebo widget can only be questioned but somehow i just don’t feel so sullied by the experience. so much of modern t.v revolves around somewhat prurient revelling in the fucked up lives of others and in a way that is neither particularly enriching or educational. somehow bebo slideshows seem cheerful by comparison.
i also now have a particularly low threshold for the spectacle of advertising – t.v ads are so fast, loud, garish and unsubtle that they make me want to kill. a bit like timmy mallet on a sunday morning.
if you haven’t seen a t.v advert in a year they become strangely dystopian when you do.
well anyway, more power to those of you who can own a television and still manage to actually get anything done, it is the cultural crack of the 21st century and to quote super hans it’s ‘just so moreish’. i try not to be smug about my relative sobriety in the face of the reality empire but secretly i am quite horrified by the amount of telly people watch that they don’t even like. i mean really, why bother? in the word’s of that great 80’s institution of children’s television (ironically named in the way only a truly terrible kids show can be)

Why Don’t You (Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead?)

still, keep me away from the remote if i come to visit won’t you.


2 thoughts on “watching too much tv will make us insane

  1. the fact that they are remaking willo the wisp,
    with a flat screen evil edna, new stories and a lesser poof doing a poor kenneth williams impersonation, like many other things…. makes me want to die a wee bit.

    i hate everyone

  2. don’t get me started on what they’ve done to edna.
    did you know the fat controler isn’t ‘fat’ these days either?

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