Tuesday, April 6, 2010

BEDA 6: Not Having Television

For over a year now, I haven't had cable in my home. I have a television, but I get no channels on it. And it's great. Absolutely fantastic. Here's why.

1. Everything on Television is Crap
Have you ever seen that episode of The Simpsons where, when trapped inside due to an unjust curfew, Lisa suggests turning on the television? "No Lisa, it's primetime!" Bart pleads, but it's too late. Cut to a show called Don't Go There, in which we get the quick set-up/punchline of a downtrodden man saying "You've stolen my manhood!" and the confident nail-filing woman of the 90s retorting "That's petty theft." This to me is a prefect synopsis of 90% of everything on TV. Stupid, low-brow garbage that makes me cringe when it attempts to make me laugh.
And yes, I know I used a television show to make this point, but it's different. I watch The Simpsons box sets. Which leads me to my next point.

2. Everything Good on Television Can Be Watched Somewhere Else
How much do you pay for TV every month?
Your answer doesn't matter. Any amount is the wrong amount.
We live in an age where absolutely all forms of visual entertainment can be accessed, for free, on the internet. Literally anything. So why are you paying $50 a month for bad programming that you can't even control? The Internet is only $30 a month, and it is the actual, real-life equivalent to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Oh, you don't know what that is? That's probably because you watch TV instead of reading books.

3. Television is a Vaccuous Blackhole of Thought
The only reason I ever miss TV is that it's literally the easiest thing ever. If you're tired or sick or in a bad mood or just bored, you can sit down in front of the TV for, oh, the next 8 hours or so and zone out. I'll admit, that kind of convenience can't be topped. But, in the long run, I don't really want that kind of convenience. I'm not saying you have to read a book or go for a jog or something. I'm just saying that at least when you watch a movie on Netflix you have to pick the movie out. You have to make a decision of some kind. You can't just flick through the channels aimlessly, watching two-minute bites of entertaining footage for hours on end while your mind makes no choices and you absorb nothing.
In fact, I came across a similar product recently, and I had to cut it from my life completely. Do you know what Stumbleupon is? Because if you like TV, you'll love Stumbleupon. But that's for a different blog.

4. No Commercials
Well, not a lot of them anyways. Hulu has commercials and so do some Youtube videos. But that's about all the commercials I see. You know what I like? When someone tries to start a conversation by saying "Hey, have you seen that one commercial..."
Nope. I haven't. And I'm glad I haven't, because this does not sound like the kind of conversation I want to be in. Let's talk about something else. Anything else besides devious and creatively-bankrupt short films that were designed to make me want to buy things.

My point is simple. Not having a TV in your home is cheaper, less brain-rotting, and more convenient in that when you do decide to sit down in front of a glowing box, you will watch more programming that you want to watch with less commercials.

Or you can keep watching "How I Met Your Mother." Whatever.

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