At exactly 11 a.m. EST yesterday morning, David Gregory, moderator of the longest continuous running news program on television, signed off in his customary fashion: “If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press…” Trumpets flared. Seizing the grandeur of the moment, I ceremoniously – and symbolically – yanked the cable wire from the back of the TV.
The next sounds I heard were…
It’s Kill Your TV Week for bucketology.
Seven days. No TV.
Seven nights. No hay televisión.
168 hours. Telly go bye-bye.
Doing some quick cacka-lations in my head (carry the 3….), that comes out to 10,080 minutes.
I hate my TV. I love my TV.
TV is bad for you, man.
But we’re all adults here; instead of enumerating the myriad ways in which TV can destroy your life, I’m going to give you a quick synopsis: It makes you fat, lazy and stupid.
Boom. Done. (That just happened.)
What’s that? You need more information? Try this on for size: TV is one of (if not THE) biggest time waster in modern history. Its steady stream of useless, overwhelmingly negative drivel can distort your view of reality, make you feel inferior, undermine your life’s ambitions, subconsciously drive you to spend your hard-earned pay on stuff you don’t need and siphon out your mental energy like some sort of pixelated Vulcan mind meld (apologies for the TV reference, notwithstanding).
Come again? You need more anecdotal evidence?
I’m pretty sure TV can stunt your growth.
Your lhasa apso will cease to be a card-carrying lap dog.
I’m serious – don’t even think about clicking on that idiot box. It can kill you, man!
(Unless, of course… you kill it first.)
Ah, but aint TV just a panic?!
Listen, you and I were both taught to believe television is an integral and indispensable part of the American experience. That’s because the purveyors of television have been planning a big-time, cradle-to-grave, propaganda party for us.
(Cue the Hollywood pukefest!)
Don’t watch TV? You’re a freak. A ghoul. What’s more, you’ve excluded yourself from the morning water cooler talk.
See, but here’s the thing: I’m not one to throw the baby out with the bath water.
I likes my Seinfeld re-runs, my Monday night Castle (Detective Kate Beckett… ooh, la, la) and my Bronx Bombers baseball.
My top three all-time most memorable TV moments are as follows:
3.) Hervé Villachaize clad in his white suit, pointing skyward and exclaiming “De plain! De plain!”
2.) Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show Finale.
1.) The Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield “Fan Man” Fight of 1993. (I remember this as if it were yesterday: I was watching the fight alone, in a London flat. Due to the time difference, I had to wait until 3 am. As a prankster parachuted into the boxing ring, I remember thinking to myself, “There’s no way I’m making it to Stratford-on-Avon tomorrow!”
I’m sure your life is also replete with such riveting moments.
The cold, hard facts (as I see ‘em)
In 2012, Nielsen reported that the American TV viewer parked his carcass in front of the TV for, on average, 34 hours per week. Even less palatable is the mathematical reality that, over a lifetime, this amounts to 9 years of TV viewing.
Ouch. Double ouch.
So this week, for reasons both personal and professional (and because it’s on the bucketology schedule), I’m officially un-plugging from TV for the next 7 days.
George Costanza’s neuroses will have to wait.
No more parodying of the sultry jazz singer who’s been doin’ her thang on the Bright House channel guide station for at least the past 2 ½ years.
Never fear: without TV, the world is my oyster.
The first item on my agenda is to cultivate more meaningful relationships with all 508 of my facebook friends.
After that, it’s anyone’s guess.
Oh, there will time for solitude and reflection. Throw in a little spontaneity and KILL YOUR TV week should be a real hoot.
I’ll be back on the horse before you know it, drifting over in abject mindlessness to switch on the television with nary a second thought as to why I’m doing it or what else I could be doing at that precise moment.
Until then, adieu.
(P.S. Being that this is a temporary cessation, and that one week will be insufficient to “kick the habit,” so to speak, I’m having my fiancé DVR the season premiere of The Americans on FX. Are you kidding me? Having watched season one its entirety, there’s no way I can go without the suspense and intrigue.)