“We don’t have a TV”


I was talking to a new guy in the office the other day. I said: “Do you watch ‘The Simpsons’?”  And he said: “Oh, we don’t have a TV.”



I swear, it’s like saying “We don’t have electricity,” or “We haven’t put in one of those newfangled flush toilets yet.”



It happens at least a couple of times a year: someone telling me that he/she doesn’t have a TV, or that he/she doesn’t watch TV at all.  (At least this guy hedged and admitted that his family had Internet access, which means that Hulu and all kinds of other things are probably already polluting his kids’ minds.)



But I still feel that I’m been judged and found wanting.



I feel like someone in ancient Rome asking my neighbor if he’s going to the big Bacchus thing next week, and he says gravely: “Oh no.  We believe in Jesus now.” 



Don’t you just want to take that Christian neighbor to that Bacchus thing and offer him up as a sacrifice?



Well, hm, no one is pure these days, there’s that consolation.  This guy admitted that his kids probably watch TV on their computers.  A few years ago, a TV-hating friend of mine finally bought a TV, but only watched VCR movies (which she got from the local public library) on it.  I can tell you that, by now, she has certainly moved on, and I’m sure she’s watching “The Good Wife” as I’m writing this.



“Television,” after all, is no longer a discrete medium.  It’s just a delivery system, like a syringe.  You can absorb the sweet poison of your choice – “The Good Wife,” “NCIS,” “Jersey Shore,” “Bad Girls” – in so many other ways: mobile, laptop, tablet.



Televison sets seem so inert now.  You have to hook things up to them to make them interesting: a cable box at least, a Roku unit, a Wii, an Xbox, a DVR.  Otherwise, you (with your rabbit ears and digital converter box) will be stuck with four fuzzy local broadcast channels, just like when I was a kid.  (Well, we had five – the three networks, a Portland independent station, and PBS – but the PBS station had lots of static, and my mother was convinced that static ruined the TV set, so I could only watch it when she wasn’t paying attention.)



TV haters: come out of the closet!



We know you’re watching something!



Just admit it!



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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