Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why I Don't Watch Network Television Much

It's Sunday, about 9:20 here at Herself. I'm watching the one network program a week that I choose to watch: "CBS Sunday Morning." Not surprisingly, so far this week's program is about the disaster in Haiti. I won't go into the details; only if you're living under a rock do you not know what's going on there.

After the first segment, a commercial break (also not surprising). The definition of "bliss" according to this garbage? Smooth, sexy LIPS.


Without Blistex, bliss is out of my reach.

The juxtaposition of the description and images of Haitians injured, without shelter, food or water, or even a place to bury their dead, and a lineup of super-slim, ultra-hip, perfectly groomed models is beyond the pale.

I'm not the first person to question what on earth Madison Avenue is peddling. I'm not the first to be ashamed of what I worry about, when in reality, I have more than I need and just about everything I want. I'm not the first to wonder what the world might be like if we consistently put our attention towards the well-being of our fellow human beings as often as we did the condition of our lips. I know it's more complicated than that. We can't control the events that have shaped what Haiti has become now, and couldn't then.

But the one thing I know is this: nothing will change as long as we have that damn box telling us day after day, that smooth lips, and wrinkle-free faces, and toned abs, and new furniture, and expensive cars with red ribbons on them in the driveway for Christmas are the true keys to happiness. That being sassy, smart-mouthed, clever, and addicted instead of compassionate, thoughtful, patient and gentle is the model for real people, the ones who get ahead and make "things" happen.

They can have it.


MGBR said...

Amen! Now *there's* a good Sunday sermon!

Marcy said...

We don't have tv here. We watch videos, but no cable or network tv. I am repeatedly told by teachers how bright and interesting my children are. I credit no tv for a large part of that. They have to come up with their own games and own ideas.

Though we'd be lost without netflix.

Barb said...

My current TV is my Mom's 13" that she used to have in her kitchen, and the only reason I have cable ("lifeline" service...heh) is so that PBS comes in clearly. I should try unhooking the cable and see what happens. If Antiques Roadshow is still clear, then Time Warner won't get the $10 either.

Netflix is pretty cool...anything to get around the advertisers.

MGBR said...

We have basic cable-only for the same reason: Clear PBS reception. We tried rabbit ears a few years back but got "fuzz" from both Buff & Roch. ARS -- plus lots of other gems -- makes the basic fee worthwhile.

Mr. Mitchell said...

Best post about TV and advertising. Ever.

...e... said...

you won't get fuzz now: it's all gone digital. i have rabbit ears and a converter box and only turn it on on the weekends when i'm knitting anyway. i can't imagine actually PAYING for this drek.

Anonymous said...

So well said!! When you really listen to commercials and start picking apart the hype- it amazes me that anyone falls for any of it.

Marcy said...

Here's a case in point. This is my husband's facebook status update about our dinner table conversation last night. Without tv, the kids are forced to think about other things. Will is my six year old:

"So Will is fascinated by big numbers. We've been talking about googols and googolplexes, and how exponents work. Tonight we were working our way up to googleplex-plexes and higher. Will was writing numbers like 10^10^10^10^100000. So I added a 1 to make 1^10^10^10^10^100000 and asked him what it was. Without a moment o...f hesitation, he said "One!!" Not bad for six years old."