How I Have All This Time

October 13, 2008

Culture

Warning: Rant ahead.

I run a lot of blogs, seven at last count with four or five in the wings that I don’t update as regularly. People have asked me time and time again HOW I can possibly run all those blogs, WHERE in earth do I get the time? Rather than answer everyone individually, I’ll just post it here:

No TV

I grew up watching TV. My step-dad was a TV repairman. After high school, I entered the entertainment business for a while. I was a TV junkie. It was a miserable life. All my values, all my self-worth, and all my amusement came from that stinking little box that dictated how I must eat, what I must look like, how I must talk, and what was acceptable or not. And I looked in the mirror and hated myself because I could not keep up with what that box was telling me. And I felt dumb about everything. YUK. I grew up, became a Christian, got a real life, and threw out my TV. Thank God for His mercy.

Here’s a post I wrote about the waste mental and moral wasteland that is TV. And yep, I’m on an irate, radically-charged path of destroying people’s love for that little idol we call the TV. You were warned!

“Everybody’s got values . . . The thing that frightens me is the way that an eroding public school system . . . and television on all over the place is leading to a steady dumbing down of the American public and a corrosion of basic critical thinking in the population.” Jamie Raskin, American University law professor, November 2004 on the Democracy Now! radio program

“You watch television to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.” Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer and Pixar, in Macworld Magazine, February 2004

I LOVE that Steve Jobs quote, lol!

My husband quoted part of this Frank Zappa song to me once. I’m not very familiar with the musician, but this song of his, “I’m the Slime” really depicts what TV programs are all about today. I found it online (not on TV, oddly enough, lol).

I am gross and perverted
I’m obsessed ‘n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little had changed
I am the tool of the government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you cant look away
I make you think I’m delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I am the slime oozin out
From your TV set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don’t need you
Don’t go for help…no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

Thats right, folks..
Dont touch that dial

Well, I am the slime from your video
Oozin’ along on your living room floor

I am the slime from your video
Can’t stop the slime, people, look at me go.

–Frank Zappa, I’m the Slime

So that’s why I have all this time. And my kids have all this time, too!

Now don’t get me wrong– we have a TV and a DVD player. We watch movies! So we do sit in front of the boob tube. But we don’t watch TV shows, and the kids are not allowed to watch anything without permission. We control the movies, they don’t control us.

I’ve heard about some families going a week without TV. I think that is so cool! Because I used to be so addicted to TV, I know how very hard that can be. But it’s not impossible! I hope more folks give it a try. I am proof that it can be done, and proof that you’ll have more time for productive things! And you’ll be a happier person, too. 🙂

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15 Responses to “How I Have All This Time”

  1. carol at A Second Cup Says:

    I tend to keep up with the TV shows I like while I am dropping and commenting on e-card. I don’t don’t have the TV on right now.

    You are so right. TV is a time stealer, so are the video games my teens like.

  2. Karen C. Says:

    I’m right there with you! When I was a kid, we would only turn on the TV if there was something specific we had chosen to watch, then we’d turn it off when the show was done. It was never on for “background noise”, and I hate that. My ex-husband used to plop himself in front of the thing for hours at a time, jumping from show to show. It’s one of the reasons he’s an ex. I don’t think I’ve turned my TV on in months.

  3. akaGaGa Says:

    Very interesting, Rebecca. When my kids still lived home, I think around 1990 or so, one Thursday I got tired of them walking in the door after school, and turning on the boob tube. So Friday I called and had the cable turned off. When they got home and pushed the remote – voila, nothing. “Mom, the cable’s out.” I said, “Ah, hmmm.” By Sunday, they had both been alternately reading and riding their bikes. Mission accomplished! I haven’t had cable since. (Think of the money I haven’t spent!)

    We did have a TV until that lightning strike a couple months ago. We would watch the occasional PBS program, and sometimes the news. We finally decided a couple weeks ago that we’re not even going to replace it. There are far more interesting things on the internet (including REAL news) and besides – with 2 computers, we don’t need to agree on a program. 🙂

  4. akaGaGa Says:

    BUT … I still don’t have time for 7 blogs!

  5. Carole Says:

    I used to watch a ton of tv myself, but DH is a tv-hater, so over the years I just started watching less and less. We have a few shows we follow, but it only ends up amounting to a few hours a week. I actually find sometimes my computer becomes a time-stealer. I think, “Oh let me just check this one blog” and “oh let me just write this one email” and then before I know it I look at the clock and think, “What did I just do for the last hour?” :-O

  6. Elaine Says:

    There have many years in my life when I didn’t even own a TV and I never missed it. We have one now, but we mostly use it to watch movies.

  7. Monica Says:

    Here Here!!! Kudos to you!!!!!!!!! Your post made me grin from ear to ear!!!!! I had seriously just finished a post about stress reduction and one of my points was to TURN OFF THE TV!!

    Great Blog, Great Attitude, Keep It Up!!

  8. Krystal Says:

    I gave up TV by accident a few years ago, I got sucked into the world of online MMORPG (massively multi-player online role playing games such as World of Warcraft) and I spent so much time there that TV became a very distant memory. Once I got out of the MMORPG world, I found that I didn’t miss the TV and still even 3 years later, I very rarely watch anything except movies. It’s probably less than 5 hours a month. When I do turn it on, it’s to watch Mythbusters or other sorts of shows that have some kind of value to them. Life is MUCH fuller if the idiot box isn’t stealing all your time. I also heartily agree that (most) TV makes people stupid and lazy.

  9. carey @ new horizons Says:

    My siblings and I grew up without TV in the house… our parents just didn’t think it was necessary to buy a new one after our set got broken. It was difficult at school during those times when my classmates would talk about this cool show or that funny commercial and I would be completely clueless. My siblings and I did other activities to make our weekends fun. We would trek to the beach nearby during afternoons, and on evenings we would sing along while my big bro played the guitar. Then of course, there were those kiddie games esp. hide and seek. We didn’t have TV to entertain us when we were still kids and I consider it a blessing. I don’t think we’d be that close as a family had we spent more time glued to the tube. We had more time spent for conversations and bonding together and it’s all that really matters.

  10. yanjiaren Says:

    I love blogging and now that my green not mean blog got a bonus this month I am even more motivated to blog more. I write articles and do other jobs online too so I can’t do it full time yet.

  11. Rebecca Says:

    Well, I like that Steve Jobs quote because he does make the point that working on the computer, even though you are looking at a lighted, electronic screen, makes you think much more than when you stare at a television. I’ve read one study that said your brain works harder when you are sleeping than when you watch TV.

    Computer games and etc seem to be replacements for the TV abyss, although even gaming involves more mental activity than staring at the TV. And the TV is even more insidious in that it dictates values without our conscientious approval.

    I am not against the invention that is TV. I AM against the values it pumps into us– degenerate values. Think about it– of all the wonderful thinsg we would learn about and all the things we could be inspired to do, what does TV do? It lulls us with complacent and mindless entertainment. THAT’s what is so disgusting about it.

    1984, anyone?

  12. Mizé Says:

    Hi.
    I really liked this post because I´m in the same “wave”.
    After reading about the influence of TV in violent behaviour I decided to do a study about TV advertising and kids, as a final semester paperwork for University.
    I did a study about the influence of TV in 6/7 years old kids. In this study, I found that kids were significantly influenced to buy (or wanting to have) products they saw on TV in opposition to others they had never seen.
    Since then, my perspective about TV changed completly. I started teaching my daughter not to belive in everything she watches on TV, giving examples of real situations (ex: magic cleaning products).
    Nowadays, I only see the news, one or two films and contests, although I prefer reading the news online. On TV news there´s so much violance that it spoils our dinner.
    I also loved Steve Jobs quote, I belive he´s right.
    Cheers.

  13. Mizé Says:

    Ah, I almost forgot:
    Frank Zappa was a brilliant mind, very ahead of his time.
    I had one of his books since I was 13. When I moved to this flat I lost it, don´t know how. He´s famous for being very excentric on stage. There´s one scene very famous, I´m not going to mention here in your comments…
    Cheers.

  14. Kristine Says:

    You make me want to boycott television again. I went a few years without watching much of anything, but then I met my current boyfriend. He’s a TV junkie and has me hooked.

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