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TV Turn on

It's that time again. TV Turnoff Week is coming to a morality clause near you.

This is the rant I made for the occasion last year:

I was asked by a rather closed-minded person at baseball practice yesterday if I was observing TV Turnoff Week. No. I mean, Hell No!

I make no apologies about being a tv addict. I make no excuses for my kids loving the television. And I really don't want to get into a twenty minute discussion with someone about it if that someone cannot accept the fact that not every person thinks the same way. I also will have the urge to put my fist down your throat if you dare hint that I am in some way inferior to you, not as good a parent as you, not worthy of breathing the polluted air around us, if I watch a lot of tv.

If you want to turn off your tv, that's fine. More power to you. If you don't own a tv, that's great, too. That's your prerogative. I admire your staunch stand on the issue. Just don't throw your tv-less ideals at me, ok?

We love tv. And no, I am not going to sit here and pretend that all the tv we watch is educational. Sure, we watch the Discovery Channel and Biography and National Geographic TV. We love that stuff. But we also watch cartoons and sitcoms and the adults in this house watch late night softcore porn on Cinemax and violent movies, cartoons and infomercials. And sports. We watch a whole lot of sports.

Don't tell me that tv keeps us from reading. We are all readers. We read every single night. Sometimes together, sometimes alone.

Don't tell me that tv keeps us from enjoying time together as a family. We manage to cram plenty of family time into the few hours a day we have together. Yes, we get outside. We play sports. We take walks. We run around. We hike through the local nature preserve. We sit on the lawn and stare at the stars and talk.

And boy do we talk. We talk at dinner, we talk in the morning, we talk at bedtime. We talk while we watch tv. And we listen.

Don't tell me that we are mindless sheep suffering at the hand of advertisers. My kids do not get, nor do they want, everything they see on commercials. We are not name brand whores. We aren't mesmerized by advertising. That's the beauty of a remote control and 140 channels. Commercial comes on, we switch to another hockey game, another news channel and yes, another cartoon.

We like entertainment. Not every moment in our lives needs to be a learning experience. Sometimes we want to watch something for fun. Sometimes we want to just sit in front of the tv and stare glassy eyed at music videos as we let a rough day slip away. Not every moment in our lives is structured and organized and divided into neat compartments where each moment is an experience that will somehow shape our future.

It's not like I'm letting the kids watch programs that aren't meant for children. And it's not like Justin and I spend our Saturday nights watching a Tom Green/Pauly Shore marathon. We do have some standards in our tv watching.

I will not turn off my tv. I most certainly will not turn off my tv during the NHL playoffs or while the Yankees are playing. I will not give up the Weather Channel and Adult Swim and Six Feet Under. They bring me enjoyment. Why does it matter so much to you what the source of my enjoyment is?

You can turn off your tv. You can throw your tv out for all I care. Good for you. As long as you don't preach to me that going tv-less makes you a better person than me, you can talk to me about it all you want. The minute you tell me that (even though you were fucking your neighbor while your husband was on a business trip) you are a better mother/person than me, or that your family (even though your son was expelled twice for punching a girl) is better than mine or that your home life (remember when the cops came to your house after your husband fired that gun at your dog?) is nicer than mine because you turned your tv off for one whole week out of the year, that's when I stop caring what you have to say on the subject.

And now that they have added Family Guy to the Adult Swim lineup, and now that we finally have the YES Network for Yankee games, and because I have this deep-seated need to watch the news whenever I can, I will not be participating in TV Turnoff Week.

I have this thing about being told how horrible I am because of the things I do or want or believe in.

Isn't the left's (and don't tell me this isn't a leftie thing, Adbusters is notoriously on the far side of that line) idea of telling that you shouldn't watch tv just as bad as the Moral Majority telling you what you should or shouldn't watch when the tv is on? What's the difference between making someone feel like an idiot because they watch tv or making someone feel like a heathen because they watch immoral tv?

Now, where's my cable guide?


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference TV Turn on:

» Turning off television, or turned off by it? from Amish Tech Support
Michele of A Small Victory tells of It starts today and runs through the 27th. The TV remains off unless there's something of value. Amazingly enough, there are shows of value on television: Law and Order, all variants The Dead... [Read More]

» Turning off television, or turned off by it? from Amish Tech Support
Michele of A Small Victory tells of Adbuster's TV Turnoff Week for 2003 It starts today and runs through the 27th. The TV remains off unless there's something of value. Amazingly enough, there are shows of value on television: Law... [Read More]

» Don't watch tv -- watch our tv commercial! from Too Much To Dream
Just for that, Adfarters, I'm gonna turn on my tv. And I don't have cable so I don't have CNN... [Read More]


Well said... TV can be just another multitasking element too.

Ugh. These people need to realize that hating TV is like hating books, or hating compact discs. It's just a medium. The content can be good, bad, mediocre, stimulating, brain-numbing, etc.

In this context, I have more repsect for the Moral Majority people who want to tell me what to watch, because they at least understand what the "TV IS BAD AND YOU ARE A DOPE IF YOU WATCH TV" people don't.

This is my first visit here - that was an impressive rant.
I'm all in favor of anyone who wants to give it to the would-be enforcers of orthodoxy, on the right and left.
There are way too many folks in this world whose fondest desire is to be able to tell everyone else how to live their lives.
Thanks for doing your part to help put them in their place.

I haven't owned a TV since...um...1989? 1990? I never watched it much growing up, and just don't find it interesting enough to go out and buy one, get cable installed, and all the accompanying etceteras.

BUT: I don't think TV, per se, is wrong or bad or even dumb. It's just not something that appeals to me. So I'd no more encourage someone who enjoys TV to turn it off for a week than I'd expect anyone to encourage me to put down a book for a week. How silly.

Meh, I haven't really watched tv all that much in the last 4 years or so...
This isn't due to anything like some weird notion that tv rules my mind, or anything like that. (Yessss massssster.....) Since i left the realm of having roommate(s) I just haven't been able to justify the expense for cable.
Plus, there is just something about going to watch an episode of the Simpsons at a pub.

Adult Swim is my master. drool

Thanks for that, Michele. :) I basically told a couple of my friends the same thing, but with a few more expletives thrown in for emphasis.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I just got the Family Guy boxed set. See you in a day or two. :D

Family Guy box set? Oooooh. Time to go shopping.

Hmm, so there are folks who try to tell you to turn off your TV? This is silly. But is it really a leftie thing? I'd doubt it.. Here it's more the righties who try to tell us what to do and how. The lefties use to critizise it after you did it ;-)

...and it looks like they got rid of Home Movies on weeknights as well.

Also like that the anime series currently running have decent voice actors for the English dub. ("Sit, boy!")

I'm with you on the YES Network and NHL Playoffs (though we've been jippedw ith the pre and postgame shows on YES, pissing us off).

To me, it's like religion. You your own thing, great, just don't push it on me, and leave me out of it.

grr.. my ex husband was one of those 'kill your tv' freaks. constantly blaming my soap operas for my expectations that he actually behave like a human instead of a robot.

Do what I did over the weekend with Commercials.

My kids love "Trading Spaces". So, instead of sitting down at 8:00 exactly to start watching, I started the Tivo and we started around 8:30 ish. With the occasional pauses for pajama changing and popcorm. we timed is just right where I could fast forward through the commercials and parts that were boring/unacceptable (like Andy Dick drawing cats pooping all over the damn place).

It occurs to me that you are the exception, and not the rule. It's good to see another person who enjoys diverse activities.

Glassy eyed...
Music videos...
TV is kewl!

Amen, Michele, amen.

I get so sick and tired of the "TV is eeeeevil" types.

Michele, you like hockey? I love you more every day. Let's go Flyers!!!!

And 'Family Guy'???

My oldest just bought the boxed set, actually went to three different stores to find it.

I, on the other hand, don't think it's that great.

Imperial Falconer

I was going to type a long bit about me and TV but I gotta go. Coaches Corner is on.

Amen, sister. How do you suggest I deal with my issue: daughter's 5th grade class receiving extra-credit if they all "turn off TV" for a week? My kid is feeling the pressure to do it for the "greater good." Ack. Trip to the principal by me?

'Trip to the principal..?'

David...If that were the case with my daughter/child, I would make a trip to see the principal. Giving extra credit so that the teacher/school can control a child's homelife is bribery and manipulation. I see it as a form of the same kind of mindcontrol they are against with their 'campaign'...sheeeesh

Just my 2 cents...

The day I give up Lifetime Movie Network is the day they pry my remote control from my cold, stiff, popcorn-buttered lefty fingers.

There is actually a factual answer to the rhetorical question that ends your rant: Watching a lot of TV, irrespective of the content, affects your brain's ability to process info in different ways, although the research, so fas as I know, hasn't worked out exactly how, or whether it's reversible, and so on.

That said, I will still watch TV, especially now that the Braves' rotation has shown some notion that it might be able to get and keep its ERA under 5.00.

Clarification: Not the "where's my cable guide" question. The other one. :-)

My first visit here, and I meet another Adult Swim addict! First AquaTeen Hunger Force-then Futurama-now Family Guy. Heaven.

I had never heard of this TV Turnoff Week thing...I think I'll watch more instead.