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?