There’s no arguing with statistics, at least if they’re done right. Over 90% of American homeowners have a television set, whether it’s for company, sizzling their children’s brains, or yelling at bad sports players who will never hear you no matter how loud you yell. The point is, if you live in the United States, and you have enough moolah to live an average life, you’ve probably got one of those screens in your home.
These babies are so popular they plague any normal household they find themselves in. If you’ve ever read any articles criticizing them, they’ll tell you “hide your kids, hide your wife,” because apparently television is ruining the world’s creativity. To put it into a metaphor, these articles paint television as some mass murderer who runs around your villages of creativity and either burns their huts down, or he turns into a cannibal and eats all the little idea babies and children until they’re all a bloody mess of bones in a bucket. The point is, television is now the butt of all the high school essay assignments, too easily turned into another part of today’s propaganda on how to make yourself a better person and blah blah.
Okay, sure, television can be bad. Watching it is purely an act of absorption. The culture clearly soaked in each and every episode shown on those things clings to your skin like grease sometimes, I get it. I sure don’t want my kids watching Jersey Shore either, but that’s another thing entirely. If you decide to watch that crap, sure, turn the tv off. You’re wasting your time with those celebrity tv shows. Don’t show your infant them either, because tv’s don’t like developing brain cells.
When you get past that; however, you have to realize that tv isn’t the ruination of society.
One could make the analogy that television is like a hamburger or some sort of other greasy food. Sure, it feeds you one meal, but eventually, the harmful stuff crawling around in your red meat is going to tunnel itself into places in your body it doesn’t belong. That’s proven fact. However, if you’re going to stick to that analogy, think of it this way: sure hamburgers are bad, but not all of them are. Perhaps some of you don’t like the veggie burger out there, but guess what: it’s healthier, and it still tastes good.
However, America’s problem here is not with television, the truth is, our problem is moderation. We’ve got the reputation as the obese country because holding back is not our strong suit. As luxuries are poured in all around us, it’s hard not to just indulge ourselves in the limitless wealth and prosperity that we receive. We become so transfixed with pretty shiny things that we forget that someone had to make these pretty shiny things. Last year, during Sociology class, we watched a video about a Chinese factory filled with girls who were making beads for the dinky bead necklaces for our Mardi Gras holiday. They get paid less than what we pay for them, which is like 10 cents. Plus, those bead necklaces are not as easy to make as we think, yet to us they’re some weird fashion accessory to apparently strip for. I can remember how those girls laughed when they saw what we do with those things. Those Americans are crazy, they said.
Damn straight we are.
There’s no question that we can spend hours in front of the screen, just as we Americans are in the habit of doing, but that’s where our problem jumps in. We spend hours and hours watching, and then time slips from our hands, our children are screaming on the streets, and the television becomes the black sheep in all of this.
No, it’s not.
If you’re a writer, it can actually be one of the best tools. Of course, I could be laying on the grass, staring at the sunshine, but on the television, you’re seeing the other side of writing books: when the characters created come into action in a world other than words. Cut out the television shows that really have no cultural value or fictional value, and you might learn something. I’m picking up screen writing because I like it that much. You think my writing life or creativity is dying because of television?
Nope! My point exactly.
Moderation is the key here people. Some of us need a wake-up call with what’s important, and that applies to a lot of people. However, we’re not aimless and we’re certainly not hopeless. Take what you spend time on and make it productive, then we’ll get somewhere.
See you Friday. J