The U.S. is filled with people that "claim" not only do they not watch TV, they claim they don't even own one.
Now, I have no doubt that there are actually people in the United States that don't own a TV, but I would venture to guess the numbers are a lot lower than those that make that claim. The reasons behind their decision not to own or watch TV almost always begins and ends with the comment "TV is nothing more than garbage....I won't waste my time watching the idiot box!"
I of course when I hear people like this always call them out on their stark hypocrisy.
These are the types of people that will take great pride in being well read. Will talk incessantly about all the books they have read, their voluminous home library or how many books they have accumulated on their Kindle. They will speak in glowing terms of the radio stations they like to listen to or the magazines and news papers they prefer to read to stay up on current events.
Oh yes, to these folks we that look at television are nothing more than mindless drones in their opinion.
The problem with their thought process is that they are applying one set of rules for television and choosing not to apply the same to radio, books and newspapers. For you see, there is good and bad in all mediums of entertainment. Walk into any library or bookstore and you will find good books and bad. Those that enlighten the mind and challenge our thoughts. You will find books that are poorly written and tempt you to request a refund from the publishers for wasting your money and time. When have you ever heard someone say "I am never buying another book from a bookstore or online, nor will I visit a library because all they have is garbage!" NPR, Rush Limbaugh and other talk radio, people aren't turning their radios off with disgust "Radio is filled with garbage....pickles the mind!" Nope.
Yet we do this to television. Why? Why are some of us so quick to villainize TV?
I love television. I wish I could watch more of it than I do, but I recognize I need a life away from electronics so something has to give. I grew up with television being a great source of entertainment. I can vividly recall sitting in from of the TV as a kid in the early morning hours, waiting for it to come on for the day. There was always the American flag slowly floating in the wind, the sound of America the Beautiful and then.....then the announcement that "The broadcast of NBC programming is beginning for the day...." And we were off!
From cartoons, soap operas, sitcoms and news shows, TV was what connected the world. It's where we learned which products were new and groovy. We learned slang from watching shows and were taught cultural lessons in a veiled manner. To this very day if I am having a difficult day and feeling blue, I log onto YouTube and watch shows from Carol Brunette (especially the ones with Harvey Korman and Tim Conway) and laugh until I cry. Here we are many decades later and the same is true. We look to TV to clue us in on what and "who" is in and what and "who" is out. We learn about fashions and trends from TV.
We now push the envelope in our daily programs to see what is acceptable during all hours of the day. Like those that quibble about what is appropriate at 9 p.m. not being appropriate at 8 p.m., that to concerns me. I can be quite old fashioned with certain views and on this one, I have to admit I don't want my little nieces and nephews exposed to profanity. We don't speak it in our homes and it is unnerving that it is on TV and in music to the degree it is. However, on the flip side how do you shelter your children from those aspects of life you may be against?
The writing on some of the shows on TV and Cable is to say the least, worthy of awards. Mad Men, The Good Wife, Parks and Recreation, Desperate Housewives, Alcatraz and one of my favorite shows on Fox, Bob's Burgers.....the writers behind many of the shows on TV and Cable are brilliant! There are television shows that are mini movies, given how well they are written.
So if you are like me and can appreciate the benefits that are derived from a really good television show, talk it up! When faced with a "I don't own a TV, TV is an idiot box" type of person, engage them in a debate. To use a horrid expression, ask them "Why must you throw the baby out with the bath water?"
Not all TV is good. However not all TV is bad either. Hooray to all those talented writers and producers of great TV and cable programming! You serve an important role in the American culture.