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No TV and no work make dagg something something...

By dagg in Media
Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 08:54:56 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

Do you have your TV on every waking moment you are at home? I used to, but not anymore. Keep reading if you want to know how this has changed my life.

My routine used to more or less be the following:

  1. Wake up (or get home from somewhere).
  2. Turn on TV.
  3. Sit on couch.
  4. Occasionally get up to do some miscellaneous activity.
  5. Turn off TV.
  6. Go to bed (or leave the house).

I'm embarrassed to say, but on many nights, I wouldn't even turn off the TV when I went to sleep. Often, I would just browse the internet from the couch until I fell asleep. Usually, I would turn down the volume just enough to not be woken up when a loud commercial came on. Other than that, the TV was free to subliminally pitch any fast food, quick money scheme, or hair growth products it wished.

How did my TV life begin? Rumor has it I watched TV the day I was born. I don't remember what was on, but I'm sure that whatever it was, it had a big impact on my life. Afterall, my synaptic pathways were nearly a blank slate. Before that first moment of seeing the television, there was little more in my brain but scant knowlege of eerie "OOOmph" sounds, the rare flash of light, and G forces caused when my mother was driving her car. The television in my mother's recovery room must have been a fascinating box of flashing lights and buzzing sounds for my developing brain.

My first television memory is strangely enough some Mr. Magoo cartoon. What makes that strange, is that I don't remember ever seeing another Mr. Magoo cartoon in my entire life. There isn't anything I remember about that first cartoon, except a hazy memory of an animated character saying something to Mr. Magoo. That's all I remember. I think the only reason I have this particular memory is because it is attached to another more significant event in my life (something about me throwing a Fisher Price man across the room right through some fish tank glass, but that's another story ;-)).

Later in my life, I remember watching Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. I remember thinking that Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was very lame. What was the deal with that tooting train that would talk to Mr. Rogers by going forwards and backwards? That was so wrong. Sesame Street was pretty cool, though. That show had some pretty nifty cartoons, and Grover, and occasionally Ernie and Bert. I think I liked Ernie and Bert the best. Another interesting TV memory I have around this time was the realization that the TV viewing location must be optimal. If any other poor soul tried to take my TV-viewing seat after I returned from any non-TV duties, then tantrum would ensue!

Now let's fast forward a little, until I reach my junior high/high school years. The routine was to come home from school, grab a snack, and then watch several hours of syndicated re-runs, and maybe an occasional education program. I remember watching (some of these are likely from earlier years) Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, Alice, Too Close for Comfort, Family Ties, Gilligan's Island, Facts of Life, Leave it to Beaver, Diff'rent Strokes, Star Trek, Flipper, Alf, Bill Nye: The Science Guy, Newhart, the Brady Bunch, Card Sharks, Family Feud, the Cosby Show, Degrassi Junior High, Dick Van Dyke, some show with a Mathman character that looked and acted like Pacman, and lots and lots of cartoons (more than meets the eye).

So anyways, do you see my point? I've watched a lot of TV in my life. I would venture to say that I've watched 19 million buttloads of television programming. That translates to 58 billion breadbaskets or 17 libraries of congress. Alotta boob toob. There are trillions of connections in my brain that are storing vitally important television information. For example, Diane Chambers dated Sam Malone, but for a little while, she was engaged to Frasier Crane. This is very important information, because my friend Frasier Crane is still on my big flashing booming box every Tuesday night at 9PM.

Here I am, I'm going to be turning 30 years old before I know it (which is old enough to know that 30 years old is still pretty young), and I'm just now deciding to short-circuit this comfortable TV-viewing routine of mine. This crazy idea was hatched right after I got home from my Christmas vacation. Seeing that my regular TV-viewing routine was already broken, I decided to continue kicking the habit until the habit becomes bloody and maybe eventually atrophies and falls off. I discussed my plan with my fiancee, and in short, the plan was for me not to watch anymore television until after I became gainfully employed. We outlined some exceptions, which included ER, Survivor and any urgent news stories (such as war breaking, San Francisco earthquake, etc). Another necessary exception was that I couldn't force anyone else to not watch any TV. If they want to watch TV, I'll either watch it, or just ignore it.

It's only been about four weeks since I started this experiment, but I must say I think all is going well. I've only watched about 4 hours (at the most) of television this year. At first, it was very very difficult to keep the TV off. I used talk radio as a "nicotvene" patch to get me through the first week or so. After about a week of that, I could no longer listen to Rush Limbaugh or Dr. Laura without becoming extremely annoyed by the repetitive chatter and commercials. Those shows are nice when I'm driving to and fro, but they are not good for anything more than an hour at a time. I constantly felt the need to "change the channel". Once I got tired of talk radio, I mostly just did other activities without any background sounds at all. The constant urge to turn on the TV was still there for about 2 and a half weeks.

Today's date is January 27th, 2003, and I just had a new thought: "If the TV wasn't in the middle of my big living room wall, then I could put more seats there". I can't believe I never thought of that before! I don't need TV! After only four weeks time, I am thinking things that I never thought possible. Who knew? Less than a year ago, I remember saying "rooms in our house without TV's are just for storage or showering", and I pretty much meant it. There were several rooms in our house that were rarely ever used, because there was no TV in there, but now I am using those rooms. Yesterday, I got a non-working printer working in our second bedroom. This morning, I played some chess in our dining room. And right now, I'm typing this up in our den.

This is so great! I am so happy to finally not be shackled to the living room couch just so Ed McMahon can tell me who he found on his Star Search. What I'm wondering now, though, is how long this new found freedom will last? One more week? Ten years? Maybe just until I'm in a delivery room, someday, and my wife says she wants the TV on to keep her mind busy for awhile. Until then, I hope I don't go crazqy (that 'q' is silent).


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


When is your TV on?
o Background noise all the time 4%
o A lot, but not always 9%
o Every night 8%
o Just for a few shows 38%
o Only for DVD's 24%
o I sold my TV for beer 14%

Votes: 184
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o I watched TV the day I was born
o my friend
o big flashing booming box
o don't need
o go crazqy
o Also by dagg

Display: Sort:
No TV and no work make dagg something something... | 98 comments (86 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1 Simpsons reference (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by YelM3 on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 08:58:17 PM EST

I haven't turned on my TV in nearly a year now. Try it for a few weeks, and not only will you be a calmer and more thoughtful person, but you will realize that TV is totally unnecessary, and does far more harm than good. I still watch the Simpsons occasionally, though.

DVD is your friend NT (none / 0) (#29)
by bjlhct on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 12:06:28 AM EST

[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
cynic to the last eh? (2.00 / 1) (#75)
by uniball vision micro on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 02:34:07 PM EST

"I haven't turned on my TV in nearly a year now."

<sarcasm>Good for you not letting the evil media control you. You think for yourself and do nothing without being led.</sarcasm>

" Try it for a few weeks, and not only will you be a calmer and more thoughtful

Any nice psychological studies to back this up?

" but you will realize that TV is totally unnecessary,"

Yeah sure reading a book for about a month versus watching a 2 hour documentary what a nice tradeoff.

" and does far more harm than good."

These effects are what exactly?

" I still watch the Simpsons occasionally,

Janus faced evil dooer!
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

I already gave my advice (none / 0) (#97)
by YelM3 on Mon Feb 03, 2003 at 02:33:00 AM EST

I'm not trying to give you some kind of proof that TV is a bad thing. Just stop watching it for a few weeks, and you will see for yourself.

[ Parent ]
Internet for me (5.00 / 3) (#3)
by ToastyKen on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:00:56 PM EST

I have the same problem with the Internet.  I have to be logged on to AIM and surfing K5 or something or other every minute I'm home, or I feel like I'm somehow not "connected to the world". :P

just wait (5.00 / 3) (#32)
by wumpus on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 12:51:14 AM EST

If you have broadband, expect that it will take up even more time than TV.

On the other hand, you control your own information feed with the internet, which presumably offsets the lack of time.

This also really belongs in a diary.


[ Parent ]

Similar problem... (none / 0) (#66)
by jeroenb on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 10:37:57 AM EST

I've had both - when I was in college I used to spend most afternoons sitting on the couch watching MTV. Then I went to work and got cable at home, I spent every minute of the day (even at work) logged onto IRC and ICQ. I know the feeling of not being connected!

Still, after a while you realize that nothing really interesting is going on there and you one day decide to let it go. At least I did. I haven't been back to my old IRC channel for years now and don't even have a preset channel for MTV. In fact, I'm not even sure I can get it at the moment if I wanted to - but I don't care.

Personally though, I haven't missed either for a second, in fact, I feel much more free. Although that may sound silly, it's true.

"The mouse, I've been sure for years, limps home from the site of the burning ferris wheel with a brand-new, airtight plan for killing the cat." -J.D. Salinger
[ Parent ]

That's okay (none / 0) (#71)
by zealtrix on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 01:23:25 PM EST

We can help you detach from the collective, and become an individual again. Sure, those metal implants will still be there...

[ Parent ]
Send my regards to the lady (4.33 / 3) (#4)
by Pac on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:01:24 PM EST

Your fiancee must be one of ten top most understanding, lovable women in the face of the planet. How else would you explain that an unemployed thirty years old television junkie has a fiancee in the first place?

Evolution doesn't take prisoners

Wow (none / 0) (#45)
by Rogerborg on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 07:00:01 AM EST

Uncanny, rusty just referenced the unsubstantiated Canadian girlfriend Onion link.  

Perhaps the whole article is a parody of The Onion that's so subtle that none of us are getting it.

Or perhaps not.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

wait a second (5.00 / 5) (#8)
by tps12 on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:13:06 PM EST

Survivor is one of your exceptions?

Outside of NFL games... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
by leviramsey on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:15:20 PM EST

...I don't watch TV, in the traditional couch potato sense. I have the TV on, but more to provide background noise, which is something that TV is very nicely suited to... when something catches my ear, I can turn from my computer and watch for a couple of minutes and then turn back.

eeeewwww football? (1.00 / 1) (#85)
by uniball vision micro on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 04:32:28 PM EST

Yeah what fun professional sports; draws such an intelligent crowd as well.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]
Write in on poll: (5.00 / 1) (#10)
by explodingheadboy on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:18:03 PM EST

The only time I ever use my TV, is when I have my computer hooked up to it via S-Video cable. This is usually for DVD's or to play music with a new vis plugin for a party. The TV is also hitched up to the reciever and speakers, making for some very jammmin' tunes.

Who ever said you couldn't use your computer for everything?

Q: If you're paddling upstream in a canoe and a wheel falls off, how many pancakes fit in a doghouse?
A: None! Ice cream doesn't have bones!!!

[*rmg is dying]

You turned off your tv? (4.25 / 8) (#11)
by dissonant on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:25:47 PM EST

Stay exactly where you are, citizen-consumer. You are in violation of Article I of the Advertising Circumvention Act. Homeland Security agents will be dispatched to your last known location to see to your re-education. Thank you for your compliance.

+1, Pretentious (4.57 / 7) (#12)
by egg troll on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:45:43 PM EST

Its cool that you've given up TV. However, don't become one of those self-righteous pricks who reminds everyone that's he's stopped watching TV.

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

Good point. (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by broken77 on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 03:09:47 PM EST

We just want everyone to experience the freedom we've found! That's why we do it. Well, that's why I do it...

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

i haven't had cable or network TV in over a year.. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by postindustrialist on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 10:09:24 PM EST

but i rent movies occasionally... i dunno.. so what? i mean it's not that big of a deal.. this is more of a diary entry..
oooh.. looks likes somebody has anger problems.
question everything.
this sig is only one hundred and fifty characters long and it's still not eno
Life imitates The Onion (5.00 / 10) (#15)
by rusty on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 10:32:06 PM EST

Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own a Television

Not the real rusty
lol@theonion.com (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by eudas on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:05:28 PM EST

a 5 for being spot on, but that's an old one :)

"Nothing is on fire, but the day is still young" -- Phil the Canuck
[ Parent ]

An oldie but a goodie (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by rusty on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:18:12 PM EST

That's one of the most useful Onion links. That one and "Canadian Girlfriend Unsubstantiated" are probably my two most-often-linked Onion stories. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
There's nothing good on anymore. . . . (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by IHCOYC on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 10:34:31 PM EST

About the only thing that will get me into the couch in front of the box is Cartoon Network, anymore. What makes me absolutely sick of television is cop, lawyer, and medical shows: pretentious soap operas full of network-standards tough talk and blatherskite speeches about stale headlines. I loathe issues melodrama so much that I can't even to stand being in the same room with a TV playing that sort of crap. When I can turn on the TV and see some light, heroic, and positive space opera that doesn't turn into this week's flavour of paranoid fantasy, I might come back. But not for any of the stuff the broadcast networks seem to want to offer.
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy
download farscape (none / 0) (#26)
by j1mmy on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:29:53 PM EST

You can find episodes on all major P2P networks. I recommend skipping the first half of season 2, though. The rest of it ranges from entertaining to good. Also, skip the animation episode from season 3 (or maybe it was 4). That was terrible beyond all belief.

[ Parent ]
Not terrible (none / 0) (#42)
by gazbo on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 06:16:16 AM EST

Fucked up, wierd, completely non-fitting into the storyline, but still worth a watch.

Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

Beware (5.00 / 4) (#17)
by Tatarigami on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 10:54:54 PM EST

I too stopped watching TV, and at first I was just as drunk as you obviously are on the power of having extra hours in the day to do stuff. But. It didn't take me long to realise that most of my friends' conversation is about TV.

I'm the king of an empty world. I feel so very alone...

I can relate to that (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by Edgy Loner on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:20:08 PM EST

Some years back the apartment where I was living had really shitty reception and I was too cheap to get cable. So I pretty much didn't watch any TV while I was living there. I would have these conversations with my friends where they would ask me about some show they had seen the other night. I had to keep reminding them I didn't get any TV. They were always totally aghast. One friends wife thought I should go to the apartment management outfit and try to get them to get me cheap cable. Almost like TV was a right or something. I didn't miss much, except for some Babylon 5, but I caught up on it when SciFi channel started showing it.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
Did you see that commercial? (5.00 / 2) (#24)
by NFW on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:24:55 PM EST

I know what you mean. People keep saying, "oh yeah, remember that episode of [Seinfield | Friends | SNL | WestWing | Whatever]?"

No, I never saw seen that one.

"Well, you know the one where that guy has that thing happen and...."

No, I haven't seen [any | more than one or two] episodes.

"Oh, well anyway it was really funny, because..."

I guess you had to be there.

There's still news and current events to talk about, though.

Got birds?

[ Parent ]

Funnily enough, I have to agree... (4.50 / 2) (#28)
by tay on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:35:32 PM EST

I didn't realise how often people talked about, or related things to, TV shows until I stopped being a regular viewer.  I would swear that at parties or social occasions these days about 70% of the conversation is either directly about, or making some reference to, a TV show.  Which is sort of a problem when you consider most friendships/relationships are based upon shared experiences and you've cut yourself off from a large part of the rest of societies common touchstone.

[ Parent ]
Then you're hanging around the wrong people! (none / 0) (#78)
by broken77 on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 03:05:06 PM EST

Either that, or you need to actively work to get your friends' heads out of prime time. My friends and I wouldn't possibly talk about TV (most of us don't even watch it at all actually).

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

some show with a mathman character (none / 0) (#22)
by RJNFC on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:22:19 PM EST

...was called Square One and it was a way cool show especially when I was growing too old for Sesame Street but not too old for PBS. My favorite part was Mathnet which was a Dragnet parody. I'll give you a +1 section but it IS a good idea of theirs to make this into a diary if it gets voted down.

I barely watch tv anymore (4.50 / 2) (#23)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:24:37 PM EST

Because most of it cliche and stupid. I watch the Simpsons, That 70's Show, King of the Hill, Scrubs, the Power Puff Girls, and a public access show which shows metal videos. I don't think I have any shows that I watch regularly anymore. I think my favorite show is reruns of Seinfeld. Besides that I'll watch jabbering pundits, nature shows, or whatever looks campyiest.

I can't imagine a 30 year old being that addicted to television. Everything is just so cliche after a while. I might watch more if I had HBO though.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

HBO, and fixed bug (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by floydian on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 05:18:17 PM EST

Well, besides the Sopranos, I don't think you're missing out on much.

By the way, now the parent comment looks OK as I am replying to your post. Remember previous bug? Well, bug no more. Thanks Rusty, or Panner, or whoever fixed it.

[ Parent ]
I don't like the Sopranos (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 07:51:16 PM EST

I like the show about the funeral home.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Six Feet Under [n/t] (none / 0) (#64)
by tekue on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 10:12:16 AM EST

A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither. -Milton Friedman
[ Parent ]
Which market are you in? (none / 0) (#87)
by willj on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 07:32:12 PM EST

I remember watching a metal show on public television when I was a kid in Portland. It was the only place to turn to watch videos for the music I enjoyed. MTV could barely be bothered to show White Zombie.

Thats reminds me that I don't remember seeing a lot of the videos on Beavis and Butthead on MTV. I wonder what music television they were watching?

[ Parent ]

Diary (4.16 / 6) (#25)
by j1mmy on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:24:55 PM EST

I kicked the TV habit in August of 2001 and I didn't write a K5 article about it.

So did I. (none / 0) (#86)
by Ranieri on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 05:04:24 PM EST

So did I. I was working on my thesis and did not really have time for these kinds of frivolities. After a while, I liked it better without the incessant prattling of hosts and commercials.
Unfortunately however (in more than one respect) certain events a month later sucked me right back into the habit.
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
Sticking to it. (none / 0) (#88)
by j1mmy on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 08:56:25 PM EST

The trick is not having cable or an antenna.

[ Parent ]
I'd be happier about this article... (4.50 / 4) (#27)
by godix on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:32:05 PM EST

...if only you were doing something productive with your new found time. Talk radio, chess, and K5 aren't all that much less mindless than some TV really. Don't be proud of not watching TV, instead be proud when you can tell someone that you taught yourself a new skill instead of wasting your life away.

Keep in mind, this comes from someone who last turned on his TV on 9/11/2002. The time I waste on the net kills any pride I have in not being able to recognize a single member of the friends cast.

Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

+1, agreed. (none / 0) (#30)
by kwsNI on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 12:34:25 AM EST

I'd say, on the average, I get about 3 hours of exercise in each week for every hour of TV. I actually enjoy it more than TV.


I watch TV less than once a month... (4.50 / 2) (#31)
by greenrd on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 12:45:07 AM EST

... and I've never experienced "withdrawal symptoms". It wasn't a conscious decision, I just have more interesting things to do with my life.

Unfortunately, my Internet use tends to expand to fill all the available time. A step forwards? Debatable.

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes

Taking it a step further (none / 0) (#33)
by drivers on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 01:12:34 AM EST

I'd be interesting in how far you could take this experiment, and remove all artificial inputs of information... TV, radio, newspapers, movies, books, the Internet (incl. k5 which would make it hard to read or write about the experience except afterward)... just for an experiment for 1 month, or 1 year.

Nothing wrong with TV (5.00 / 4) (#34)
by DeadBaby on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 01:26:34 AM EST

I'm not a TV junkie at all but I must admit I can't understand why anyone would dismiss an entire medium just becuase they have poor taste. I find many quality hours of TV to watch, including:

1) PBS -- Great shows like Nova, American Experience, Frontline, The Newshour, etc. Not to mention constant specials.

2) CSPAN -- Unbias, unfiltered, coverage of politics .

3) Movie channels like Sundance, Bravo, IFC, etc that specialize in high quality film.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan

My God (4.50 / 2) (#35)
by vile on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 02:27:25 AM EST

You are writing about me!

Check out my life for a moment.

1) I wake up.
2) TV is already on.. I leave it on.. fall asleep to it.. in fact, I am typing to Star Trek right now.
3) I jump on the computer.
4) I visit k5, the other site, news.google, check my e-mail, answer ICQ messages, goof off for a bit.
5) Lie back down and eventually go to sleep.

All without leaving my living room except on a few occasions..

One could venture that I am lazy.. but I spent a year and a half working 18 hour days.. and I've spent many months in this lifestyle.. and now I'm going back to work in Feb.. but anyway.. blah... I can totally relate! +1 man.

The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
Your words are a shining beacon of truth and light (5.00 / 2) (#46)
by Demiurge on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 07:47:27 AM EST

Death to the Diary Posters!  

[ Parent ]
-1 (4.33 / 6) (#36)
by SanSeveroPrince on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 03:44:58 AM EST

The article is written in the first person.
The article speaks of nothing beyond the author's personal life.

Can someone explain why it's not in the diary section?


Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think

Autobiographies can sell (none / 0) (#89)
by ToastyKen on Thu Jan 30, 2003 at 11:30:57 PM EST

Although it's about the author's life, it's a subject that many K5 readers relate to, I imagine, and that's why it got voted up.

The direct subject of something isn't the only subject.

[ Parent ]

Voted up? (none / 0) (#90)
by SanSeveroPrince on Fri Jan 31, 2003 at 09:16:24 AM EST

Not really. It made it to the section page, which gets exactly as much exposure on K5 as the diaries... you get to see the title and nothing else on the front page.

This 'article' clearly is a personal entry. It does not go beyond the author's life except asking 'and you'? There's a place for these entries. It's the Diary section.


Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think

[ Parent ]
your first point (none / 0) (#95)
by ToastyKen on Sun Feb 02, 2003 at 12:23:31 AM EST

Huh?  You're saying there's no point to stories being voted up to section because they might as well be diaries, that if you can't get front page, it's not worth the effort?  Section articles clearly get more exposure than diary entries because there are fewer of them and they remain visible longer.  I find your argument that section articles are not "voted up" rather bizarre.

As for your ssecond point, you pretty much repeated what you said in your last post, and I responded to that already, so I'm not going to repeat myself.

[ Parent ]

Wow (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by autopr0n on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 03:59:51 AM EST

For me and my sister, it was diffrent. We didn't grow up with TV, but for some reason started watching it when, I think, I was in the 5th or 6th grade. It had to do with seeing "Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue rangers" at a friends house, and then getting hooked into a viewing patter that expanded and expanded untill my mom freaked out and started trying to regulate our TV viewing.

My mom got this thing called a TV lock to put around the power cord. I spliced the power cord so I could watch TV without having it re-enabled.

But, eventualy I just lost intrest in it. Totaly stopped caring. In fact, I can't even stand to "channel surf" looking for programming that dosn't suck. There are a few shows I (that 70's show, for example) like, but I always forget to watch them

[autopr0n] got pr0n?
autopr0n.com is a categorically searchable database of porn links, updated every day (or so). no popups!
growing up w/o TV, and later life issues (none / 0) (#72)
by ethereal on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 01:44:15 PM EST

Here's my problem: as a kid I wasn't allowed to watch very much TV, partly because my parents didn't approve of what was on, and partly just because they thought I should be outside more. Which was good for me, I think, but has seriously messed up my adult life.

The problem is that my wife was raised to always have a TV on, and so she does. I find that I cannot walk by the damn thing without getting sucked in, and before you know it I've watched a whole rerun of some damn sitcom that I hate. It's really bizarre but I just get almost entranced and can't even remember to leave the room. My theory is that not watching it constantly as a kid, like many people seem to have done, has left me ill-prepared to resist modern television production even of shows that I don't like. Not to mention old shows that I missed the first time around but happen to find I enjoy now. It's better now that we've got our own house and the idiot box can be confined to its own room, but I still have problems with it.

I'd probably still raise a child the way that I was (if I can talk my wife into it), but not having watched TV as a child doesn't always mean that the rest of one's life will be without problems :)


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Am I weird? (4.00 / 2) (#39)
by zakalwe on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 05:45:40 AM EST

I've seen several comments from people who keep the TV on constantly, for background noise, and even when sleeping. Am I unique in hating background noise? I'll occasionally turn the TV on if there is something specific I want to watch, and turn it off immediately after, but having the TV on when reading, working or programming drives me to distraction. I don't even like to have background music on when I'm driving.

I generally like to be doing one thing at a time. If I'm reading, or programming, I like silence. If I'm listening to music, I prefer to be only listening to music - if its not worth listening to by itself, its not worth listening to. Programming with a song in the background decreases my enjoyment of both. From everything I've seen, this seems to be completely different to everyone else. Most people don't seem comfortable with silence, and try to have something else going on in the background at all times. Many will claim that they can't concentrate unless there is background noise. Personally, I love silence - sometimes I'll get up or stay up to 4 or 5 AM just to wander around the streets enjoying the quiet.

So, am I unique here? Does no-one else despise the ever-present background noise of TV, and even music?

i am completely the opposite (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 06:13:51 AM EST

i feel a significant void if i'm not doing minnimum two things at once - usually loud music blaring [quiet instrumental music] or quiet music in the background [heavy metal/industrial](this enters importance later on, as i'm a musician) all the while, with my To Do List and Windows Notepad open while on the computer, or with a notepad in my pocket when i'm not. all the while thinking about some random bit of nothing - while doing whatever it is that i'm supposed to be [homework,etc]. of course i'm rumoured to be ADD - and this is the only way i get anything done : if i try to do one thing at a time i get distracted by the slightest. not to say your way is wrong, more to provide an example of the polar opposite. i find that it's helpful to be involved in so many things, because whenever i get stuck in one thing, chances are the sheer bizarre combination of thoughts going through my mind will pose an alternative solution, if not a correct one to the problem at hand.
currently, i'm multitasking between Plato's Cratylus, Autopr0n, my Western Pizza Numbers training program that im writing, BushX, Jewel and of course- kuro5hin. go figure.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
odd (none / 0) (#44)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 06:54:12 AM EST

none of my links worked. *shrug*
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Silence (none / 0) (#49)
by DarkZero on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 12:57:24 PM EST

I covered pretty much the same argument in this comment.Basically, if you have silence around you when you turn off all of the noise in your house, then you're a lucky man, and you're certainly not me.

[ Parent ]
50/50 (4.00 / 1) (#50)
by zerth on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 02:12:52 PM EST

I also love going for walks at 3-5 am for the "stillness".  I used to get in semi-serious trouble when I was in HS, since my town had a curfew with no defined ending time.

  However, excepting that, meditation and those activities that probably really fall under meditation(raquetball, climbing, etc), I can rarely concentrate on anything if there I don't at least have some kind of white noise, like a rain cd.  The simpler the task, the more noise is necessary. Bicycling to Uni gets ambient techno, most of the classes in my major get orchestral pieces or gregorian chanting, but BIO 107:Biology of Food requires heavy metal with electric bagpipes:)

Rusty isn't God here, he's the pope; our God is pedantry. -- Subtillus
[ Parent ]

no, you're not unique (none / 0) (#53)
by janra on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 03:00:35 PM EST

It doesn't have to be pure silence, but something that doesn't grab your eyes and/or ears and demand that you pay attention - both radio and television are designed to grab your attention like that, while cars driving by and other sources of ambient noise aren't. I have a hard time holding a conversation in front of a running TV sometimes, because it keeps dragging my eyes away from the person I'm talking to.

When the cable company found out we were getting free cable and said "pay up or get cut off" we shrugged and let them cut us off. Of all the channels we were getting before, we watched maybe 4 or 5 of them semi-regularly; of those, we get 3 through the rabbit-ears anyway. About the only thing I miss is Discovery Channel and Junkyard Wars.

I can't stand having the TV on as background noise, either. My boyfriend doesn't mind it, but sometimes it bugs me enough that I'll look at him sitting in front of the TV doing something on his laptop, and ask if he's actually watching the TV or if he's ignoring it. He usually gets the hint and shuts it off, unless he actually is watching a show. :-)

Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
Yes, silence is good. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by bigbtommy on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 03:28:44 PM EST

I do remember about a year ago, at college. I was in my registration room kicking about waiting for the teacher. Usually people played CD's or chatted while waiting. This time, there were very very few people in there, and the CD player had been unplugged. I was sitting their silently waiting, and just enjoying the silence. Everyone else was silent too. It was amazing, considering everyone was ~17. One of the students piped up "Yeah, I really enjoy the sound of silence. It's so relaxing." And continued talking about it for about 2-5 minutes. Hmmm. Defeats the point perchance...
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
[ Parent ]
TV sucks (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by evilpenguin on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 06:29:18 AM EST

I have one.  A large-screen Sony Wega.  I did not buy this to plug into the idiot box known as cable television.  I bought it for playing video games and watching DVDs.

It's been almost three years since I have actually watched TV, and I don't miss it one bit.  I never was enraptured with it (as the author of this story seems to be), but it was at least enjoyable once a week or so (when Family Guy was on).  Now I can't even watch it for more than 15 minutes -- the acting is usually subpar, the plots suck, and the most inexcusable atrocity of all: commercials.  

TV, to me, is completely worthless.  At my leisure, I can downlead the good stuff off the interweb anyway and not have to look at a singe commercial.  There's modern technology for ya.
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty

I still watch TV (4.50 / 2) (#47)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 11:32:16 AM EST

It may be "mindless entertainment", but there's nothing wrong with that. Probably 80-90% of the stuff that's on is TOO mindless for me, but I still enjoy the small minority of shows that I can stand, and with Tivo, I can watch them on my schedule, not the networks.
Information wants to be beer.
Now replace the word TV with PC. (4.75 / 4) (#48)
by Craevenwulfe on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 12:48:15 PM EST

And see how often it's on.

input (3.66 / 3) (#83)
by majcher on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 04:01:06 PM EST

I don't know what kind of super fancy television you have, but I use my PC to write, program, stay in touch with family and friends, listen to my choice of a wide variety of music, make new music, play games, create games, do my taxes, and get paid. I hear you can also watch videos on it, too. How does that compare at all to the box you sit in front of, and stare at whatever your corporate sponsors decide you want to watch today?
Wrestling pigs since 1988!
[ Parent ]
Good on yers... (4.50 / 2) (#51)
by unixrat on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 02:23:16 PM EST

About a year and a half ago I bought a Tivo and it worked so well that I had to get rid of it. Breaking a habit like that isn't easy and it's even more difficult if the thing is still there. I know cigarette smokers generally have to get rid of all their lighters and packs or else the temptation is too great.

If you don't want to sell your TVs, more them all to a friends house and give him strict orders not to give them back to you until next year. When the time comes, I doubt you'll want to keep 'em.

Congratulations (none / 0) (#57)
by skim123 on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 01:37:46 AM EST

Kicking the TV habit is a great step to take, for anyone at anytime in the lives. I "gave up" TV in July of 2000 - I had just moved and hadn't brought my TV with me. After half a year or so, though, I started having cravings. I started going to the movies a lot, but that starts to get quite expensive, so I decided to compromise and get a TV and VCR so that I could watch movies.

With a TV, I invariably tried to get network reception (after all, being a pro basketball fan, it would be nice to see a game every now and then). But, alas, I cannot get any network reception, perhaps it's the hilly terrain. I've held off on getting cable this long, meaning my only non-Internet visual media is movies at the theater and movies on the VCR. And you know what? I think I can hold out on not getting cable for many years to come.

Thankfully, my g/f is not a TV addict, in fact she's seen far less TV in her life than I. This is good because she is not itching to get cable. This is bad because if I make comments like, "Remember Small Wonder?" or, "Who do you think would win in a fight between Webster and Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes?", I get a blank stare.

The one side-effect of no TV is that when we go on vacation and are staying at a motel/hotel we find ourselves watching the TV pretty much nonstop. Ditto for when staying extended periods with friends or family who have TV reception of some form.

Once I got tired of talk radio, I mostly just did other activities without any background sounds at all.

I found exercise to be a great combatant to the TV itch. When I'd be particularly wanting to call up Time Warner and order me some cable, I'd go get in a pick up basketball game, or go jogging, or jump on the exercise bike. And, if all else fails, and you don't feel like exercising, and you need some activity akin to TV watching, there's always the Internet. :-)

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

Down with the One Eyed Devil !!! (none / 0) (#58)
by TubeShoot on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 02:18:11 AM EST

As a lifelong member of the One Eyed Devil's legions, I am surprised at how easy you made it sound to quit. If I don't watch TV at least 13 hours a day (currently unemployed) I will see repeats in my dreams. And BTW the repeats are not of good shows or anything but stuff like Fantasy Island and crap.

Tivo changes everything (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by Silent Chris on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 09:21:59 AM EST

I recently bought a Tivo (along with a host of other equipment) and it changed my TV viewing entirely.  Before, I barely watched any (any of the "good shows" I wanted to watch, like The Daily Show when it's fresh and current at 11:00 PM, were on too late).  Now, I come home and all my favorite shows are there and available.  Don't want to watch it?  Watch it later.  I control what I watch, when I watch, not the other way around.

It's not foolproof.  I still want on-demand video for all television.  Tivo still has to wait to tape The Daily Show at 11:00 -- if it misses it (damn you, IR blasters), there's no chance to catch it again.  Still, it's better than being committed to the network schedules.

Huh, I do the cheap version of that (none / 0) (#70)
by Karmakaze on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 12:48:55 PM EST

I have a vcr and an 8-hour tape.  If I see a listing for an interesting show, I set the vcr to tape it.

When I have time and the inclination, I pull out the tape and watch the shows (and fastforward through commercials, inadvertent reruns, or bad shows).  If I come to the end of the tape and want to tape something new, then clearly I did not want to watch it that badly and it gets taped over.

I find it works fine, and I'm sure it's much cheaper than whatever TIVO charges.
[ Parent ]

You get what you pay for (none / 0) (#73)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 01:48:12 PM EST

For starters, while you have 8 hours (per tape), I have up to 60! Also, with Tivo, I can set it to automatically record every episode of $FAVORITE_SHOW, while you have to do each one manually, and hope you don't make some dumb error. There are other advantages too. IMO, Tivo is worth the extra cost.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Eh. (none / 0) (#91)
by br284 on Fri Jan 31, 2003 at 01:58:36 PM EST

I looked into a TiVo and all its features and decided that I'd be better off saving the cash and keeping my VCR. First of all, recording all instances of $SHOW is fairly simple -- you set the VCR to record at a certain time every week day (if you're catching "70's Show" reruns). For the new stuff, it comes on once a week and is easy enough to figure out when and program the VCR accordingly.

Is catching every rerun of $SHOW worth the $200+ that one would have to pay for TiVo? Not for me. What happens to those TiVo owners who have seen every episode of $SHOW and their TiVo's are reduced to recording one show once a week?

Regarding the tape length issue -- 8 vs. 60... How many reruns do you seriously want to archive for posterity? I find that I'm having trouble making it through three hours of tape before I've seen everything and have rewound the tape to start over. I guess I have yet to see anyone make a compelling case why 60 hours of recording is significantly better than 8.

I woudl appreciate some response because I used to lust after the TiVo. I would still consider getting one, but the benefits don't seem worth the $200 I would be laying out. I guess I see it as a glorified VCR for those who have not figured out how their scheduler works on the VCR. (Truth be told, I just learned last week.)


[ Parent ]

TV Turnoff dot org (none / 0) (#60)
by ftee on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 09:22:51 AM EST

Don't know if anyone here have mentioned this site for kicking too much TV watching habit. www.tvturnoff.org

Movies (none / 0) (#61)
by Baldrson on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 09:32:39 AM EST

I disconnected from cable in 1992 after swearing off politics. I had been watching CSPAN too much and already couldn't stomach any of the rest of the 'fare'.

However, I continued to rent videos or watch movies. This isn't so bad since it is more under your control and everytime you want to watch something you have to not only pay money but go stand in line. However, you are still quite subject to the whims of the video store/theater owners and their upstreams.

I've since gotten to the point that I rarely watch movies that aren't on my underistributed list which I engineered to try to detect which films were being actively disfavored by distributors despite their profit potential. I figure if the normally money-grubbing distributors don't want me to see something badly enough that they'll sacrifice profits -- then that's how I'll get my entertainment.

-------- Empty the Cities --------

My New Boob Tube (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by devon on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 10:11:27 AM EST

After I moved out of my parents house, I just didn't buy a TV. That was about 18 months ago. I only watch TV now when I'm visiting other people. For a good long time I did lots of reading. And I also started to do some wood working. Various other hobby activities also found their way into my schedule. Now, however, pretty much all I do is play computer games. The computer has become my new boob tube. It kinda sucks because the computer has too many genuinely useful applications to just not own one. I guess I'll just have to uninstall the games and stop buying them. Wish me luck.

Call yourself a computer professional? Congratulations. You are responsible for the imminent collapse of civilization.
No TV here (1.00 / 2) (#63)
by MSBob on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 10:11:37 AM EST

When I bought my house last year we decided not to renew our cable subscription and the tv set is in the basement in the box. Nobody noticed it's missing ... There is a ton of things you can do without your tv set. News can be accessed through the internet and the rest of programming is not worth having a tv for so nobody cares.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

The Best way to cut down on your TV watching (none / 0) (#65)
by NotZen on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 10:27:21 AM EST

  1. Buy a Tivo.
  2. Tell it which programs you want to watch.
  3. Only watch those programs it records for you.
Sure, it may record a fair number of programs, but suddenly you've lost those hours of idly surfing from channel to channel.  You've only got the tv you actively choose to watch.

Tivo (none / 0) (#67)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 10:40:49 AM EST

In my experience, Tivo has had little effect on the QUANTITY of my TV watching. But it's made a HUGE difference in the QUALITY of TV. Before I got it, I didn't realize how many good shows were on when I'm at work or asleep. And I don't watch crap just to have the TV on anymore.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Boob Tube (none / 0) (#68)
by br284 on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 11:16:14 AM EST

I graduated last spring and as part of my induction into the "real world", I decided that I wasn't going to start my new life out by being a slave to the tube. I did purchase a TV, but that was for my DVDs and an occaisional PS/One game. Overall, it worked pretty well and I didn't miss it much. I remember when I started watching TV at my GF's place, I was annoyed and had a minor physical disgust towards the commercials.

Last month, I received a free month of cable, courtesy of AT&T. I figured that I had gone without long enough and had anough going on in my life to prevent TV from becoming too important, so I signed up for the all-digital platinum package. It was free after all and I thought "why not?"

I found that I enjoyed having the TV back, but that I wasn't watching the premium cables all that much, but I was spending time watching things on Fox (Malcolm, 70's Show, etc.). So I called into the company to have the package trimmed down. While doing all this, I learned the power of VCR+ and I now have something to watch whenever I'm bored.

I guess the thing that I'm trying to say is that it hasn't taken over my life and like anything done in moderation, it can be a decent thing. I know that I enjoy the TV much more now that it's not the sole source of entertainment (I used to live in a DirectTV household in the middle of nowhere). I watch the shows I want, when I want, and all without the magical Tivo device. I even get a bit of entertainment out of Fox News these days.

(I'm purposely omitting the details of the new GameCube on my life though...)


Gone without for 2+ yrs and glad of it. (none / 0) (#69)
by tcpinhead on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 11:50:15 AM EST

We moved into a home that was out of range from local transmitters. We could pay for simple cable which would give us local fare and a couple of other channels. We opted to do nothing and have been quite pleased. The withdrawl lasted for a few months but we found ourselves getting much more done around the house. Bedtime was now dictated by how sleepy we were rather than if the news was over yet. Our kids are doing fine with it as well. They read much more and still get their fix at grandma's house. We watch dvd and vhs when we want and can control what the little ones see (ages 2-10). After Sep 11 they knew of what had happened but didn''t have to watch it repeatedly. Other kids in the neighborhood had difficulty dealing with it (nightmares, irrational behavior, etc...) While I do miss the occasional program there are still plenty of ways to see it if I need to. The internet let's me get indepth info on news rather than 15sec. summaries. I am glad to be rid of broadcast TV and I appreciate the time spent talking with my family much more.

Good for you! (5.00 / 2) (#76)
by broken77 on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 02:42:14 PM EST

"By the end of the first month, I didn't miss TV" -- narrator, Fight Club

One down, 200 million to go. I haven't had TV in 3 years. I do miss watching the news though. Not that I think TV news is the best news, I think it's actually the worst form of news, but I like to keep in touch with it just so I know what and who are the latest news trends. After a few months, you'll notice a few things. You'll discover you don't need TV at all. You'll notice you have more time and energy, as well as desire to do other things. This might even propel you to learn something new. Since I've given up TV, I've explored many other kinds of music, I've played around with making my own, I've been reading more (about a huge variety of subject matter), I've made some of my own clothing, spent more time with friends and making new ones, the list goes on. TV is a time killer and energy sucker, I see almost no value in it. There's a reason they call it the "idiot box".

Some thoughts on the radio, however. I would stay far, far away from those talk shows you mentioned. They're terrible in any way imaginable. If you want news, try out NPR. If you want entertainment, just listen to music (now that you have all this free time maybe you can discover jazz, or house, or psy trance, or conscious hip-hop, or reggae, or...). Discover public radio. Do you live in a town larger than 20,000 people? They probably have some decent public radio, or they at least carry some public broadcasting programs for a certain part of the day. Explore that dial! Skip past the blabbering gasbags.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz

10 years and counting (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by nowan on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 03:03:38 PM EST

I've gone without TV (anything more than a couple of hours/month) since '93, and it's been wonderful. At first it was an accident. That's when I started college, and between adjusting to my new life and classwork I didn't have much time for TV.

But a funny thing happened after that. After a year or so I thought back and realized how little TV I'd been watching. Suddenly I realized that I didn't know what the new shows were. And when I tried to watch I'd get bored. I found the commercials irritating -- much worse than I remembered. I noticed how stupid it all was, how dull and repetitive even the better shows were.

So now my wife and I have a TV, but no cable and no reception. We watch movies occasionally, but I spend my evenings reading, playing with my daughter, or talking.

And now when I watch any TV (at a friends house, perhaps) I'm appalled at how bad it is. TV news is a collection of superficial sound-bytes. Commercials are constantly strobing at you. And the shows are repetitious an inane.

So good luck! Life gets better. TV is an addiction, and a debilitating one at that. Everything you get from TV you can get better elsewhere, better.

me too (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by auraslip on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 03:38:29 PM EST

I used to watch what could be considered the normal amount of tv for a youth. Then one day I relised it sucked, and I in fact was just wasting my life. So I stopped. I don't watch tv by myself anymore, only as a social activity. And that's becuase were mocking (fox news anyone?) or a movie.
Come to find out that TV is really addicting I've read a few articles on the subject. Can't find them now though.

Lately when I've been watching tv, I've found the ads more entertaining. I appreciate how they toy with the human mind, if that makes sense?

but video games are more addicting

So lazy (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by nklatt on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 03:50:13 PM EST

"Can't find" or too lazy?

[ Parent ]
no too stupid (none / 0) (#93)
by auraslip on Sat Feb 01, 2003 at 01:38:34 AM EST

I looked for 5 minutes on google and gave up
[ Parent ]
What a coincidence (none / 0) (#92)
by lateral on Fri Jan 31, 2003 at 03:27:46 PM EST

Really interesting to read all these stories. I turned off the tv on december 23rd and I haven't watched it since. Tomorrow the tv is actually going to a new home. I didn't plan it - it was actually quite spontaneous. 'Enough' I thought, turned it off and moved it into another room.


Not that much (none / 0) (#94)
by Pholostan on Sat Feb 01, 2003 at 09:13:17 PM EST

I do have access to TV, but I don't watch it much. I see news sometimes, and a good show or movie ocassionaly. Five years and counting.
- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
Also ditched TV (none / 0) (#96)
by g33kd00d on Sun Feb 02, 2003 at 10:15:14 AM EST

I used to come home, turn on the TV and watch Looney Toons. Now it isn't on any more, so I use the computer and read. I don't miss it a bit!:D
clickety clickety rm -rf / --BOFH
TV Sober for a rough 5 years (none / 0) (#98)
by turtleshadow on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:38:35 PM EST

I gave up my TV cold turkey about 5 years ago when I moved into my latest abode.
Broadband just came on the scene and the TV was huge wasteland. I've had my minor falls with TV since then.

Its actually quite amazing how many American's speak in the gestalt of TV. Commercials and programs define many American lives. "I have to be home by X hour to catch Enterprise, Did you see what they did to X or Y on Survivor? Boy that game between A and B was Z"
Commericals are the worst. At first I used to watch them in the era when they were free on adcritic.com to catchup with the world and relate to my co-workers. The latest round-about regarding the Miller Lite Cat Fight and Terry Tate office linebacker, were something I completely missed except for snipits around the web.

I had deep withdrawl which took about 2 years and I really sunk to the bottom quickly. I'd make a circuit with P0rn, news, game and sportfeed sites, etc. The cycle you stated was vary similar. I displace TV with broadband. Luckily the dot.com dryup sent most of my favorite sites away and I eventually dried out cold turkey again in that period.
Once I got "bored" with P0rn -- at 30 yes you can get bored of P0rn I've found myself seeking out the Humanities and Science college course sites at universities.

As an engineering type these are much more interesting. People actually still make really neat stuff from scratch or from basic ideas and principles. Shadowing a course is acually fun and barring any specialized books is rather cheap. In the end you get something much more tangible for 8 hours of study than 8 hours of TV.

I did fall into blogs, but soon as I came to realization that other people are just as banal as I was, I stopped going to them. There's only so much angst, anger, suffering, triumph to be found in blogs. People that blog are good people, its something I can't get into. The same thing went with IRC/IM. To be honest there is not that much to talk about without involving the Entertainment/Sports/Media Complex in some fashion. Email has lost its shine with me. I get 100's at work a day from my boxes I have to manage. To be honest I'd rather make an IP phone call or use the POT system to communicate with the rest of humanity. Better yet I'd rather go out and have lunch with my cohorts.

Same goes with online gaming. I luckily never got hooked on everquest or other fancy MUDs IMHO. I got played out enough with Zork and Ultima, FPS as a kid or in school. I am quite tired of raiding pixelated bodies for gold or whatever. I understand that there is an element of building and interaction in most games now but at the end of the day its all virtual.

In my web roamings I discovered guitar tabulature and have taught myself a few cords and am working on notes.
I've picked up some Spanish and have recovered some H.S. French. The French is coming back slowly, I found it interesting to delve into their online media to learn more about their reluctantence to join USA's war.
The Internet once you strip it of the sensational, of the narsasitic and get past the drum beaters for technology for technologies sake, its actually quite small but dense in terms of untapped potential knowledge.

I now find it difficult to go into Circuit City or a Major Appliance store. The electronics area is typically a bit overwhelming in terms of the wall of sound and movement. It's also difficult to go into a large theatre chain and get blasted with commercials as well. I've found my sensativity to "in-your-face and we wont let you ignore our volume level" programming quite low now.

Indeed I sill need "backround noise". Luckily the area I live in has a awsome local Jazz station 89.3 KUVO.org that's constantly on in my house and at work. Its Public radio and no commericals!
I still get spell bound by the idiot box when I visit family or friends and that's something that will take alot of time to get over.

My triumph came when I got the post card to be an AC Nielson household. After fudging the survey, it was the best laugh I've ever had. The interview was a riot! I Hung up with the distinct impression the tele-monkey on the other end thinks I'm living without power and no running water but am making 1M+ as CEO of my own company.
To some extent, perhaps related to absence of TV, I've grown deeper in my Catholic beliefs. My best friend kids me I traded on Religion for another. In the end I have to admit that without the TV to constantly harange me to be the somebody I'm not, without corporate sponsors pelting my ego with commercials urging me to buy a life style I can't afford, and without Reality TV programs urging me to live vicariously through people that probably wouldn't give me the time of day on the street-- I'd say I'm a much happier man today.

I bid you well on your efforts to be TV sober.

No TV and no work make dagg something something... | 98 comments (86 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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