there are two sections in the newspaper i skip without blinking an eye: sports and television programme. This time i wont comment on sports (i will probably get there once the long-awaited London 2012 Olympic games will be at my doorsteps). it’s about television. I will confess (about which i am actually quite proud) that i have not had a TV in my places i have been living since 1998! there was a brief period recently when i actually had a TV (it took me one month to figure out how those three (!) remote controls work), but apart from BBC/CNN news it was more like an element of interior design and would not count anyway.
So, for about 14 years it has already been my approach to television – life is better, more meaningful and with less rubbish in my mind if i dont watch it. Except news and some specialized tv programmes about things that matter, in nutshell, i think, it is an excellent time waster and stimulator of laziness and dullness.
However, i was totally shocked when in the last Observer one of the columnists claimed: “Living for a month with a broken television teaches you a lot about the poor fools who choose not to watch. […] I feel sorry for them. They know not what they say – they’re living only half a life.”
Please tell me what important i have lost in my life without having watched X Factor and Celebrity Big Brother?
It truly saddened me when one of the most well-respected (by me) UK newspapers had chosen to publish such an article with such a message.
I remember my childhood, the very early days when television arrived in our house and because of all that excitement of such an amazing technology the days were planned according to the tv programme. we could not imagine missing a single cartoon or later, the Latin American series every evening around dinner time (with repetition next morning). Even my grandfather living in a farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere started to adjust his field work to TV programme ensuring he has not missed anything very important (like series, movies, occasional concerts and news of course). i guess, each society going through the modernization needs such an experience in order to reach the next level. But, though i thought that the trend to move to post-modernism was happening, it seems like society is still stuck somewhere in that modernism, enjoying quite primitive forms of entertainment and satisfaction.
Occasional light entertainment is fine; it is needed to release some stress, relax and forget about stuff; however, when television takes such a place on someone’s life that it makes 50% of the value of life (like in case of columnist Ms Eva Wiseman), i’m sorry, but it means, people have lost the control over their own lives. they are like tamed house animals, like pigs who are fed through a hole of the cage every day on specific times and have forgotten that out there in the fields they could find much better, healthier food, breath fresh air and be free.
Moreover, maintaining such a close relationship with television means television has all the decision-making power over the individual (planning of the day) and it makes all the choices on behalf of individual too (with what sort of information and entertainment one is fed). I hear often people complaining – oh, there is nothing to watch on tv, bla bla, but still keep watching. This perfectly illustrates one’s disability to make his/her own choices outside the capacity of remote control.