Saturday, 3 August 2019

Television is for chumps: How I learned to hate the idiot box...

For whatever reason, I have grown to despise television (most of it) with a level of austerity that would put my late father to shame many, many times over.  Here's a rant about that:

I work a job that permits a television in the workspace, because of the nature of how boring my task can be.  Back before a certain spiritual developmental level, I kind of relied on our tube to keep from going bonkers on some of the longer shifts.  We ripped cable because we could, back before Rogers went digital and they replaced the analog version with imagery of goldfish tanks (I still think a totalitarian Buddhist is behind that, trying to force Zen on the masses as punishment for not paying the television bill).  The tube died and was replaced with a high definition flatscreen, but our company wasn't willing to pay for the cable service, so we got an antenna instead, and now the only thing that is worth watching is the news, which is often tragic.  Fuck that noise.

I have gone two years straight with virtually no television, except for the odd Netflix experience at a friend's place, and now my mind almost feels nauseous thinking about turning one on and staring at it.  The mind is also happier this way, and loves the stillness.  Like marijuana, my mind rejects television, or at least grows bored and wishes to go elsewhere.  I have a shitty flatscreen Samsung that's at least 15 years old that I inherited from my mother that hardly sees any action, save a friend popping by for a movie night.  I was dumb enough to sign up for a cable package one time years ago, something I got locked into for 2 years in a contract, where I got cheap basic cable, but I watched it maybe twice - CP24 leaves something to be desired.  What was I thinking?!  Now I don't have cable, Crave, Netflix, or any of those things.  I have a bunch of DVDs I may watch once in a blue moon, but other than that I am not a watcher.  So why all the hate?

One reason is how infuriating I find television commercials - they are extremely obnoxious.  There are some clever ones, but they often get banned, and there are so many of them in between segments of a show now that I have to mute them because the volume is always jacked up and I WILL regress as a mind if I am exposed to them for too long.  They insult me.  Commercials make me sick and are the main reason I can't stand television anymore.

Also - I find it's just a huge waste of time.  Sure, some programming can be compelling, but very little of it is, and often the good stuff is on some specialty version of television other than cable, which I am not willing to pay for.  And when I go on Netflix, I am overwhelmed by the level of selection, so I don't end up choosing anything, usually.  I might end up caving and getting Spotify, for I love music and where it takes my mind.  Like Marshall McLuhan might have discussed, television provides too much stimulus, so my mind rebels by ignoring most of it, going to another place.  While music takes my mind on a journey, television is just annoying, and I want it to end.

Sometimes I will go to a film in the theatre, but very rarely.  You really have to sell the plot to me for me to consider it at all, considering how pricey the theatres are now.  I used to love mental health story flicks, but now that I am also sick of talking about mental health stuff, I kind of don't care about those anymore either.  So I love flicks about spirituality and religion, and I like documentaries, stuff like that.  I am a nerd in that regard.

Video games are even worse than television.  They are like doing homework, they are not fun.  I used to love them, my Dad prevented me from having them in the house until I was 12, when I finally inherited a Super Nintendo - I played that thing to death.  But spirituality killed video games for me - yay.  Something about sitting around for hours at a time, slack jawed, twiddling my thumbs, trying to get some neckbeard's creation to do something relevant on a screen for some specific outcome seems incredibly bland, when I could be reading about people's private lives with psychic abilities instead, and making discoveries about myself with Akasha.  No thank you, geeks.  I get what they still like about it... but it's dull, dull, dull for me now.  Retro gaming can be okay even today, only because of the nostalgia factor... oh shit, am I sounding like a hipster yet?!

I guess I can only truly enjoy screen based entertainment now if I am sharing it with others, like at a gathering, or an outing.  A social component must be involved.  I may watch a video on the web that's cool, but rarely - I like the web, when it's not a sinister, vitriolic place, because of how vast it is.  I love books, but am not even that bookish - I often find it hard to follow passages of text for long before I must break, for even then my mind will go to another place.

One last thing - having achieved a state where I am now gaining inner knowledge, something I am seeking to refine, stimuli like television bombards the senses, interfering with this process, while something like music can encourage it, depending on what it is I am listening to.  This is why I crave a quieter, simpler life.  It makes the inner world richer.

So any television I watch now better be good, to take up my time like this... or perhaps even so bad it's delightful.


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