Hejira

 

turning off

October 22. 2000

falling again:

stump

stump

*

leaves

leaves

*

birdhouse

birdhouse

*

flowers

flowers

I surprised myself last night by turning on the television to watch the world series. I don't know exactly why, probably because it was a subway series, and I consider New York City my adopted hometown. And I was rooting for the Mets by default, probably because Koba is such an ardent fan. Plus I love the underdogs, anyway.

Despite the salary disputes and the strikes, there is something so pure and unabashedly American about baseball. I couldn't quite put my finger on what that something was until last night when John pointed out all the things that made it different from all other professional sports. One, that there was no clock, and a game could go on forever, and that the fair and foul lines on the field could extend into infinity, and while other sports like football were about conquering territory, the goal of baseball is to finally get home.

That knowledge filled me with a warm fuzzy feeling...I don't know why.

*

So it was the first time in about three weeks that I dusted off the boob toob and turned it on, and then I remembered precisely why I turned it off in the first place. I was immediately assaulted by all sorts of political commercials, both local and national. Isn't it delightful that Pennsylvania is a swing state? I forsee me turning on the television for two occasions: The X-files and Eagles games (who, by the way, kicked ass today). Anything else is just not worth my time.

Sometime last month I realized just what a stupid thing television is. I mean, think about it: People can spend hours around the water cooler in the office discussing people that don't exist. We model ourselves after these people who don't exist. These people who don't exist start trends and fads. It seems a little silly, doesn't it?

And I wish that television would stop pretending that it's based in reality, because no show I can think of is even remotely approaching a representation of reality. I mean, aside from the whole Friends "no one in NYC can have an apartment that big" issue, television is constructed to make the general populace feel bad about themselves and to thus futilely strive to live up to the unreal standards that are presented by most media.

And I would sit there in front of my little glowing box and wish I had a body like any of the characters on Sex in the City, and wish I had money and a nice apartment and couture clothes and no jobs like everyone does on television. I realized something then: TV makes me feel bad about myself, it does not contribute to my intelligence in any way, and it in no way lives up to the reality which I move through every day. It was a waste, and I hate waste.

So I turned it off. Simple as that. Haven't regretted it yet.

One Year Ago:
I finally get the T1.