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Television Media Announcements

National TV Turn Off Week 873

Posted by michael
from the i-can-quit-any-time dept.
beforewisdom writes "Next week (April 19th - 25th 2004) is National TV Turn Off Week in the USA. Among the many benefits claimed by tvturnoff.org is that 90% of the people who participate in a TV Turnoff Week successfully reduce the amount of television they watch permanently."
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National TV Turn Off Week

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  • by grub (11606) * <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:40PM (#8882259) Homepage Journal

    I mailed that link (subscriber) to people at work and some friends. Already the replies have been:

    "Great in theory, but there's a new Friends episode on Thursday. [...]"

    [group reply to above] "Yeah, great...in theory...."

    My sister, who hasn't replied back yet, will undoubtedly mention Trading Spaces or another of those TLC shows. Another friend will complain about missing NASCAR or Monster Garage or whatever...

    How the hell can the kids have a hope at reducing viewing, or dumping TV altogether, when the adults around them come up with excuses to not give up the idiot box for just one damn week?

    • We don't have a TV, but we watch Sunday night TV at my inlaws house...mainly HBO original programs like The Sopranos and Deadwood at the moment.

      So giving up TV for a week isn't really a big deal for us...

      But giving up the internet for a week? That would be hard my friend...
      • Us either. We've got a TV, but all thats hooked up to it is the PS2. I love when the local cable company calls to try and sell us. "Im sorry, we dont watch TV" isnt on their little script. Gets them flubbered every time!
        • by Golias (176380) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:55PM (#8883560)
          Pardon me for threadjacking an early section of the posts, but I see the general trend here is for people to proclaim that TV is, at best, a harmless vice. I would like to take this opportunity to proclaim that I love television.

          Sure, a lot of it is crap, but if you apply Sturgeon's Law, TV holds its own in its obligation to provide 5% non-cruddy content. Setting aside prime-time gems like "Alias" and the ill-fated "Firefly", several of the late-night talk shows (Letterman, Kilborn, and O'Brien) provide relaxing, disposable laugh-filled entertainment on a nightly basis.

          Then there's the wonder of Japanese TV, especially anime, made available at more reasonable priced than ever thanks to the rise of DVD and cable re-broadcasts. "Last Exile" is a science fiction series which shames George Lucas's best work, let alone his recent disappointments.

          So, if anything, I plan on watching even more TV next week, to pick up the slack from those of you who are taking a break.

          • by SurgeonGeneral (212572) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:47PM (#8884383) Journal
            You want to know whats wrong with television?
            Fine.
            Here it is:

            A television screen works by scanning a picture onto a matrix of "dots", and a standard TV has 512 of these dots. At no time is there every a picture displayed on the screen, but rather each dot is sequentially scanned many times per second. The senses are able to correlate that data very quickly and form a picture. This is based on the Gestalt principle, which says that elements that are similar and congruent will be brought together.

            The funny thing is, the way the picture is displayed seems to hypnotize people. Scientific studies have shown that, within about 10 seconds of watching TV, the brain slips out of alpha waves and into beta waves (like you're sleeping). The right half of the brain (the logical half) literally shuts off, and the TV engages the left, emotional half. This basically shortcircuits normal, rational thought, allowing for the television to establish subtle emotional reactions and attach them to whatever they wish, normally a product, maybe a politician, always an ideology.

            In social psychology there is an effect known by the Elaborative Likelihood Model. This states : "persuasion can take either a central or a peripheral route. The central route requirs a person to think critically about the argument ... at issue is the acutal substance of the argument, not its emotinal or superficial appeal. The peripheral route refers to attempts in which the change in the brain is associated with positive stimuli - like a sports star or musician - that actually have nothing to do with the substace."

            Seeing as television naturally turns off the central route, advertisers literally have an interface into your brain. Famous adman Tony Schwartz said the key to advertising on television is striking "the resonant chord", meaning to get you to buy a product, or think about it next time you're shopping, you just have to hit that one key, attach that one emotion, and the sale is made. Adbusters has created a slogan based on this effect : "The product is you". Advertisers basically pay for the opportunity to strike that chord. You're emotions and ideals get really fucked up in the process.

            It can be insidious. Product placement is a very real concern, because as you are in your "relaxing, disposable, laugh-filled" mood when watching Letterman, its very easy to make you think things you normally wouldnt, and have you make associations that are invalid. People like you are the perfect consumer, the perfect pawn, the perfect mark, because you have no idea what you are getting into when you flick on the idiot box.

            I'll leave you with this quote, from a very wise man whose name escapes me at the moment :

            "Be very careful with what you put into your head, because you'll never, ever get it out."

            .
            • by SurgeonGeneral (212572) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:51PM (#8884451) Journal
              By the by, that quote is from "Psychology : The Science of Behavior" by Niel Carlson et. al. which I just so happened to have beside me because of my psych exam this morning.
            • by brysnot (573631) on Friday April 16, 2004 @03:19PM (#8884906) Homepage
              The funny thing is, the way the picture is displayed seems to hypnotize people. Scientific studies have shown that, within about 10 seconds of watching TV, the brain slips out of alpha waves and into beta waves (like you're sleeping).
              You want to know what the funny thing is? About 10 words into your post my brain slipped out of alpha waves and into beta waves.
            • Then why don't I like any of the beers sold advertised during David Letterman's shows? I watch a lot of TV. If there was any truth to your gibberish whatsoever, I would automatically prefer Miller and Budweiser over my favorite mircro-brews... but I think they're shitty.

              It sounds to me like the folks from Adbusters were far more successful at brainwashing you than network TV has been with me.

              The funny thing is, the way the picture is displayed seems to hypnotize people. Scientific studies have shown th

            • So the "alpha state zombie" effect isn't true for say.. a movie, or a play? Your techno-geek explanation sounds nice, but I don't buy it without context. The same " At no time is there every a picture displayed on the screen" thing is true for a computer monitor, do I turn into an zombie when I surf the internet too?

              The thing that's wrong about TV is that people have become too enamored with unreality. People get a very distored picture of the world through TV, and too many assume that it's real. The
              • by SurgeonGeneral (212572) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:28PM (#8886500) Journal
                The same " At no time is there every a picture displayed on the screen" thing is true for a computer monitor, do I turn into an zombie when I surf the internet too?

                The Elaborative Likelihood Model is not limited to television, it can be induced in any environment with any medium. Television just happens to make it very easy.

                If you would like some context for the model, I have posted a reply to another guy that contains some interesting information and gives a very basic understanding of beer commercials. Hmm I'll just quote it :

                The primary goal of the advertising of almost every product is to get you to buy the product. What you are talking about is "differentiation", and that is a more difficult thing to induce in consumers. First and foremost is to make you want the product however. This is often done, as everyone knows, with sex and social hierarchies, portraying, for instance, beer drinking as fun and extroverted. They hit the chord that makes you think of sex, fun and friends, and they do it in a bar setting, focused on people drinking beer. BEER = fun friends and sex. oh by the way, BUDWEISER.
                Hmm.. how many different beers does Anhauser-busch make?? does it really matter whats on the label? Would you even be able to tell in a blind taste test? (no)


                The fact that there is a product in commercials at all is just an excuse to brainwash. It doesnt really matter whats on the label, and if you want to go even further, it doesnt even matter what the product is. The more people buying ANYTHING = more profit for everyone = more GDP = stocks go up etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.

                Corporations are so big and own so many thing you cant help but give the largest ones money. For instance, if you have a thing of Kraft peanut butter in your fridge, you have given your money to Phillap Morris, one of the largest Tobacco companies in the world (and believe me, they know how to use advertising)
      • by h4rm0ny (722443) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:37PM (#8883303) Journal

        A quote from my father:
        This internet thing is killing the art of watching television.

        (I don't have one either).
      • by jokell82 (536447) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:56PM (#8883572) Homepage
        But giving up the internet for a week? That would be hard my friend...

        I used to think so, too. But a few months ago I went without the internet for about 2 weeks. It was great. Sure I didn't have much contact with my friends at other schools, but I did a lot more reading and I was outside a lot more. Granted I was kinda behind on the news, and a few friends thought I had died, but in all it was a good two weeks.

        Of course now I've gone back to being online quite a bit, but going without the Internet isn't as hard as some people might think. (geez, I sound like an addict)
    • by CausticPuppy (82139) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:46PM (#8882381) Homepage
      It just means that the load on slashdot will be higher than average for that week.

      • by JaffaKREE (766802) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:56PM (#8883578)
        I've always been a little confused by the anti-TV sentiment here. Everyone says "there's nothing to watch, all tv is garbage." What about...
        Stargate SG-1
        The Simpsons (sharks or not)
        Malcolm
        Chapelle
        South Park
        24 (Thanks for that 7-week break, fox. Way to ruin the momentum.)
        Enterprise
        Scrubs (funniest show on tv, maybe ever)
        Justice League (never saw it ? try it.)
        Smallville
        Crank Yankers
        Aqua teen hunger force

        That's just the new stuff. Tivo has been picking up plenty of oldschool Sci-fi lately, especially Quantum Leap, Sliders, and Hulk (Bill Bixby). SG1 reruns are on constantly for those who haven't caught on to it yet. There's new Family Guys coming, reruns of that and Futurama on CN. Seinfeld, Simpsons are on constantly. Clone wars just ended, and was pretty interesting.
        So... what's the problem ? Get a tivo if you need to. I don't even have HBO, and half the shows mentioned in this thread as "top quality tv" are on HBO. You've got options.
    • by lazuli42 (219080) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:46PM (#8882387) Homepage Journal
      Ever since I've had my cable modem I've hardly watched television at all.

      For example, this year I have watched television for about 6 hours. About three of that was the Super Bowl (with it's totally lame ads this year, blah), and about three of that was the Academy Awards.

      Last year I probably watched about 20 hours worth of television programming.

      One reason that I don't watch television is because of all the awful advertising. It seems like for every three minutes of programming there are two minutes of commercials.

      • by crow (16139) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:53PM (#8882531) Homepage Journal
        One reason that I don't watch television is because of all the awful advertising. It seems like for every three minutes of programming there are two minutes of commercials.


        I stopped watching commercials several years ago when we got our ReplayTV. Now on those rare occasions when live TV is on, the ads are rather startling. I also find that ads on the radio feel more intrusive now that I don't put up with them on TV.

      • by zymurgy_cat (627260) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:51PM (#8883507) Homepage
        One reason that I don't watch television is because of all the awful advertising. It seems like for every three minutes of programming there are two minutes of commercials.

        One of the best channels on TV is Noggin. From 6 am to 6 pm, it's kids' programming with no commericials. Instead, they have songs, little games, or "mini-shows" between the major programs. (They run advertising the other 12 hours when they're programming for older kids.)

        This, of course, has conditioned my kids to be adverse to advertising. One day, we let my older son stay up to watch some animated show on another channel. Everytime a commericial came on, he kept asking if the show was over. We had to explain what the commericials were. He seemed to become thoroughly unimpressed with the idea of someone interrupting his show with other stuff.

        On a side note, I think Noggin is a great example of how you can make something in TV/cable/satellite that people would actually be willing to pay good money for. The only reason I have my existing level of cable service is because of Noggin. If they didn't have it, I'd have almost nothing beyond the basic/extended package.
    • by Safety Cap (253500) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:48PM (#8882413) Homepage Journal
      "Great in theory, but there's a new (insert banal show title here) episode on Thursday."
      They can always tape/Tivo it.

      Here's the scary thing: the longer you go without watching, the more all the shows REALLY SUCK when you try to start again. I once swore off TV for a month (the second week was the hardest). When the month was over, I found that all the shows were stupid, the laugh-tracks were annoying, and there were no good, original stories. Since then, I pretty much only watch Discovery/History channels with a rare forray into the SciFi channel. When we move in the next few months, I won't be taking cable with me (except the Roadrunner part).

      • Since then, I pretty much only watch Discovery/History channels with a rare forray into the SciFi channel.

        Holy shit ... beware, everyone - not watching T.V. for a month may turn you into a no-life nature nerd like my father.
      • Not watching TV has had the opposite effect on me. I haven't had cable or broadcast in my house for a year now. Whenever I go over to a friend's house, I am completely enthralled by the production value that they can put into every advertisement now.

        OMG!@~! It's TIGER WOODS AGIN!

        Holy crap! That charbroiled quarter pounder looks DELICIOUS!

        I'd say I felt like a kid again, but I was way more jaded when I was a kid.
      • Your point on the laugh track is well taken. I have been tv free for several years and recently watched an episode of "friends" at a hotel. The laugh track was terribly distracting and jumped right out at me. I can't help but think most people watch the whole show and never notice.
      • Here's the scary thing: the longer you go without watching, the more all the shows REALLY SUCK when you try to start again. I once swore off TV for a month (the second week was the hardest). When the month was over, I found that all the shows were stupid, the laugh-tracks were annoying, and there were no good, original stories.

        Its called "waking up" from of the trance you were in.

        I had the same experience when I first went away to college. I would come home after an entire semester of not watching TV

    • by q-the-impaler (708563) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:50PM (#8882455)
      I watch TV typically because my roommate has it on. He's definitely addicted since he got laid off from his IT job. I find myself requiring more interactivity than TV, so I am a computer junkie.

      My girlfriend would argue that she would rather me be a TV junkie, because at least that is something we can do together. She would never think Slashdot was interesting, so you can guess that gaming is out of the question.

      Most people do not want to be free of TV. You have to want to not watch TV and see that your life could be better without it. So, I guess people like us will just have to deal with other people who are not quite as motivated. Temperance is something geeks end up having to learn in order to work with the rest of society.
    • So many slashdotters act like everyone should be on some crusade to stop TV. Just because they aren't entertained by TV means nobody else should be.

      Forget the 20-100+ hours you spend a week in front of computers (especially if you work with them). The entertainment industry is one of the biggest industries in the US (if not the biggest). People get bored, and people want something to do. So what if their little TV shows give them something to look forward to in the evening or on a Saturday afternoon?
      • by wizarddc (105860) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:04PM (#8882745) Homepage Journal
        Because it's not productive or constructive. We (as in /. geeks) aren't saying all television is bad, or even certain shows. We're saying there is so much else to do with your life than sit on the couch. I don't own a tv, simply because I'm never home, between work and school. But I do watch tv. My friends and I will watch South Park and Chapelle's Show, and do it as a social activity. Then those shows are over, we'll generally then go do other things, like play music or sports or anything else really. TV as an activity is OK. TV as a lifestyle is horrible.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Because it's not productive or constructive.

          So what. Hanging out on Slashdot is just about as productive and constructive as watching TV. Shall there be a crusade to stop reading/posting to Slashdot? Why do you even feel it necessary to tell people what to do? Who put you and your anti-TV crusading ilk in charge?
          • Maybe not for you. Whenever I read slashdot, I almost always learn something new or find something interesting from the links in the comments that people make. I find this to be a valuable use of my time. Now, I'm not saying that I don't learn things from TV occsionally, too, but it doesn't happen as often. Even when there are links that flash up on the screen on TV, I have to go into the other room to research them more fully. With the ol' electric Babbage Engine, I'm much more inclined to stop the fl
        • And I'm pretty sure that most people would consider sitting on your ass during all your free time to add skinning capabilities to a calendar that maybe three people use a total waste of time.
      • by pileated (53605) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:07PM (#8882799)
        I think the question is the quality of the entertainment. Spend your life in front of a tv and you'll never know that richer more rewarding types of entertainment, like reading for one, are available.

        I think the idea is to just try it for a week. If you don't like in then go back to tv. But if you're afraid to even try, then tv sounds a wee bit like an addiction:-)

        But who cares really, it's your life. As far as I'm concerned people who encourage you to watch less tv are like people who encouraged you not to smoke 25 years ago. Anyone can take or leave the advice but many people who took it were glad that they did.

        • I think the question is the quality of the entertainment. Spend your life in front of a tv and you'll never know that richer more rewarding types of entertainment, like reading for one, are available.

          I watched Mythbusters last night. I got far more reward from that one hour than from a day or so of reading a Nicholas Sparks novel. Sturgeon's Law applies to books, too...
      • by Dictator For Life (8829) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:19PM (#8883012) Homepage
        People get bored, and people want something to do.

        Incredible. So what exactly did people do before they had television? Did they just not get bored? Or did they have other things to do? Or did they find other ways to entertain themselves?

        Don't you think that addiction to entertainment is harmful? It seems not. Unfortunately, it appears that most of the country agrees with you.

        As for me and my family? We don't own a TV. We gave it up over a decade ago. Frankly, we don't know how TV slaves get anything done, because we still don't have enough time to do the things we want to do.

      • by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:21PM (#8883963) Homepage Journal

        The entertainment industry is one of the biggest industries in the US (if not the biggest)

        Are you sure about that? Compare it to the computer industry. The top US entertainment companies for 2003 made:

        • Vivendi Universal: $61B
        • Time Warner: $40B
        • Walt Disney: $27B
        • Viacom: $27B
        • Comcast: $18B
        • News Corp: $17B

        Total $163B. In comparison, look at the top computer companies:

        • IBM: $89B
        • HP: $73B
        • Dell: $41B
        • Microsoft: $32B
        • EDS: $22B
        • Sun: $11B

        Total $268B, in an industry that has many more small players, so the total industry revenues would be even further apart.

        And even that's nothing compared to a really big industry, like the automotive industry. Ford and GM *each* made more money than the entire entertainment industry. And the oil industry makes the auto industry look small.

        The entertainment industry is big, but it's not nearly as big as people think it is. It has influence that is all out of proportion with its real scale.

        • Listen dude. Get your facts clear. I don't care if the parent made a point or no. I like my TV.

          You think IBM, Microsoft are going to sit and broadcast my Spurs basketball games, Formula1 racing, the WRC rally in New Zealand, Jeff Corwin on Animal Planet??

          You are just taking the big companies into account. There are *thousands* of smaller companies like local news stations, small production companies that contribute or make TV programs. Did you take them into account? No.

          As for the tech companies- you nee
    • by PhoenixFlare (319467) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:55PM (#8882583) Journal
      How the hell can the kids have a hope at reducing viewing, or dumping TV altogether, when the adults around them come up with excuses to not give up the idiot box for just one damn week?

      Yeah, that's a great way to get people to participate - get angry, act annoyed about the shows they watch, and call it the "idiot box".

      I don't think the lack of joy at your requests should be suprising in the least.
    • by identity0 (77976) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:03PM (#8882730) Journal
      How the hell can the kids have a hope at reducing viewing, or dumping TV altogether, when the adults around them come up with excuses to not give up the idiot box for just one damn week?

      Maybe they shouldn't? 99% of TV is crap - they have a higher crap rate than other media, I think - but that 1% that is good is different for different people. Choosing one week to not watch TV is pretty arbitrary, I think.

      The problem with TV is when people get bad viewing habits - that is, watching it without any particular show in mind, letting it control their schedule, or just vegging out in front of it for hours, etc. As long as people aren't doing that, I don't think turning it off is nessecary.

      As an aside, though - I had a blackout last night, with no TV, and more importantly, no internet. I went outside and talked to a group of my neighbors that had gathered, and had a pleasant conversation. It was actually a nice experience getting to know them. I think this is the kind of thing the people at TV Turnoff week are after, but realistically there is no way to force people out short of a blackout. Plus, you can socialize without sacrificing TV, if you wanted to...
    • by globalar (669767) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:11PM (#8882874) Homepage
      If /. was somehow TV-based (I'm stretching, just follow), I would be on a lot more. Better for your mind you say? We can debate that, on /. of course.

      Some people like Friends. I sometimes take a moment to wonder why. Of course, I'm sure they've been wondering what the hell I'm doing reading this website about "news for nerds" all the time. To each his own.

      What's important is that you make the choice, not the companies that run television and that you make the right choice (i.e. don't give up more important things for TV like kids).
    • As a child I watched almost nothing but educational programs. As an adult I continue to watch lots of educational programs.

      You speak of TV as if it's inherently bad. It's not.

      I suppose that as the number of available channels has increased the signal to noise ratio has gotten much worse, but there is still a lot of good programming out there.

      LK
    • Not hopeless... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by artemis67 (93453)
      Just make sure your Tivo is on, and then watch twice as much TV the following week...
  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by iapetus (24050) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:41PM (#8882265) Homepage
    ...is it being televised?
  • by Grant29 (701796) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:41PM (#8882267) Homepage
    According to this previous slashdot article [slashdot.org], we are watching less TV anyway. Especially now that the summer is getting close, TV viewing will drop even more. I guess soon enough somebody will start a National turn off the Internet Surfing week. I could turn off the TV a lot easier than staying off the web.

    --
    Retail Retreat [retailretreat.com]
    • by garcia (6573) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:51PM (#8882484) Homepage
      for the most part, the web is pull content. I am not having content forced down my throat.

      TV watching has no social interaction while actively doing it. At least there ARE places on the Internet that you can be social and actively participate in the content you are seeing (ahem, /.)

      I have wireless net access just about everywhere now. I couldn't live w/o a net connection anymore. I certainly have been able to live w/o TV.

      I guess I am just of a different breed.
  • by garcia (6573) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:41PM (#8882270) Homepage
    I don't watch nearly the amount of TV that everyone else seems to. When I moved to Minnesota in November of 2002 I didn't get cable. Comcast gets enough of my money being that they are the only broadband ISP that is economically feasible... Without watching TV for 80% of my daily free time I have found that:

    1. I enjoy the outside more than ever. I even have become accustomed to Minnesota winters and don't really mind when it is -10 or warmer.

    2. I have a lot more free time to keep my apartment clean, cook better and more interesting dinners, and enjoy the company of REAL PEOPLE. Remember, Fahrenheit 451 is getting closer and closer every day with the advent of more and more time/brain sucking material on the TV.

    3. I have found a lot of other interests that I normally wouldn't have. Currently those include reading, geocaching [slashdot.org], and drinking. I think I get more out of those activities than listening to terrible singers make terrible renditions of terrible songs.

    4. I have $50/month more to spend on other things that I enjoy to do (i.e. food, drinking, girlfriend, etc).

    5. The knowledge that I am not wasting away, in my apartment, for five hours a night being fed with push content by large conglomerates that have only the size of their pockets to worry about.

    As I have mentioned before, my favorite part of TV is that the government has mandated (with our tax dollars) HDTV to be used. Forcing it to be placed into sets in the future so that we can all double pay for it. Now they realize that we are all fat because we sit on our dead, dying, asses and watch TV. So get out and do something but make sure you pay more taxes to support better TV signals!

    I am looking forward to advocating that others I know do this. Perhaps, if we try, we can get rid of the Reality TV non-sense and promote a healthier lifestyle (physically, mentally, and socially). It's unlikely but at least we can try.
  • by greenskyx (609089) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:42PM (#8882281)
    if I just Tivo everything this week and watch it all next week?
    • by tverbeek (457094) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:51PM (#8882496) Homepage
      if I just Tivo everything this week and watch it all next week?

      At the risk of being serious... why not? Part of the point is to spend a week doing things other than watching TV, as a learning experience. Coming back the next week and watching twice as much to make up for it might undo some of the good that accomplishes, but you'd still have that week's experience to draw upon.

    • TIVO (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hoggoth (414195)
      I've found that since I got my TIVO my TV watching has declined enormously. I used to plan my schedule so that I'd be home in front of the TV for the three or so shows I liked to watch. Invariably I'd end up watching something before and after "my" shows, and start following those shows as well, even if they weren't that good.
      Now with TIVO, TV is not a part of my schedule anymore. I only watch TV for exactly three hours a week, and each of those hours take up 40 minutes real-time (no commercials).
  • Question (Score:5, Funny)

    by Linux-based-robots (660980) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:42PM (#8882294) Journal
    Does this include watching episodes of the Simpsons I downloaded off BitTorrent?
  • by dmorin (25609) <dmorin&gmail,com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:42PM (#8882305) Homepage Journal
    Among the many benefits claimed by tvturnoff.org is that 90% of the people who participate in a TV Turnoff Week successfully reduce the amount of television they watch permanently."

    And 100% successfully reduce the amount of tv they watch that week.

    :)

    • 90% of the people who participate in a TV Turnoff Week successfully reduce the amount of television they watch permanently.
      ...
      And 100% successfully reduce the amount of tv they watch that week.

      Actually, 100% of the people who participate in a TV Turnoff Week will reduce the amount of television they watch permanently. This is just simple subtraction, here. Take whatever would be the amount of total television hours one would watch under normal viewing habits, then shut off your TV for any time duri
  • by WestieDog (592175) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:43PM (#8882314) Homepage
    Do I have to stop tivoing too? It' would be more like "national watch it next week" ... week.
  • I did it already. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:43PM (#8882336) Homepage
    I did and started saving $80 dollars a month in cable bills too. Didn't miss it a bit, thanks to Netflix.

    Then about 8 months ago I moved in with my girl and now we have a Tivo-like cable box, now I still watch very little TV but I watch what I want, when I want. Very liberating and very cool. By the way, HBO and Cinemax On-Demand kick ass, if you know what I mean.

  • by jetkust (596906) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:44PM (#8882346)
    The More Reading, Less TV (MRLTV) classroom program motivates school children to put down their remote controls and pick up books.

    In other words, stop watching Discovery Channel, read a Hustler instead.
  • by squarooticus (5092) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:44PM (#8882351) Homepage
    This sounds like another correlation vs. causality fallacy: is it not at least as likely that those who are willing to turn off their TV sets for a week are likely to be those who have already gotten sick of TV? Why the addiction implication?
  • by Maestro4k (707634) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:46PM (#8882376) Journal
    Seriously, both literally and emotionally, there's so much utter crap on TV, and it seems to continue to only get worse. Hell, even Sci-Fi's gotten into the craptastic reality TV stuff now with their Mad, Mad, House. I happenned to see the first part of one episode (I was at the ER and the TV was set to Sci-Fi). I think they actually managed to set a record for most stupid, disgusting, pathetic reality-tv program.

    In any case I tend to play video games more than I watch TV on my TV. I also watch a lot of anime DVDs. When I do watch TV I generally watch channels like Discovery, TLC, HGTV, History Channel, Animal Planet & Discovery Health. There's just not enough stuff worth watching on TV to justify being a couch potato, at least IMHO.

  • Better yet... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dynastar454 (174232) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:46PM (#8882378) Homepage Journal
    Just get rid of the TV. I've been TV-less for a few years now, and I really don't miss it. I get all my news on-line, I can watch DVDs on my fairly-large computer screen, and all the quality TV series come out on DVD these days, so for those (very few) shows I can pick them up too. Who needs a TV?
  • by prescot6 (731593) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:46PM (#8882383)

    I can turn off the TV whenenver I want.

    Maybe later...

  • Family (Score:3, Funny)

    by strike2867 (658030) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:46PM (#8882388)
    But what will we do when an annoying family member tries to talk to us?
  • Seriously (Score:4, Insightful)

    by caomania (579403) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:47PM (#8882403)
    Give it a try - you may never turn back. I stopped watching 2 years ago when my free cable got shut-off. Haven't watched more than 12 hours since. With the TV off you'll find lots of additional free time to indulge in more worthwhile pursuits. TV was the opium of the 80s it's time to kick the habit.
  • by towerdave (739384) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:47PM (#8882412) Homepage
    Wooohooo!!!!!

    More TV for me!!!

    TowerDave
  • Stupid (Score:5, Funny)

    by USAPatriot (730422) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:50PM (#8882466) Homepage
    This whole campaign rests on the assumption that there is something bad or wrong with watching a lot of TV. I say that watching as much TV as you want is perfectly fine.

    It's not just entertainment that you'll be missing out on if you participate in thie 'Blackout'. Lots of news, current events, sports, and informational programs will be lost due to this turnoff. Do these organizers realize that? Yes, you can read newspapers to get by, but having moving pictures in your home is one of the greatest inventions of all time. Why would you want to abstain from it for some enlightend purpose?

    These people just need to get a life. It's just like that don't-buy-anything blackout. Some people don't like the choices others make, and try to bust your chops to be like them.

    • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Funny)

      by tverbeek (457094) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:03PM (#8882724) Homepage
      Lots of news, current events, sports, and informational programs will be lost due to this turnoff. Do these organizers realize that? Yes, you can read newspapers to get by,

      Someone please mod this funny.

    • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WuphonsReach (684551) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:23PM (#8883089)
      This whole campaign rests on the assumption that there is something bad or wrong with watching a lot of TV. I say that watching as much TV as you want is perfectly fine.

      You're missing the point.

      The point of National TV Turn Off week is to break the behavoir pattern where all you do when you come home is flop on the couch and turn on the TV for the entire evening and watch whatever happens to be on. Pure escapism, especially if you're not addressing other pressing needs. Some escapism is okay, probably even healthy, but too much avoiding of issues just leaves problems to fester and make things worse down the road.

      Then there are the people who schedule their lives around shows, making themselves slaves of the TV schedule. Remember the slogans "must-see TV" and the like?

      Same old story as a bunch of other vices. Moderation is okay, addiction isn't. But a lot of people live in denial about their addictions and trying to go cold-turkey for a weeks is a good way to determine whether you're in control or your addiction is in control.
    • by Valdrax (32670) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:02PM (#8883679)
      Yes, you can read newspapers to get by, but having moving pictures in your home is one of the greatest inventions of all time. Why would you want to abstain from it for some enlightend purpose?

      I will leave you with a quote from Howard Beale, an overstressed news anchor turned mad street prophet, from the movie "Network":
      You people and sixty-two million other Americans are listening to me right now. Because less than three percent of you people read books. Because less than fifteen percent of you read newspapers. Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube. This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break Presidents, Popes, Prime Ministers. This tube is the most awesome, god-damned force in the whole godless world. And woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people [...movie plot stuff snipped...] And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome, god-damned propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what s--t will be peddled for truth on this network.


      So, you listen to me! Listen to me! Television is not the truth. Television is a god-damned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, story tellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business. So if you want the truth, go to your God, go to your gurus, go to yourselves because that's the only place you're ever gonna find any real truth. But man, you're never gonna get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you want to hear. We lie like hell! We'll tell you that Kojack always gets the killer, and nobody ever gets cancer in Archie Bunker's house. And no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry. Just look at your watch - at the end of the hour, he's gonna win. We'll tell you any s--t you want to hear. We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds - we're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube.

      This is mass madness. You maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion. So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off!
      Network is simply one of the best movies ever made about TV and the News. I highly recommend it. Despite 70s dress and equipment, it manages not to be dated. All the issues it deals with are still relevant, from how sensationalism taints objectivity and values to how quickly idealists can sell-out when given the opportunity.
  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:51PM (#8882481)
    I got a 36" Sony XBR and a Tivo and got sucked in. Sopranos, HBO boxing on Saturday nights, started watching the NHL playoffs (last year). I knew it was bad. I knew I was going down the "joe six-pack" road. Started laying off the bike and gym to play a little Xbox and watch a game. It was keeping me from my SANS studies. I knew I needed a plan.

    I saw this article [cnn.com] on CNN last year, and went out and got that stuff. Sold the Sony, sold the integrated tuner/Tivo. Hooked it up to a low cost DirecTV tuner only and dish.

    I started watching TV in a window on my computer. Slowly, I started backgrounding the window, and would IRC, and then code a little, and then slowly, started using it less and less. The software still gave me the Tivo function, so I could take a break and still FF through commercials.

    I highly recommend this approach. Get the fucking big box out of the house. Re-arrange your furniture. Spend the money on a good monitor, 21" or larger, non-plasma. Get the tuner card. Wean yourself off. If you have a family or SO that enjoys "movie night" - do them and yourself a favor. Go to the cinema. Get the hell out of the house.
  • by Vandil X (636030) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:53PM (#8882538)
    Among the people I know and work with, it seems that those who spend lots of time on the Internet (or working/gaming on their computers) spend much less time watching TV than they did 10 years ago (pre-mainstream Internet).

    Among the people who still see computing/the_Internet as an appliance, are the ones still watching TV, an age group whose average age is increasing as more and more youths leave television to embrace the Internet and Internet-connected devices.

    Personally, the only time I watch TV now is the few minutes it takes in the morning to catch the weather on the news.

    Coffee, weather, Slashdot.
  • by 4of12 (97621) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:55PM (#8882567) Homepage Journal

    TiVo is your friend here, just like Nicorettes!

    Instead of completely shutting off the tube for a week - just don't view anything for a week!

    Leave the TiVo to grab those shows you actively choose to watch at a later time of your own choosing rather than the broadcasters'.

    Watching less TV will decrease the stress in your life and that anxious feeling that there is never enough time.

    Spend time talking to friends and relatives, reading classic books and in-depth analysis of current events, gardening, cooking from raw ingredients, or quiet time walking through natural settings.

    You'll feel a lot less like an electrified monkey in a Skinner's box and much more like a human being.

  • by SolemnDragon (593956) * <solemndragonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:55PM (#8882571) Homepage Journal
    By Bill Watterson:

    Calvin: : It says here, "Religion is the opiate of the masses."...What do you suppose that means?
    TV: ...It means Karl Marx hadn't seen anything yet...
  • Residence (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gregmac (629064) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:56PM (#8882586) Homepage
    I found after 1st year university, I watched way less television. I didn't have one in my room (the people who did could only get maybe 1 channel with rabbit ears - no cable). The only way to watch was to go to the TV room on the floor, and we really didn't do that much.

    After I moved back home, I just didn't watch that much TV anymore, because I was used to not watching.

    Of course, my watching of movies went up dramatically, but what can you do.
  • by superultra (670002) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:58PM (#8882629) Homepage
    From Erik of oldmanmurray (may it RIP):
    "People who don't watch TV love to mention it and never fail to pair that statement with the fact that they read books too. But as long as they're patting themselves on the back for simply not doing something, it seems to me that there are lots of worse things you could be taking credit for not doing. For instance, next time someone decides to lord over you the fact that he doesn't watch TV, go ahead and tell him "Good for you!" Then while everyone around you is reflecting on his massive intellect, up the awful-things-you-don't-do ante by mentioning that you don't rape people and then add that you watch lots of television instead. Not only does that make you a better person - after all what kind of psychotic jerkoff wastes his time not watching TV when he could be busy not commiting violent sex crimes? - but it gives you sort of an air of barely suppressed operatic rage, which makes you more like Batman."

    linkified [216.239.39.104].
  • by Selecter (677480) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:02PM (#8882706)
    I have been TV free for about 5 years. The first thing I noticed when I quit was how much other people base their lives and personalitys around what they see on TV. It's really amazing. I cant get thru one day at work without someone parroting some viewpoint not of their own making becuase some show said something about a topic.

    The side effect is that I dont live in quite the same world as everyone else, and I am totally not influenced by televised events, so I often do not have the same reaction to things as my co-workers. I never saw the images from 9/11 until weeks afterward. Life was the same for me, before and after, but everyone else around me adopted new postures on life. It was wild. Nothing in their life had changed either, but they went mental. The iraq war did more to change actual life instead of virtual life, becuase some of them have kids over there. Thats reality.

    This reality TV, this Trump thing going on - it has precious little impact on me. I know it's going on but I dont watch it, I dont see the ads, the companies paying for that ad time dont get me.

    I hate TV becuase I consider it to be a tool of government and corporate control and I dont want to be affected. So I dont have a TV in my house and I dont watch. I live a different life becuase of that and my choice I've made.

    • I'm in the same scenario but for different reasons. I can't afford a TV. Sure, I can fork out money to buy one with my credit card, but I choose not to. I don't earn much at all, and every dollar I spend, I try to spend it on something worthwhile. The TV is the absolute last thing on my shopping list.
    • I can echo a lot of the same. I turned off the TV when my son was born in 1991. One of the last things I watched was the opening salvo of the first Iraq war, on CNN.

      It's true what you say about not living in quite the same world as others around you. There are many cultural references which have their basis in TV shows and commercials, and people act strangely when I mention I have no idea what they are talking about. And I occasionally miss out on such gems as the (Honda?) commercial with the Rube Gold

  • Why? (Score:4, Funny)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:02PM (#8882707) Homepage
    Dear Rabid TV Advocates:

    On second thought, keep on watching. Watch to your heart's content. The bike paths are already crowded enough, and I shudder to imagine what some of your kind would talk about around the water cooler if it weren't for "Survivor".

    What nobody seems to realize is that the world needs mindless drones--lots and lots of mindless drones. I don't want a deluge of sensible, enlightened, productive non-TV watchers. For one, it'll wreak havoc with my sense of superiority. What's more, it'll mean that I'll face stiffer competition both in the workplace and in my pastimes as more and more people wake up and become thoughtful, productive individuals. What, you think I want more competition for that promotion?

    If you stop watching TV, you won't be able to roll your eyes at me and my freakish, elitist, hippie lifestyle. Similarly, I'll be unable to fire off snide insults about your sedentary, mindless lifestyle. Why ruin the fun for both of us?

    I encourage you to watch as much TV as you want, and to share that time in front of the tube with your children, as well. You'll be happier, I'll be happier, and everything will work out wonderfully.

    Hugs 'n' kisses, AAiP

    (hint: tongu_ in ch__k. Buy a vowel...)

  • by heironymouscoward (683461) <<heironymouscoward> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:04PM (#8882754) Journal
    ... turning off your TV?

    I cancelled my TV subscription when I moved house about 4 years ago, and have resisted getting a TV in ouir new home. My wife took about 3 months to adapt, but survived. I rediscovered my evenings.

    TV is very close to a drug. I guess it provides many people with a virtual social exposure with no interaction: sitting still, getting bombarded with faces and voices is kind of bizarre when you think of it. Since program makers can't increase the amount consumed (limited hours in a day), they increase the dose by making TV ever more intense.

    Turning of my TV was hard, very much like stopping drinking coffee or alcohol, but worthwhile for me.
  • by mabu (178417) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:11PM (#8882876)
    For those that participate and manage to deprive themselves of their precious idiot box programming, let me bring you up to speed on what you'll be missing:

    * Soaps: Wife secretly sleeps with husband's brother who's being blackmailed by their chauffer who is actually a ... DID YOU KNOW NORTHERN BATH TISSUE IS THE SOFTEST?

    * Talk Shows: All this week: Crack Whore Makeovers on Jenny Jones, plus a special appearance by... AMAZING NEW WEIGHT LOSS PILL!

    * Survivor: This week contestants swim through shark-infested waters with dead fish in their mouths; winner receives one sock and... TRY NEW CREST CHEESECAKE-FLAVORED TOOTHPASTE!

    * Saturday Night Live: Woman with nice boobs hosts; cast members create skits so they can cop a feel; musical guest... THE NEW NISSAN XTERRA HAS A V8 AND FIVE (YES FIVE) CUPHOLDERS!

    * News: War going bad; war going good; one guy says other guy will tax everyone into poor house; some dude in Peoria is suing Wal-Mart for $5B for... ISN'T IT TIME YOU TRIED VIAGRA?

    * American Chopper: Paul Sr. continues to abuse Paul Jr.; Mikey explodes after all-night twinkie binge; OCC scapes the bottom of the barrel looking for politically-correct bike themes with their new chopper commemmorating the lawyers who set up the 911 Red Cross fund. Special appearance by... HALLIBURTON.. SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS.

    * Monster House: Team of dysfunctional contractors install a 12' bong and jacuzzi filled with Patchoulli in new "Hippie House"; owners are stunned when they peek in and discover... CHEVY, AMERICA'S TRUCK

    * Talk Shows: Jay Leno's special guest: Billy Bob Thorton; tonite on Conan: Billy Bob Thorton; tonite on Late Night: Billy Bob Thorton. Check out Billy Bob's new movie about... HIENEKEN BEER - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BEER
  • Oh no... (Score:5, Funny)

    by arvindn (542080) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:12PM (#8882884) Homepage Journal
    CHAPEL HILL, NC--Area resident Jonathan Green does not own a television, a fact he repeatedly points out to friends, family, and coworkers--as well as to his mailman, neighborhood convenience-store clerks, and the man who cleans the hallways in his apartment building.

    "I, personally, would rather spend my time doing something useful than watch television," Green told a random woman Monday at the Suds 'N' Duds Laundromat, noticing the establishment's wall-mounted TV. "I don't even own one."

    According to Melinda Elkins, a coworker of Green's at The Frame Job, a Chapel Hill picture-frame shop, Green steers the conversation toward television whenever possible, just so he can mention not owning one.

    "A few days ago, [store manager] Annette [Haig] was saying her new contacts were bothering her," Elkins said. "The second she said that, I knew Jonathan would pounce. He was like, 'I didn't know you had contacts, Annette. Are your eyes bad? That a shame. I'm really lucky to have almost perfect vision. I'm guessing it's because I don't watch TV. In fact, I don't even own one."

    According to Elkins, "idiot box" is Green's favorite derogatory term for television.

    "He uses that one a lot," she said. "But he's got other ones, too, like 'boob tube' and 'electronic babysitter.'"

    Elkins said Green always makes sure to read the copies of Entertainment Weekly and People lying around the shop's break room, "just so he can point out all the stars and shows he's never heard of."

    "Last week, in one of the magazines, there was a picture of Calista Flockhart," Elkins said, "and Jonathan announced, 'I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. Calista who? Am I supposed to have heard of her? I'm sorry, but I haven't.'"

    Tony Gerela, who lives in the apartment directly below Green's and occasionally chats with the 37-year-old by the mailboxes, is well aware of his neighbor's disdain for television.

    "About a week after I met him, we were talking, and I made some kind of Simpsons reference," Gerela said. "He asked me what I was talking about, and when I told him it was from a TV show, he just went off, saying how the last show he watched was some episode of Cheers, and even then, he could only watch for about two minutes before having to shut it off because it insulted his intelligence so terribly."

    Added Gerela: "Once, I made the mistake of saying I saw something on the news, and he started in with, 'Saw the news? I don't know about you, but I read the news."

    Green has lived without television since 1989, when his then-girlfriend moved out and took her set with her.

    "When Claudia went, the TV went with her," Green said. "But instead of just going out and buying another one--which I certainly could have afforded, that wasn't the issue--I decided to stand up to the glass teat."

    "I'm not an elitist," Green said. "It's just that I'd much rather sculpt or write in my journal or read Proust than sit there passively staring at some phosphorescent screen."

    "If I need a fix of passive audio-visual stimulation, I'll go to catch a Bergman or Truffaut film down at the university," Green said. "I certainly wouldn't waste my time watching the so-called Learning Channel or, God forbid, any of the mind sewage the major networks pump out."

    Continued Green: "People don't realize just how much time their TV-watching habit--or, shall I say, addiction--eats up. Four hours of television a day, over the course of a month, adds up to 120 hours. That's five entire days! Why not spend that time living your own life, instead of watching fictional people live theirs? I can't begin to tell you how happy I am not to own a television."

    Source: http://www.theonion.com/onion3604/doesnt_own_telev ision.html
  • by felonious (636719) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:31PM (#8883207) Journal
    I wish no one watched tv because I'm sick of "did you see that Seinfeld episode" as relating to any topic during the day. Friends is also used in that capacity as relating to real life. I'm so sick of hearing about the last year of this show. NBC is trying to pull at people's heart strings and equivacate the ending of the show with a life changing event. It's a fucking sitcom, those aren't real people, and if you're saddened by the end of the show then you need to get a fucking life!

    If anything I might have the tv on for the news in the background while I'm doing other things and when I go to bed I put in a dvd to put me to sleep but other than that I don't watch any tv.

    I refuse to watch reality tv because if my life is so boring I have to voyeur in on someone else's life I want to take 50 bullets to the head. TV is such a waste of time. Now being on a computer isn't because at least you're using your brain and you can be doing contructive things like downloading mp3's, movies, programs, and tons of pr0n:) Computers are about freedom and free shit!:D

    I work all day long as an IT guy and I do other work at home but I go to the gym, race sports atv's, play a lot fo other sports, go camping, and just stay busy. If I get into a game way too much I make myself do other things because real life needs to be concentrated on much more than my "virtual" life. It's about priorities and working towards a constructive life.
  • by sharv (71041) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:39PM (#8883334) Homepage
    But but but! I already paid for the NHL hockey package! I've got to find out who wins the Leafs/Senators series! My life depends on it!

    I consider watching CBC and TSN broadcasts of hockey games as positive credit towards learning about another culture. Without these broadcasts, I never would have learned about Don Cherry, Tim Horton's, and Canadian Tire.

    -sharv
  • by Coppit (2441) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:01PM (#8883666) Homepage
    My wife teaches first grade, and says that the kids have zero imagination. Halfway through one of their stories, she realizes that they are just regurgitating a movie or TV show. When she asks them to use their imagination, they think that are...

    One of the students wrote a story about how a new kid moved into the neighborhood named "Legoras".

    That's when we decided our kids will have omish toys--big blocky wooden stuff with wheels. Or maybe Legos. If they want to have fun, they'll have to invent it.
  • Already happened... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gillbates (106458) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:20PM (#8883944) Homepage Journal

    I gave up tv several years ago.

    My Mom, unfortunately, bought me a set for Christmas when I moved into an apartment. I say "unfortunately" because my wife is now addicted to tv, and I can't stand the thing, personally.

    After the Army, everything changed for me. I had been there, done that in a very big way. After college, I became aware of how positively assinine the programming was:

    • I can't watch a news program without wondering how much they've exaggerated, how much they've left out, or if they've made the whole thing up.
    • I can't watch a sitcom without being inundated with someone else's socio-political agenda. Yes, I know gays exist. No, the fact that you're gay does't make you a good actor, nor does it make your story interesting. Everyone has had to overcome something in their life, and you are no different - but just less interesting.
    • I can't watch a "reality" show at all. On the rare occasion when the contestant is smarter than a cardboard box, they still can't act. I'm listening to someone spill their guts about their date, rehashing it like an NFL play-by-play. And then, in some monotone voice, they tell me that they "care about this person, might have feelings for them..." Which makes me think their love for this person is no deeper than a puddle, or they're just trying to pretend they love this person so they go home with the prize money.

    Television really doesn't offer me anything anymore.

  • TV is s a drug... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by taradfong (311185) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @03:58PM (#8885481) Homepage Journal
    Just like sugar, cigarettes and crack. While you're on it, you think all-in-all everything's ok. Sure, you know it'd be better to stop, but heck you deserve to enjoy yourself and you work too hard to take on another 'project'.

    But stop and think about it objectively for a minute. What do you *really* get out of seeing each and every A-Team/Friends/Night Rider/Buffy episode? Doesn't it seem pathetic when you realize most of your cable viewing consists of hours of watching something mildly interesting for 3 minutes, flipping, repeat?

    And let me promise you, if you do stop, the world seems like a different place. You'll actually enjoy TV more when you watch it, say, at a hotel. You'll realize how TV more or less recycles the same storylines and junk because after years of not watching, you really won't have missed much.

    The strangest thing is that you'll realize how much you are talked down to by commercials and the news. Wonder why people in classic movies talk with sophistication while adults today sound like junior high dropouts of the past? It's because we rise or lower ourselves to our environment, and TV has become in a twisted way our primary interface to reality.

    Don't even get me started if you have kids...unless you want them to turn out to be just like all the other illiterate, overweight, short attention span, "can't compete with Indian kids after $80k of eduction but knows every Simpson's/Sponge Bob episode by heart" losers.

    So...do what I do. No broadcast TV. No cable. Take it out of your house. Like a drug, the only way to really kick it is to quit completely and keep it out of sight. Don't even connect the antenna. There are plenty of Movies and DVDs to keep you occupied.

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