I was talking with my daughter Melody last week. She will be having a daughter (my first grandkid) in April. She mentioned that she doesn’t have a TV in her new house. “Everything on there is just junk, Dad”. I don’t have a TV either. I have the ability to get TV signals on the desktop computer in the basement (there’s an antenna on the roof), but the last thing that I watched on it was the Super Bowl – and yes, that was an awesome football game. I haven’t seen American Idol, or watched Dancing With the Stars, I don’t know who was voted off of Survivor and I haven’t been treated to the endless parade of talking heads that spoon-feed us their version of the news, twisted to show our government and our country in the worst light possible.
I listen to the radio when I’m at home alone. I hear it in the car, and I read news on the web. I consider myself informed when it comes to current events, but I believe that I’ve broken the TV habit. I’m not sure that that is a good thing. When I was growing up, TV was on three channels. Most everyone watched the same things and the shared experiences became a part of our culture. We all loved Lucy, we grew up with the Brady Bunch, and we watched other TV shows that had some good influences on our culture. We watched Dragnet, with its hokey story lines and listened to Jack Webb’s monotone as Friday and Harry Morgan neatly solved the crime and got the criminals in jail in about 30 minutes. The good guys and the bad guys were easy to spot, and on TV anyway, criminals always were caught and punished. Do you remember the end of Dragnet? Dum da DUM dum. Mug shot of the actor scowling, with a number placard under his chin. Hokey? Sure, but it sent a message.
TV once bound us together as a culture. No more. We can’t trust our news people. Many of them have a visceral and unexplained hatred of our president and his administration. We see the news reported in a twisted way, applauding everything bad, whether it happens on Wall Street or in the streets of Baghdad. Everything is reported as a crisis. What is arguably the best medical system in the world (Where are the world’s new drugs and life saving procedures developed?) is described as unfair and the government is described as the only solution to all of our problems. I don’t watch TV news, but I feel sorry for those who do, as their view of our nation and its future is only described in negatives.
Melody is right, I’m afraid. TV is full of junk, and the opportunities for the shared experiences we once had are lost to cable TV’s 300 available channels, with something different for everyone. We’ve lost something here, and I’m afraid that we’ll never get it back.
Happy Birthday, Drew.
Andrew was nineteen on Thursday. Sometimes he really makes me mad, but he’s a good kid at heart. He’s made some bone-headed decisions in the past, but it seems that he wants to get his life on track. He’s considering joining the Navy. I think that it would be good for him. His posse (he never seems to be without them) is not in favor of the idea, but he seems to be holding out.
Good news from the jeweler. Monica’s ring is done. I have it home and it looks perfect. I’ll add a picture later.
All for now,