Yesterday the Dishman came to install a satellite dish atop the Casa de Evil. After five years of no TV, I am once more connected with you, the writhing, amoeboid mass of water-cooler conversations and wink-wink pop-culture references that is America.
Over the years, I’ve been amused, bemused, and cemused at the reactions I got when I told someone, “No, I didn’t see Sacha Baron Cohen’s stunt at the MTV Movie Awards. I don’t actually have TV.” Said reactions fell into two broad categories:
1. “Yeah, I should really drop it, too. I mean, you’re right, it’s such a waste of time and money, and there’s so much else I should be doing. You know—reading, taking walks. TV really is bad, you’re right.”
(. . . Despite the fact that I neither said nor implied any of these things. At least, I don’t think I did. Maybe there was some subconscious inflection to the old voice, or the suggestive twitch of an eyelid? I’ll never know.)
2. “Oh, you’re one of those.” (Smile and a wink.) “Hippie!”
(. . . As if they had just watched me destroy a TV with a sledgehammer on their front lawn.)
It’s as if TV is something you’re either FOR!!! or AGAINST!!! Like abortion, Notre Dame football, or toe socks.
But I never had any strong feelings either way. As I told people throughout: if at any point I decided I wanted TV, I’d get it. If not, I wouldn’t. And in no way is there any social or philosophical statement behind all this. And now that I’ve got it again, three people have said to me: “Wait, I thought you were against TV?”
(Sure, sure, I gave you TV-having people shit about it. But in the good-natured way you mock someone for wearing holiday-themed socks; they don’t hurt anyone, really, but they are goofy. As opposed to toe socks, which do hurt people. They are an abomination of nature. I will CRUSH you, toe socks.)
How pro-TV am I? Last night, I watched a full quarter of (uggh) preseason football! Top that.