Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Lose Your Mind Without Really Trying

"You never watch TV anymore. Don't you know if you don't watch TV you'll lose your mind? Your brain will just go blank if you just sit doing nothing."

So said Mom recently to Dad, upon finding him sitting in a chair, a cup of tea in his hands, staring into space, doing, as he said, "nothing".

I've always thought that doing nothing is a good idea, so I'm with Dad on this. 

Of course, Dad still watches some television, just not as much as before. When he does watch, though, especially later in the evening, the result is often the same as doing nothing, for he falls asleep.

He likes to read, though, and always has at least a couple of books going at the same time. To me, that's a much better use of one's mind than letting your brain suck at the glass teat. Besides, Dad doesn't like a lot of what some consider the vulgarity of current TV shows.

Last night, on Directv, I caught a few minutes of something called Shop Erotic, which is basically just a shopping channel for sex toys. I'm not sure what Dad would think of that (or thinks of it, if he's come across it during his channel surfing), but I don't think he would consider two women discussing the features of various pleasuring devices a good use of a satellite channel, even if only for an hour or so.

Mom, on the other hand, would just call it disgusting and talk about how times have changed and how you couldn't even say the word pregnant on TV back in the day. Then she'll go back to watching her crime and murder shows.

Mom is so dedicated to television that she'll get irritated if the kitchen TV isn't on when she's preparing a meal.

As for myself, I do love the medium of television, especially digital cable with a DVR (which I unfortunately don't have at the present) but even when I am watching something I like, I still find myself dipping into one of the many fiction and non-fiction books I'm reading at a given time.

But back to the subject of doing nothing. I've often wondered what people have against it. I dislike the inactive brain, the brain that needs constant outside stimuli, the brain so unhappy with itself that it can't stand it's own company and must seek assorted excitements to keep from falling into total boredom. I'm content just to watch some ants, or look out the window at the passing cars, the leaves blowing in the breeze, the strange old woman sitting on the front lawn with a rosary in her hands. Hey, what is that old woman up to? Who is she? Oh, never mind, she's leaving, just out for a walk, I guess.

Yes, I think I could still be very happy without TV. Just don't dare take away my internet.

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