Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Don't just watch

If, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we have become a culture of personality, can not the reason for that be placed squarely upon the television set?  It was my own generation that "progressed" from a life of doing to a life of watching; finding solace, companionship, entertainment and release, not in activities like work, play or conversation but rather in watching the fictitious antics of imaginary characters played by actors whose biggest gift is to behave as if they are not being watched.

Is it any wonder that, like the Thermians in Galaxy Quest, we have begun to believe that what the television presents is how life IS; that there are super-human beings who can rescue us from any predicament; that true beauty lies in the falsely enhanced breasts and lips and singing voices of teenaged actresses; that all problems should resolve over the space of half an hour; that reality is a competition which can only ever have one winner; and that natural occurrences like acne and body odor and aging are seriously offensive problems that can easily be solved by purchasing whatever product has paid for the particular shows we've chosen to watch?

I know.  I'm probably preaching to the converted.  You only watch the history channel, and maybe the news -- and Downton Abbey.  But even the news -- oh, don't get me started.  I'm just wondering: how would life be different if we each took even two of the hours during which we normally watch TV (or stare at our computers) and spent them doing something else -- something creative, or productive, or interactive, or reflective, or ...?  I don't know; you choose.  But doing something, not just watching.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Funny you should mention that. I hardly ever watch TV; I am guilty of being on the computer a lot however. I finally purchased two adirondack chairs and put them on the front porch and that is where I sit in the early mornings either reading the paper, a book or just listening to my neighborhood waking up. It is like walking meditation of sorts, only I sit, watch, listen and just be.