My television won’t turn on. Either this is part of a conspiracy by the booksellers of America to get me to buy more paperbacks, or Philips electronics manufactured a faulty power regulator thing-a-ma-bobby-gig. A couple weeks ago I ditched my clunky, cathode-ray TV at Goodwill because, ironically enough, it wouldn’t turn off. If I could merge these two devices, perhaps I’d get a TV that functioned properly.
I tried unplugging the TV and then plugging it back in. This worked a few times, but the magic must have run out because all that does now is make me feel slightly dizzy from all the bending over and getting up. I’ve left the TV unplugged for a whole day and then plugged it in again and I still can’t get it to light up. So I called Philips and they’re sending me a new one, which hopefully is not defective.
The strange thing is, the TV broke two weeks ago and I only called Philips yesterday. One would think I’d have the TV DT’s by now, but I’m doing pretty well without it. My 10-year-old self would recoil in horror at the thought of not having a TV, and even my college self insisted on getting cable in my college dorm room. I was very dependent on the device for entertainment as a child, and can still sing you the theme songs to Ducktails, Rescue Rangers, and Tiny Toons. These days I don’t watch that much TV, and the shows I do watch are available to see on my computer, so the lack of an actual TV has less of an impact on me. Broadband Internet provides enough distractions that weren’t available when I was a child.
The only thing I really miss is being able to wake up on Sunday morning, make a cup of coffee and watch CBS Sunday Morning on the couch. The main advantage of my TV over my computer is that I can watch it on the sofa. That’s about it. If I could rig up a way to use my computer monitor in both my office and my living room, I could save myself a couple hundred bucks on an extra screen.
I also miss watching the nightly news, further proof that I am becoming an old, old woman. When I was a kid I would get angry when my parents insisted on watching the news, and now I find it oddly comforting to hear Charlie Gibson tell me what’s going on in the world today.
That said, I don’t think I’m superior to anyone else for not watching much TV. People who turn up their noses at the tube are just snobs. Just like any medium, there’s some really great stuff and a lot of junk. You have to sort through it to find what you like. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with watching lots of stupid, junk TV if that’s what you like. There’s nothing wrong with tuning out the world for awhile. Just like anything, do it in moderation and be aware of its impact on your life, for better or worse.
I’ll be happy when I get my TV back. It might not turn me on as much as it used to, but hopefully it will simply turn on.