trash vs literature

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Wed Jan 19 14:43:22 EST 2005

Katie said...

> I myself do not watch TV because when I was little my mom made a rule
> about my brothers and I only being allowed to watch the PBS channels,
> which are Barney, Sesame Street, Magic School Bus, Wishbone, etc.
> These were fun but as I got older and the old rule was never revoked I
> eventually turned to reading because it was just more interesting than
> these shows, as well as being transportable to school.  Now that my
> family can finally watch other channels, I have no habit of watching
> TV, and am so absorbed in all of my books that I do not think I could
> change if I tried.

It does seem to some extent to be a habit thing, doesn't it.

I'm another one who grew up without a TV; my parents just weren't (and still
aren't) interested.  Though the "excuse" for years, when people looked blank
and said "but...why?" was "well, my brother has epilepsy and watching TV
makes him have a fit" (which had the advantage of being a perfectly true
statement; it just wasn't the primary reason for the lack of TV).  I used to
watch in my friends' houses, of course, and on visits to my grandparents,
but I never got into the habit of just turning the TV on and looking for
something to watch - and watching almost anything!  My Patrick does this,
because he *was* brought up in the habit of TV-watching (though I hasten to
add that he does have *some* discrimination, and mostly plumps for movies or
old comedy series - with satellite TV, we have plenty of choice just within
those categories!).

But while he's watching "Porridge" or whatever, I'm usually reading or
net-noodling or sewing.  I watch EuroNews with my breakfast, mainly because
it has the time in a corner of the screen.  Other than that, it's almost an
event if I watch *any* television.  It just seems easier to pick up a book.
I also prefer reading because it's more easily interruptible.  If I *am*
watching TV - frex, when Buffy was on - I'm concentrating utterly to make
sure I don't miss anything, and get very cross if people start talking.  If
I'm reading a book, I can just put it down to join in the conversation, and
then pick it up again later.

Sometimes I think I ought to watch more TV, in fact!  Because there are
often interesting programmes on the documentary channels, and ballet on the
Performance channel, and films that I'd like to see on the movie
channels...but the book is always easier. :-)


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