Tuesday, June 06, 2006

TV is your friend... you love TV...

I completely agree with The Smallholder about the insidiousness of TV. I finally broke down last year and got cable, and then built myself a TiVO clone, at which point I found out that there is just too darn much TV I will watch out there. And a surprisingly high proportion of it is good. Given the choice, I will watch:

  1. Any show where somebody builds something:

    1. Motorcycle-building shows

    2. House-building shows

    3. Major engineering project documentaries

    4. Monster Garage. Because damn. Seriously.

  2. Any show involving power tools. especially if women are wielding them. This overlaps category A) above, but also includes:

    1. Home remodeling shows

    2. Home decorating shows

  3. Any show which features large, heavy equipment requiring more gallons of gasoline per minute than my car uses in an entire year.

  4. Any show where the cast could conceivably die.

  5. Mythbusters

  6. Almost anything animated, especially:

    1. Avatar, the Last Airbender

    2. Foster's home for imaginary friends

    3. Codename: Kids Next Door

    4. (God help me) American Dragon: Jake Long

    5. Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex

This is the problem: there is way too much good stuff on TV now, and there is even more stuff I want to watch, and further more that I will watch anyway. I found that trying to do so meant only that I got nothing done that I actually wanted to do-- learning woodworking and cabinetmaking, for instance, or practising music, or learning to operate the ridiculously expensive home recording equipment I bought a few years back. In other words, I was sacrificing my life, just so I could watch TV.

As a consequence, in my new house, we are not only not getting cable, or satellite, or HDTV (except perhaps in display-only mode), we are actively eschewing TV as anything other than a DVD playback mechanism. As my fiancee and I both have Netflix, that's a great rate-limiter-- we can never have more than 3 DVDs at a time to watch, so there's a lot of time that we can both use to devote to our hobbies and interests. In other words, to have a life.

Note: I'm not saying TV sucks-- quite the opposite: I'm saying I'm weak. If it's there, I will watch it, so the only alternative that gives me any chance at life is to not allow it there, or to severely restrict it. This doesn't mean that watching TV is evil; it's just not the choice I'm making.

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