Is TV a force of good or a force of evil?
Here at the beach, for the first time in quite a few years, I’ve got a TV of my own, complete with an extended cable package. (The installation man was either throwing me a bone or snoozing on the job, because we only pay for the basic … little favors.)
I’m watching it right now, in fact. It is noisy and querulous and full of flashes of color and pattern.
For years before this, I prided myself on my wholehearted snubbery of the magical box. I spent my evenings reading and writing and calling up old friends. I baked. I watched sunsets. I got quiet and I thought about the day ahead.
And, I’ll admit, I looked with some disdain upon those who spent their nighttime hours glued to a television screen. Even if it wasn’t fair, even if I was doing the same thing, but with a computer, sometimes. Even if I’d logged 6 hours a day watching TV throughout the bulk of my teenage years and had come out not too much worse the wear for it, and armed to boot with an encyclopedic knowledge of just about every aspect of ‘90s pop culture, which comes in handy at trivia nights. Even if it helped me learn three foreign languages in three foreign countries, even if my little television with its unending stream of English-language television programming was very likely the thing that saved me from total despair when I lived in Korea and shit just totally fell clean apart. But I digress.
Since I moved to Cannon Beach last year and agreed to subscribe to cable TV – you know, just for awhile, just, well, see – we’ve been caught in an on-again, off-again kind of romance, me and this television.
Sometimes I love him. We trade inside jokes and favorite recipes and he anticipates needs so flawlessly it’s like we were just made to be together. Other times, he pukes up endless streams of semantic garbage and after an hour in his company, I want only to smash a paperweight through his leery, pixilated face.
The more I learn, though, the more I become convinced that very few things in this world are truly benevolent or truly destructive. It’s all in the application. That’s where the magic, or the mayhem, really happens. So here’s to everything in moderation. Especially moderation itself.