August 11, 2006
When I got to grad school, I didn't know the difference between the networks, and I couldn't name a single thing that was on TV. But my roommate got cable. Her family was a TV family. And slowly, she began to teach me the joys of television. I was hooked. I used to walk around pointing out all of the things that I now know about the world because I saw them on TV. It was entertainment plus learning, and I soaked it up like a sponge.
Three years in Germany with a mere 8 channels of AFN was enough to get by on, but since we've been back, I've been feeding my love with a vengeance. What else am I gonna do while I knit teddy bears? (Oh yeah, remember when I said I was burnt out on knitting bears? I lied. I put the stuff away for two hours and then got it all back out. I've made like 5 more since.) Right now, I am completely obsessed with the National Geographic channel. And digital cable DVR. I record programs all the time, and every meal with my husband begins with me telling him everything I learned on TV.
But I have to stop taping the nature shows. I can't take it anymore. Why do they always have to write the narration from the point of view of the prey? Look at me, I'm a helpless sea lion pup, mere weeks old. Oops, I strayed too far from the group and I'm not strong enough to swim back. La di da. Crunch. That's the sound of a great white shark eating the pup whole. It's also the sound of my heart breaking. I've watched elephants killing men, the killer crocs of Uganda, black widow and funnel-web spiders, male dolphins enslaving females and killing their offspring on "Dolphins: The Dark Side", and the Mexican staring frog of Southern Sri Lanka. OK, not that last one. All of these animal shows are really starting to stress me out; I swear anyone who idolizes animals must not really know that much about them. I need to stick to taping shows about escape from Alcatraz and counterfeit money.
Anyway, TV rules. It can be a great learning tool and a source of hours of enjoyment. I also had a roommate who hated TV with a passion and thought that it sucked intelligence away from viewers. Unless of course they were watching a program about Ireland, in which case it was brilliant. For some reason, she had an Ireland fetish, and she even stooped so low as to watch Days of our Lives when they were in "Ireland", i.e. a different backdrop on the set. But no one ever accused her of being reasonable. I agree with Aunt Purl that folks who pretend that they're better than you because they don't watch TV need their chops busted.
A few weeks ago, I made a Kitty Carlisle reference when I was out on a first date. The guy I was with proudly told me that he does not own a television and (insert snotty tone of voice here) had not watched TV in over a year. Looked at me with one eyebrow arched.
Good grief. I mean it's fine if you don't watch TV, in fact I'd probably have a much smaller ass if I myself got out more, but I have about a real short fuse for people puffing up on Holier Than Thou, especially on a first date.
I guess I was supposed to recognize his utter superiority over those of us too weak and shallow to abstain from the TV, but all I just drawled out my best hillbilly accent to inform him, "You know they have them thar TV sets real cheap at The WalMart!"
Needless to say, he was not amused.
Needless to add, it was our first and last date.
P.S. Even though there was no National Geographic channel on AFN, I still learned a lot from TV in Germany:
1. Reading a book can make you a better pilot, especially if you want to be good at what you do.
2. You can't concentrate on raquetball if you're being sexually harrassed.
3. White frat boys who ask you for directions could be terrorists, and you'd never see it coming.
4. Even though OIF rotations are published in Stars and Stripes six months before they happen, you should never ever mention dad's impending deployment on a cell phone or IM.
5. Hamsters can park cars better than most humans in the Amberg parking garage.
Posted by: laurie at August 11, 2006 09:43 AM (no+Sk)
Posted by: Deskmerc at August 11, 2006 10:25 AM (15Nko)
Posted by: Kate at August 16, 2006 11:18 AM (GWukP)
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