My television fast

Flea

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When I left my college town for my First Real Job in a different state, I left my television behind as an experiment. After a couple weeks of withdrawal I found that it worked wonders for my quality of life. Without the constant exposure to chaos and noise, I was more creative. Without the constant gratuitous violence, I was more grounded and spiritual. I slept better too.

One night I treated myself to a getaway at the Sheraton in a jacuzzi spa. It was fantastic - I ordered champagne and strawberries from room service, and bubbled away to my heart's content. As I curled up under the king-sized canopy, I reached for the TV remote as a novelty. It was a dumb mistake because nothing was on, and after an hour or so of flipping channels I settled in for a sleepless night. It took me a while to figure it out, but I realized that in that hour I had watched nine murders. After that I didn't replace my tv set for about two years.

Last summer I called the number and ordered my coupon for the digital converter box, but when it arrived I always had something better to spend my money on. Once I finally got to it, I found that the coupon was several months expired. I assumed that all I got was the one coupon. Since I didn't want to pay full price for something I'd avoid using anyway, I let the matter go. The other day on a lark I tried ordering again and found that I still have one coupon left to my household, but I won't see it for another week or two.

That's all right. I've been doing a self-inventory lately and I realize that television is a luxury I can't afford. My system is unusually sensitive to input and 95% of television is a supersized Big Mac chased with a crate of twinkies. I'll buy the converter box and put in storage somewhere until I can break the dependency. With any luck, I'll regain that serenity that I enjoyed before.

A few weeks after that night at the Sheraton, I went camping on a lake. I took my picnic dinner out to a fishing pier, and after I finished eating I lay down and rocked gently on the water as the stars came out. You can't package that in an electric box. Back in my tent, I got the best night's sleep of my life. I want that feeling back.
 

nwalker

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Thanks for sharing your story Flea. I like the idea of a self-inventory... oh well on second thought maybe not because I live way beyond my means!!!!!
 
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Flea

Flea

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Thanks for the thanks everyone. After further reflection, I realize the fast I really need is the internet! Sadly, since my job is web-based that's not an option. I suppose I could limit my non-job use though.
 

MA-Caver

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Sometimes I wish society would get hit with a huge EMP when it least expects it and while knowing that within a few days it'll probably have the entire system up and running again, it would be nice to teach society that it DOES NOT need all that crap it's been bombarded with on a daily/hourly basis. Also to learn that we CAN survive without (electronic based) technology like our forefathers did when they were developing our (respective) countries... I'm including the folks on the other side of the pond.
Sigh, wishful thinking.
%think%
Some would say I'm addicted to the internet and probably I am but I've grown bored with much of it (not MT ... obviously :uhyeah: ) and would rather be out-n-about doing SOMETHING physical; like caving or hiking or SOMETHING! Heck even some yard-work (if there were any to do around the house) would be good. :banghead:

I've stop watching television voluntarily because :disgust: I've grown sick of the subliminal message that everyone is inadequate because they haven't purchased THIS or THAT or don't drive this car or truck, or you don't buy this new Billy Mayes product or feed your kids this cereal or use this air-freshener, or have this nice home or these nice things or they're not famous/pretty/sexy/crazy/interesting enough to have their own reality show on tv or... AHHHHHH!!!!! SHUT UP WILL YOU!!! :cuss:


So this I say to advertising, television and things that make us go duhh what's on next? :bird:

A LOT of us I think can benefit from Flea's example.

BTW you did the Sheraton hotel, hot-tub, champagne and strawberry thing... ALONE??
I can see camping alone and all that but umm.. champagne and strawberries need to be shared with someone special ya know?
 
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Flea

Flea

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BTW you did the Sheraton hotel, hot-tub, champagne and strawberry thing... ALONE??

I did. I was brand new in a different region of the country, and didn't really know anyone yet. That's not the sort of thing one does with a casual acquaintance.

champagne and strawberries need to be shared with someone special ya know?

But ... I'm special. :boing2:

And not in the euphemistic sense either, punk. :lfao:
 
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Flea

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Hm, maybe I should keep a diary of all the non-TV things I do each day.

Yesterday, I went out for an extravagant breakfast with my friend. A nap, and then a long quality-walk with my dog through a historic neighborhood. Man, those people take their gardens seriously! In the evening, I dusted off one of my favorite books.

Today I hope to go to a u-pick farm for strawberries, if a friend is game. If so, I plan to go for the whole package - the country restaurant, the petting zoo, everything. Why not? Otherwise I may hit the library. It's no petting zoo, but it's air-conditioned.

Other suggestions are welcome.
 
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Flea

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http://tinyurl.com/netptq

According to the report, staring blankly at luminescent rectangles is an increasingly central part of modern life. At work, special information rectangles help men and women silently complete any number of business-related tasks, while entertainment rectangleslarger and louder and often placed inside the homeallow Americans to enter a relaxing trance-like state after a long day of rectangle-gazing. [...] "We discovered in almost all cases that Americans find it enjoyable and rewarding to put their faces in front of glowing rectangles for hours on end," said Howard West, a prominent sociologist on the Stanford team. "Furthermore, when citizens are not staring slack-jawed at these mesmerizing shapes, many appear to become lost, confused, and unsure of what they should be doing to occupy themselves."
This is why I call the Onion the best newspaper in the country. :lol: (They were also the only paper to call the 2000 election correctly, and they did it before the polls even closed!) I plan to spend to today getting personal with my rectangular bread machine and its jam setting after picking all those strawberries yesterday.

By the way, anyone is welcome to join me on this fast. As isolating as television can be, I think breaking away from it should be a social venture.
 

Tez3

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There's some programmes I really wouldn't want to be without, they've actually enriched life not detracted from it. A lot of these tend to be ones by David Attenborough, his Life series is spectacular. The Blue Planet and Planet Earth I'd recommend you buy the DVDs ( with his commentary not the American one)
I love sport on TV, we have excellent horse racing coverage plus cricket, rugby, snooker, cycling, athletics etc all on the terrestial channels ( I don't have satellite TV). We have some very good drama series too such as adaptations of Jane Austen, Dickens, Trollope etc.
Watched with discrimination I enjoy my television I must admit!

I'm sat watching Royal Ascot at the moment on BBC1

http://www.ascot.co.uk/royal/royal09.html
 

Stac3y

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TV usually depresses me. I watch very little, and it's still too much.

And the Onion IS without peer among newspapers.
 

Live True

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REcently I noticed how much my 8 month old is bombarded with tv. The nanny has it on almost constantly and Daddy watches it as detox time when he gets home. As a rule, I don't watch a lot of tv as I have so many other things to do (training, garden, cooking, weaving, herbals, etc.), but there are a few shows I can do marathon junkets of......

But when my daughter, my tiny child is more interested in teh flickering colours on the tv than playing or talking to mom and dad.....

i used to have it on kids shows in the morning....now we sit and talk during her morning bottle....I like this time. She'll grow up so fast, and she is WAY to young to be addicted to the boob tube!

Perhaps hubby and I can learn something too, eh?
 

Xue Sheng

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For the most part the only TV I watch is what my youngest watches and since she is getting sick of TV I don't watch much lately, we go outside and play.
 
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Flea

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Several years ago a friend of mine told me a story about his daughter. The parents were extremely careful to expose her to absolutely zero television. They didn't own one themselves, and all their friends were very cooperative about having their sets turned off during visits.

It didn't work. One day at a friend's house the adults were talking as the little girl milled around. Everyone was flabbergasted to see her instinctively walk up to the set, turn it on, and sit down in front of it.

As for me, I have no problem with shows that are literate and uplifting, and that includes childrens' shows. "Between the Lions" on PBS is fabulous. The Ghost Whisperer is okay too. I know there is some good quality programming on cable, like the National Geographic channel, but I don't have that. I'm not bashing all television, I just want to disengage for a while. Coming up for air, as it were.
 
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Xue Sheng

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Several years ago a friend of mine told me a story about his daughter. The parents were extremely careful to expose her to absolutely zero television. They didn't own one themselves, and all their friends were very cooperative about having their sets turned off during visits.

It didn't work. One day at a friend's house the adults were talking as the little girl milled around. Everyone was flabbergasted to see her instinctively walk up to the set, turn it on, and sit down in
front of it.

As for me, I have no problem with shows that are literate and uplifting, and that includes childrens' shows. "Between the Lions" on PBS is fabulous. The Ghost Whisperer is okay too. I know there is some good quality programming on cable, like the National Geographic channel, but I don't have that. I'm not bashing all television, I just want to disengage for a while. Coming up for air, as it were.

Noggin
icon14.gif
that is pretty much all she watches.

I have seen my youngest walk by the TV and ignore it completely but if some thing new is on... she stops and focuses on it intensely for the half hour it is on. She also, on occasion, goes for DVDs (generally for children). But last week she watched Kung Fu Panda....oh...and so did I :D
 

Tez3

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Noggin
icon14.gif
that is pretty much all she watches.

I have seen my youngest walk by the TV and ignore it completely but if some thing new is on... she stops and focuses on it intensely for the half hour it is on. She also, on occasion, goes for DVDs (generally for children). But last week she watched Kung Fu Panda....oh...and so did I :D

when you say Noggin I don't suppose you mean this do you? I love this with a passion as well as Bagpuss and Ivor the Engine, I'll sit and watch them now as an adult.

http://video.google.co.uk/videosear...&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=8&ct=title#
 

Tez3

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A blank green screen?

Some of my favourite programmes, try them on your children, none of them talk down to children and use proepr descriptive language!




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxetEIgfrdg&feature=related

And this, it has cult status and incidentally the chap who wrote and narrates it is Emma Thompson the actress' father. I swear the whole of the RAF closed down when this was one just before the evening news every weekday evening, oh bliss!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3DcChXNyYQ&feature=related
 
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Bruno@MT

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Thanks for the thanks everyone. After further reflection, I realize the fast I really need is the internet! Sadly, since my job is web-based that's not an option. I suppose I could limit my non-job use though.

Haha so true. I can easily go without tv, though I like watching series like House M.D., Boston Legal, The mentalist, etc. Going without the internet however.... :(

Sometimes I wish society would get hit with a huge EMP when it least expects it and while knowing that within a few days it'll probably have the entire system up and running again, it would be nice to teach society that it DOES NOT need all that crap it's been bombarded with on a daily/hourly basis. Also to learn that we CAN survive without (electronic based) technology like our forefathers did when they were developing our (respective) countries... I'm including the folks on the other side of the pond.
Sigh, wishful thinking.

Yeah. But no. If an EMP would hit and wipe out all of today's computer systems, we would be back in the middle ages for a long, long time.
All finances are computer based. After the blast, noone will have any money.
All manufacturing systems are electronics based. Gone are the manufacturing plants.
All power plants require a metric ton of control systems to keep them running. If everything fries, then the power will be down for a very long time indeed.
MRI, Xray, blood tests, surgery... it's all kaput.
Communications infrastructure... dead.

The dream of living without electronics is just that: a dream. It's simply not possible to do so today and support the same population density or provide the same comfort and education levels.

Sure it's possible to work the land and live without electronics. But it's a hard life, and if you are unlucky enough to catch a non trivial infection, you die.
I had the luck of reading a medical report about the working conditions in the Joseph Rodgers cutlery plant. People think things used to be better in the olden days, but it's not true. An example was described of a fork grinder who turned 28, and lately he found himself reflecting on is life. Because as a fork grinder you knew that you didn't live past 30.

And my Grandmother used to say that there was nothing particularly good about the olden days. Lack of proper healthcare killed children by the bushel. Every weekend there was at least one funeral for a kid.

And of course, primitive technology made it fairly easy to go to war with one another. The only thing that kept the world -reasonably- stable in the last half century was the existence of nukes and MAD. Without those (no electronics) we're back to the old numbers game, and it wouldn't take long for the mayhem to start all over again.

It's true that we have luxury induced problems. But going back to the way things were is not an option.


I've stop watching television voluntarily because :disgust: I've grown sick of the subliminal message that everyone is inadequate because they haven't purchased THIS or THAT or don't drive this car or truck, or you don't buy this new Billy Mayes product or feed your kids this cereal or use this air-freshener, or have this nice home or these nice things or they're not famous/pretty/sexy/crazy/interesting enough to have their own reality show on tv or... AHHHHHH!!!!! SHUT UP WILL YOU!!! :cuss:

No offense, but this seems to be a US thing.
Don't get me wrong we have our share of stupid tv as well, but the blunt commercialism of US tv has not yet reached us.
A couple of years ago 'reality' shows were all the rage, but that has died luckily.
 
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Flea

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Well it's been about a week, and I haven't really missed it yet except for the absence of a routine habit. ("Hey it's 4:00, time for Oprah. Wait ... not today it isn't." :uhyeah: )

I got my coupon in the mail today and I'm going to buy The Box while they're still in stock. It's brought a peculiar irony to mind though.

Several years ago a severe run of bad fortune sent me off to the local Federal Building to apply for food stamps. It was amazing to me. They asked all kinds of intrusive questions, from my moon sign in Jupiter to the consistency of my armpit hair, only to crunch the numbers and tell me I wasn't qualified. Fast forward to 2008, and all anyone (millionaires included) has to do for federal assistance is pick up the phone and punch a few numbers into an automated line. Food is one thing, but people need television you know ...

It's a very strange world.
 

hkfuie

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Flea,

I have enjoyed reading about your TV fast. I have been trying to cut down on my TV addiction for years. Recent change in circumstances and now my TV is in storage. All I have is my laptop and I watch ~ 2 hours/week online.
I am amazed to find I don't miss it at all! I am thinking about getting rid of it. I can use my laptop to watch dvd's and it takes up so much less space. :)

What this means for me is HOURS more LIFE each week.

Yep, sure. We can't live without TV. My life is obviously miserable, I'm suffering...oppressed even! You can send donations to the following address.....

;)
 

Cryozombie

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I never watch TV...

but I'm addicted to Hulu. Same thing eh?

LOL.
 

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