Television news and political commentary has become more and more out of bounds from mainstream thought and discourse, in my opinion. And it’s a good reason why I have given up on watching almost altogether.
But here’s the thing, I still turn on the TV for practically everything else. And I realized, ever so slowly, that my No. 1 enemy on a day-to-day basis is not the clock, but the television.
Oh, it romanced me with scenes of carnage and explosions (24), and it wined and dined me with comedic flair (South Park, Family Guy, etc.). And when I needed a dose of reality as perceived by urban America, it was there for me too (Southland, The Wire, etc.). And, finally, when I am implored to be wary of the news necessary for my job, ESPN and the locally run New England Sports Network (NESN) provide good background chatter.
But at the end of the day, the TV once again robs me cold, blind and stupid.
Here I am, stuck in a prison of entertainment and infotainment. Stuck between a rock and a soft place, if you would. And all I want to do is get the job done. That means cover and write about all the sporting events important to New Englanders. And for the Addisports audience, everything major on the sporting landscape. That requires me to write early and often. Late and timely. Abnormally and consistently.
I can’t do that if I’m stuck watching an hour to two hours of 24 every Monday night.
For those that know me, I am without a doubt a workaholic. And even worse, I am an efficiency expert wannabe. I’m looking to make things simple for me, my work day, and my life. If something enters the equation that ruins the flow of this smooth operation I like to call my life, I have to end it. But this TV addiction is endless. On the contrary, if something enters the equation that makes organizing things easier or my work flow faster, I’m all for it.
I just can’t get enough of some shows. In fact, I’m known to bypass a whole season of television and wait till it comes out on DVD, and then watch every episode in succession. I did it for 24 a couple of seasons ago. I did it for the Wire. I’m sure there are other great shows in which I’ll do it in the future. And in doing so, my addiction is amplified for multiple days until I complete that particular show. Absolutely nothing else gets done.
I even lie about cutting off my television. I’ve told acquaintance and confidant alike that I’m ready to cut my absurdly expensive cable package … right after the so-and-so season ends.
The honest truth is, I have no idea what to do about this because while I understand that removing the enemy, as I like to call it, will free me up to do the things I really want to do and aspire to achieve, the process will only surface my extraordinary procrastination skills. I am a man known to fiddle his thumbs. Buried under paperwork with duties and tasks lined up, I am often befuddled by my own inactivity.
Considering these thoughts, my personal history, I’ve declared war on the television. It’s the new enemy. I’ve got to find the motivation to cut this bastard off.
At the end of the day, when I look at my accomplishments or the things I’ve done with my day that are building toward something greater, I don’t want to continue to say I wasted a half hour on “South Park” and hour lambasting their censorship issues with friends that neither care nor are ultimately concerned with the cultural consequences. (I’ve already wasted too many sentences on this show now. Are you happy!?) I want to be able to say that I’ve made progress on …. something. Anything. Hell, even that I sat here and typed out my thoughts. Wouldn’t that be better than living in a television wasteland?