I Would Rather Suck A Pig’s Ass…


This is Part I of my 3-part series on life without electronic information, electronic entertainment, and electronic media.  I will be posting Parts II and III in the coming weeks.  Please check back in 2 weeks for Part II; The Joy Of Word Processing, Blogging, and Books on i-Tunes.

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The Vice Boomerang

You might have been a smoker.  Perhaps you drank too much.  Maybe it was a tendency to eat too much junk food.  Upon the realization that these things might have done your moments good, but done poorly for your health and your body, you decided to quit them – and you had success in quitting. 

But then that moment came – life got hard, push met shove and a pack of cigarettes was needed, a pint of whiskey was sought, or a carton of ice cream could make the difference between a good moment and a good cry.  A puff, a sip, a spoonful, and all would be good with the world again, so you broke down and let in the poison.

But your body had changed in the absence of these poisons.  For however long it had been, your body was likely doing much better.  And you would be quick to find that reintegrating that substance would not give you the moment you sought.  Rather, it made you ill – stole a moment rather than heightened one, and caused you regret.  A clean system weakens more easily, and the poison is quickly felt.

Information And Technology As Vices

So I gave them up for a while; information media, information technologies, and social media.  For 30 days I refrained from email, Facebook, blogging, texting (well, almost), even word processing, and best of all, TV news.  Despite their utility, they had all become vices to me, and though they could be useful, they could also be poisons in my life – especially TV news.

It had been weighing on me for a long time – years actually, that some of these vices had done little to raise my life up, and had drained a great deal of time from things better suited to growing my mind, my soul, and keeping my life intact.  Reading, working, cleaning, gardening, and much more had given way the lure of useless information.  Even my precious exercise time had begun to take a back seat to my early morning blogging, Facebooking, and TV news time. 

What Now, What Next

Without these technologies, my life was enhanced – in the most literal interpretation of that word.  More on that in 2 weeks.

Throughout the 30 days without these liabilities in my life, I frequently contemplated whether or not I would go back to any of these technologies, and if I did, which ones I would return to, and which ones, if any, might be let go for keeps.  In this contemplation, I made no decisions, and promised myself not to make any such decisions until my 30 days had expired.  And even then, I promised myself to let it go wherever my core beliefs would take me.

A Clean System Weakens More Easily

And what did I do on the morning when my 30 days had expired…?  I turned on the coffee maker, let the dogs out, and clicked on CNN…

…that first moment of TV news was like a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of whiskey, and a pile of junk food all at once – I was immediately sickened.  My system was just not ready for it.  Still, I watched for a few minutes and realized that, though I had truly changed some in 30 days, American culture was still in the toilet – at least as far as its most watched news source was concerned.

Now this is not a reflection on CNN at all.  It could have been FOX, Bloomberg, MSNBC, CNBC, local news, whatever.  The point is, that my mind had been clean of this poison for 30 days, and it only took my first serving to confirm that I will never watch television news again, never – I would rather suck a pig’s ass, and I mean that literally.

In that first moment, as the poison of TV news entered my body, it occurred to me that TV news little more than entertainment, amusement, even a sick sort of vice; witnessing the misery of the human condition for the pleasure of knowing, that’s not me, but its utility is inconsequential for meWhat happens in Kandahar, Alabama, or who is going to Rikers Island has little bearing on my day.  I will argue that there is nothing, NOTHING redeeming about TV news – from any source, that enhances ones moment, day, or life.  The knowing of most of these things is useless for most people — I genuinely believe that.

Still, like cigarettes, alcohol, and junk food, we buy into TV news because it makes us…

…feel good?

Be well.  rc

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Please check back in 2 weeks for Part II; The Joy Of Word Processing, Blogging, and books on i-Tunes. Thank you. 

Oh, and there is this from Chris Bailey and The Saints.  Enjoy…

10 responses

  1. I’m anti-TV in general and never watch TV news. At the very most I watch only two half-hour recorded shows a day , and many times I’m too busy on the computer to bother with it. I NEVER watch commercials and my daughter beg for anything because she never sees them.

    TV is poison, particularly the news and the alarmist “this could happen to you” shows. I swore those off 12 year ago when I realized I was becoming anxious about ridiculous things happening to me. I will never understand people’s dependence on it or the way they sit their children in front of adult programming and adult-oriented commercials and expect their kids to behave, not be materialistic, or grow up too fast.

    • Well said, all. Suzanne, I through away my TVs years ago. But last year when I moved in with my fiancée, I could not impose my lifestyle on her, so TV came back into my life. Now when it’s on, I just grab a book and leave the room. She and her girls have a right to watch it, but it’s just not my cup of meat.

  2. Roy,
    I watch very little television – and that seems especially so of the news. A couple of years ago (and prior) – new WAS something I watched, and would be sucked into. After stepping away, though – the appeal of it is completely gone.

    Sometimes I feel out of the loop because I may not know what’s going on. And then I remember – I may not know what’s going on out there, but I have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in there. And I’ll take that any day…

    It’s good to see you back…

    • Lance, I think we think alike. I think I might be just a smidge more blunt with my language 😉 If you ever visit your aunt and uncle in Fallbrook, please find me.

  3. You wil the award for most “catching” blog post title of the day.

    Agreed that tv news is bunk. It is all entertainment now. Gone are the days where you can just hear what is newsworthy. Today all news needs to be sensationalized, marketed and rolled out to us on red carpets. In the end, watching 30 minutes of news and easily we’ve wasted 29:34 of those minutes; not even 30 seconds of the program brought us anything that we needed to know.

    • Patrick, I aim to shock 🙂 Sadly, that’s partially true. Again, I could not agree more. The best product in TV news has always been CBS Sunday Morning. I’m not even planning on watching that again — I’m done.

  4. Seems there is more plugging of the channel’s shows & entertainment crap than anything else these days. I watch it because I want to keep up on the few things I need to but so much of it is crap & lies…

  5. It is SO VERY WONDERFUL to have you back!!! And I am, also, not a big TV fan, but as I see you stated in one of your responses, it is unfair to impose beliefs on others so I, too, must endure the bits of TV that permeate throughout the household. But I do everything I can to avoid the nonsense.

    It is definite poison that the media intrudes intentionally into our core. Save for a few DVR’d programs, I do not partake of the ‘boob-tube’ main-stream and feel a better person for doing so.

    Nicely done on the 30-days! ;D

  6. Most of television is like junk food, it seems to taste good, it looks good, it is highly addictive and of very poor nutrition.
    I’ve been living without a TV for two (maybe it is three) years now. A couple of times I checked some news clips on the web and found them distasteful, sensational and shallow. – Junk food.
    I still like to keep up with the news but finding decent sources is becoming more and more difficult. It seems that even respectable news organizations have to cater to our cravings for what is easy and does not require any effort to digest. Yep, junk food for the brain.

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