I don't watch much Television. I don't have cable, and I have never bothered to figure out how to get my Samsung, which has been sitting in my living room for about four years and which I use occasionally to watch DVDs and play games, to pick up the local broadcasts (and it no doubt would be incredibly easy). What I do watch is exclusively at the homes of friends.
I must sound like a relic from the 19th Century. No TV! But that is the awful truth. And I couldn't be happier.
It just floors me how much time some folks spend watching pure drivel. I'm not trying to sound superior or grumpy, because when I was a teen I watched as many re-runs as anyone. But there are so many more important things for me to be doing. And, to be honest, I am hopeless at figuring out which guy it will be who some girl who is only on a show to burnish her celeb credentials chooses to "propose" to (but - and here I must be immodest - I was watching the last such such show with friends, and I said, 'The one with the most money," and, by gosh, I out-picked everyone!). Or who dances the better cha-cha while flashing enough cleavage to be taken "seriously." Or who can stay underwater the longest in order to win $50,000 (I would probably drown myself doing that, call the paramedics!).
But that's not my real beef right now. I really couldn't care less how much time others spend watching whatever reality shows crammed full of aging celebrities are ringing the national bell at the moment. What annoys is me is the amount of electioneering going on during this, the month before an election. I just spent a week staying with a friend, and my ears are still ringing.
I realize that my attitude is completely unreasonable. The nation needs leaders, and elections are how we choose them. All fine with me, I have no illusions that a dictatorship would somehow improve things. To get elected, real nice folks - at least according to their own ads - show as nicely as possible (usually) how much better things would be if they were in charge.
The problem is, the noise is incessant. Commercial follows commercial, and they all add up to a big, fat zero. How is anyone supposed to reach a conclusion based on ads that present snippets of information, without context or support?
Now, the answer to this is, I suppose, "pay attention." Yes, there are debates and speeches and so on and so forth. But try listening to them all some day. They are the same as the commercials, only longer! And who really wants to sit through endless press conferences and elaborations and explanations as to what would really happen if Candidate X was elected rather than candidate Y? They both seem like such nice folks, I mean, just look at those adoring glances on their websites from their adoring spouses!
My own feeling is that practically nobody has the time, or the patience, or the resources to really figure out who would really do a better job. The Average Jane will just pick a candidate based on who she supported in the past, or who her parents supported, or who is cool among their friends and praised by her teachers. All well and good, at least they have a reason.
But nobody really knows. So, aside from simply voting by tradition - "I'll be danged if I ever vote for any fuzzy-headed anti-American from that other party! - it invariably comes down to personality, and popularity, and exposure. Just like high school. How else to account for the fact that Dan Quayle and Joe Biden both became Vice Presidents?
Which is great, knowing that the next finger on the nuclear button will be that of the national Prom King!
With all the noise, and the accusations, and the "got-chas," it is all too easy to tune it all out.
Which, dear friends, in a roundabout way, is my explanation why I've never tried to figure out how to hook up my Samsung.