Saturday, November 29, 2003

I turned on the TV for the first time in a month last night. It made a crackling noise. This is a normal sound for a TV, isn't it?

The last time I used the tv was to watch a video. I tried one other time to watch a Bollywood video show but I got distracted by things happening in the rest of the house. Aside from this aborted television-viewing session, I haven't watched my television since April.

Before April I loved my television as much as everyone does. I even had shows that I watched on a regular basis. Then I moved back to Canada. I thought I could finally stop watching the sexist, mindless dribble Japanese television excells at airing.

But, wait! What happened to Canadian/American television? Every single channel has shows about sex. Then the commercials are about phone lines. I rather imagine that if people are watching shows about sex they are not actually having sex. Yet, worse was to come.

I came home right at the height of Gulf War the Sequel. What the hell were CNN and other news channels reporting? I had left the sexist, mindless dribble of Japan for the sexist, mindless, racist dribble of North America.

There is an African proverb: the drums of war are the drums of hunger. I was apparently the only viewer who understood that that applies to us as well as the Iraqis at the centre of it all.

I stopped watching television. Cold turkey. Sure the TV sets at friends' homes and in bars hypnotized me, but at home my tv was silent for months at a time.

After months of no television, I flipped twice through all the channels to see what was on. This is what I noticed:

1. Our televisions are not as clear as Japanese ones. In Japan the picture is so clear you can see the pores on people's skin. (I'm not kidding.) Perhaps our TV "stars" would rather not have us discovering their multiple pores, as I was told that white people have worse skin than East Asians.

2. Adam Beach was on one of the channels. Again it must have been the poor quality of our North American pore-obliterating televisions, because he didn't look so good.

3. The news on TV has more items than the internet or newspapers. For example, last night I discovered that a security guard ran his car over a pier and helicopters and the Coast Guard were searching the water for the poor bloke. Then the police in Seattle were on a televised search for more clues in a woman's death.

4. There is a new type of three-wheeled scooter.

5. Those reality show hosts revel in the troubles of their hapless subjects.

6. Jackie Onassis really irritates me. What a stupid woman. She was not and will never be elegant. Plus she has a crass nasal voice.

7. Michael Jackson is a real idiot. The more I look at the before-and-after pictures, the more I think so. Plastic surgery for vain purpose is really stupid too.

8. A hostess on a show says, "Next you'll see pictures of twelve-year-old Michael on a dating show." Then we see twelve-year-old Michael and a male narrator starts, "What you're seeing is twelve-year-old Michael on a dating show." Huh? I already knew that. Why are they telling me twice? I listened some more.

Each sentence on TV seems to be followed by one repeating the exact same information. During the twenty minutes I was listening (not watching) this show, there was nothing new I learned. Everything was given in the synopsis at the beginning and they were just repeating it over and over again.

Like the Jackie Onassis stuff. These people were so convinced she is a classy dame that they aired her answering machine conversation and gushed about how wonderful she was. But where on the answering machine was evidence of her elegance?

No more forays into the world of television for me.

I've been spoiled by books.

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