Monday, January 25, 2010

Crazed and Behind the Times

You know that old saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"?

I have a mutation of that:  All news and no fun makes Maggie a crazed mom.

I'm getting to that point where news is making me insane again.  My infernal sense of fairness has been attacked from all directions of late.  My disillusionment with the powers that be as powers that fail consistently to care for the things that truly matter has heightened.  And I begin to wonder if I just don't get it.  Or maybe I'm too heavy on one side of the news?  In any event, I can hardly take it anymore.

To top that off, in a way, this is going to sound somewhat pedestrian of me, I feel like I need some entertainment that taps my intellect less.  I'm reading a lot.  This is excellent.  I've recently taken up toying with electronics and given my schedule of mothering and writing that has left little time to unwind I guess.  I feel wound as tight as a multi-firing rubber band shooter. 

I realize that in days gone by, television wasn't even an option for entertainment.  So I am acting rather spoiled when I admit that I miss TV for that very outlet of allowing my brain to melt into goo for an hour or two.  Any life needs laughter.  There are many places to find it, but TV sure is an easy respondent. 

Add to that my overwhelming awareness that in the four years we've been without TV, we've reached a point where we're completely out of it when it comes to current trends, movies, music etc.  We get some of it, but in large part we know none of the shows people talk about, we get news somewhat later than many (though internet is rather as fast as any I think), etc etc.  This is all just a laundry list of excuses to invite the evil back into our home.  Fortunately for us, we can't afford it right now.  We're dumping everything extra we've got into tuition for the twins at pre-school, a much needed year of it. 

The original idea of turning off the TV was to encourage other pursuits and stimulation during the first five years of the twin's life.  Not just for them, but it seemed an important time in their lives to focus on mental development in that way.  Now we're ready to attempt having it without giving in to total couch slouching.  So, we've determined that by June, when tuition is finished, we could turn the evil eye back on.

Will we?  Remains to be seen.  We have six months to convince ourselves into or out of it.  And so the saga continues:

As the Cable Turns
Days of our Wires
The Bold and the Techie-ful


Gordo said...

The constant flow of news available all around us isn't the good thing that we all thought it would be when CNN jumped on the scene 20 years ago. Instead of reasonably complete news with time for analysis, we get fed every wild rumour about anything that's going on.

I unplugged from the news taps in December and it's helped immensely. There's no point in trying to avoid it 100% of the time, but I don't have Google News set as my browser start page and I don't listen to CBC radio all day, and I feel a better person for it.

Folks have been wondering for years why the youth don't participate in the political process and why the turnout rate keeps dropping at election time. It's been leading to the situation that we have now: politicians of all stripes are doing nothing to run the country and they all just hoot and holler at each other all day long. If something doesn't change in a big hurry, I think (I hope) that the status quo is going to get a kick in the ballot box. Ignoring and minimizing your electorate is a sure recipe for revolution.

What we need is a real leader. One who's not afraid to piss people off. One who can mobilize the masses and get things done. A lot like what the world had so naively hoped for in Obama.

As for relaxation, something that's been lost in the last couple of decades is the value of unstructured free time. Why should you have to "do" something? TV is great for that. A lot of shows are available online to watch. Might be worth a try there.

meno said...

The news makes me realize that i don't have enough sadness in me to get to the level of sadness that the news deserves.

I just can't do it, i'd be sad all the time.

jaded said...

so I've had cable for years, and I still don't know what is trendy. by the time I learn about a cool series, the networks are showing the series finale. But the news? Gah! I see entirely too much of it.

Anonymous said...

I get most of my TV along with my movies through netflix, news from the local paper or the internet. We're planning to drop cable and stream from the internet once I have determined that there will be ways to satisfy the kids (i.e., keep them out of my hair!).

Dick said...

There are some worthwhile things to watch on TV and of course those things will change from one person to another. I do watch the news but even it has to be taken with a grain (or more) of salt. What we are shown is filtered through the reporters and their editors before it even gets to us. I sure can't get into these so called reality shows. Not that I've watched many- the premise just doesn't work.

Maggie said...

Gordo, revolution is the word that comes to mind for me too. I tried online TV a while back but it was in beta mode and rather irritating. I should go take a look again.

Meno, yeah sad or mad. That's how I feel when I'm listening to too much of it.

Jaded, on TV the news is even worse. You can't watch without every inch of the screen having something streaming at you. That's how I remember it anyways.

De, I miss netflix.

Dick, I'm not one for 'reality' shows either. And calling them reality is a gross misnomer.