Television as Fast Food

I was struck by an odd thought while putting on my shoes to come home this afternoon: it may very well be that watching television is actually not very satisfying.

I can count on one hand the number of television shows I’ve watched where, at the end, I’ve felt a better person, or that I’ve learned something. Or, indeed, that anything has actually happened at all inside my head.

And yet, as ever, I will absolutely, positively watch any episode of Seinfeld or The Simpsons that presents itself to me as though if to not watch would be to turn down some special, unique, never-to-be-repeated opportunity.

It has been over a year since I was a regular, serious consumer of fast food. It no longer has any appeal to me, and I’m amazed that it ever did. Forced aversion by gallbladder meltdown is what let me break free.

I’m wondering if some calamity befell me that made watching televsion intensely painful, perhaps after two or three months I would have the same reaction to it as to fast food?


Daniel Von Fange's picture
Daniel Von Fange on March 23, 2004 - 00:28 Permalink

Throw it out of the house. :P

(Seriously though, I grew up not watching television. I can’t stand it now — TV is so meaningless. )

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on March 23, 2004 - 00:34 Permalink

Even Monday night on CBC? I guess that’s kinda like eating a salad at Wendy’s.

Robert  Paterson's picture
Robert Paterson on March 23, 2004 - 11:52 Permalink

Come and stay with my sister for a week in Toronto — all they watch are reality shows and ET!!!!!!!

This is worse than junk food — it’s heroin

Robert  Paterson's picture
Robert Paterson on March 23, 2004 - 11:53 Permalink

Is not TV now creating the Gollum Society? Where our humanity is stripped away by the power of the “ring/tv”?

Alan's picture
Alan on March 23, 2004 - 12:58 Permalink

The food analogy is apt. Standing in the grocery checkout half the time I cannot stop thinking about how bunged up the white bread chewers ahead of me must be, righteous soy sucker that I am. Then again, watch TVO or PBS and you learn — watched an hour on The American Experience last night on the people who funded the creation of the pill. Amazingly good TV. Cheaper than movies, more immediate than books. A blessing to democracy filled largely with crap.