Friday, February 13, 2009

Lingering Guilt

Yesterday night, Cody and I debated between watching some Netflixed Buffy or Dr. Who and ended up having to go with the ennie-meenie-minie-moe approach, deciding finally on Dr. Who. We got all settled in our seats, clicked on the TV, and I started chatting about how I didn't realized I'd missed an Obama speech, which I decided we'd have to find on the Internet. I was happily strategizing how I would find it when Cody interrupted my ramblings to say, "Shouldn't the TV have come on by now."

Our 32" CRT TV has had problems starting up for a while now. The TV will click on, then the sound clicks in, then, about 5 seconds later (which is a long time in electronics time) the picture would brong to life. Yesterday, the first two steps went smoothly. The last...sigh. The last never happened. The TV picture never came on.

Neither coaxing or cajoling, hammering or kicking, cursing or repeatedly flicking the TV on and off helped, either. The TV is dead.

I should be fine with this, right? I'm a reader. I've got plenty of books to keep me occupied. I have plenty of writing-related things to keep me busy, too. That's not even mentioning the work I have that I could be doing. Yet...

I miss TV! It's been less than twenty-four hours, and I am going through withdrawals. It's not the actual live TV I miss so much, either (though, come Monday, if I miss Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother I'll be sad). It's the loss of my ability to watch my beloved Netflix. It's also the loss of my ability to play any of my Wii or PS2 games. I crave a functioning TV!

Which is where the guilt comes from. Or maybe shame. I have this leftover, lingering sense of wrongness to enjoy TV so much. TV is a waste of time, my conscious tells me. TV rots your brain, my conscious adds (in a voice that is a blend of every teacher I've had and my mom's voice). You've better things to do.

But, a hopeful inner voice whispers (and if it's not my conscious, I don't know who else is in here with me), TV's no worse than reading novels, no worse than reading magazines, no worse than watching movies...

So maybe the guilt is just for this horrible addiction I've developed for TV. I can't tell you how many times in the last twenty-some-odd hours that I've wanted--nay, yearned--for the TV to work. Simply shameful.


Shaida said...

As a lover of fiction and a fan serialized narrative, tv is the perfect medium for me. I feel no shame or guilt in admitting that I LOVE tv, and I am actually suspicious of those people who don't watch tv. Good tv is immersive, creative, well-developed, and well-written. I also firmly believe that some of the great pre-tv writers WOULD have written for tv if such a thing had existed (Dickens, I'm looking at you in particular!). Don't feel bad, embrace it!

Rebecca Chastain said...

Shaida--that's exactly how it should be: no guilt! I love books and would never feel guilty about any book I read, no matter what the genre, so my TV guilt is totally misplaced. I've never thought about pre-TV writers writing for TV! What a cool idea!