And the TV is dead

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As foreshadowed just a week ago today, the TV in the living room appears to have died. I’m of mixed opinions on this. The mature, evolved part of me wants to embrace this opportunity to expand our independence from television. Today I managed to write 2000 words – imagine what I could do if there weren’t even the possibility of distraction from the television? We’ve come so far in our lives since we dropped cable – isn’t this the natural next step? Then there’s the other part of me. That part of me recognizes a few facts that the idealist doesn’t. First and foremost, summer vacation begins Wednesday afternoon. While we don’t want the kids glued to the TV at all this summer, we have to concede that there are rainy days, that there are days when it will be too hot to go outside, and some simple entertainment might be nice. That occasionally, us adults might want to watch something. And I’m even man enough to say, there are going to be days when I want nothing more than to plop down, fire up the xbox, and kill some freakin zombies. Or watch some Doctor Who.

Did I mention the two thousand words? That’s actually quite an accomplishment for me today. And not a random 2k, where I write down bits of the fun scenes as they come to me, hoping to fill the gaps later. No, this was the first two thousand words of chapter one of the story formerly entitled The Six Pence Dragon. Feels damned good, though I’d like to get a little bit more writing in and at least get to the point where the egg hatches and out pops our dragon. The secret to being able to write, it appears, is not an absence of TV as this post would suggest; or, it is, but its more than that. The secret to recapturing my writing is not listening to anything on my commute. Silly, I know, but lately my time between destinations has been filled with a plethora of podcasts. Which, in turn, has left my mind with very little to amuse itself with seeing as how I’m being both an attentive driver and being entertained by podcasts at the same time, there’s no room left to give thought to characters or scenes. Simply going with the drive on Friday freed my mind and voila, here I am primed to write some more. Awesome!

But about the TV, which was the lead in for this post. Not sure what we’re going to do. We’re doing ok right now financially, but we don’t exactly have a few hundred dollars to just drop on a replacement TV. Its a shame that they don’t make TV’s to last any more. I remember when a TV could last a decade or more. Now it seems like they barely make it a few years. Never mind changing “standards” in signal and broadcast resolutions – this is the actual parts just failing to operate any more. Makes you trust technology less and less, doesn’t it? How can something that costs hundreds be considered so disposable?

Now, we both know that Kim and I will cave. We’ll find a way to feed a family of five on a box of powdered mac’n’cheese for a month and we’ll make it happen, because that’s the American Way. But for a few moments, I wonder, what will life have been like if we didn’t?

3 thoughts on “And the TV is dead”

  1. I’ve got a 36 inch ‘tube’ TV that’s not getting any use.

    You want it? 1980’s technology but its just won’t freakin’ die.

  2. Funny thing is that’s the second tube TV someone’s offered me. Granted, our “lifestyle” (ie, how we keep shit in our house from toppling over itself) these days doesn’t have room for a grand behemoth (the flat screen just fits in its allotted space), but it really does say something that the old tube tv’s are chugging along just fine these days while the newer technology seems to die quicker – and no one bats an eyelash at that.

    My Dad’ll scoff when he reads this, but I remember in both my grandparent’s houses growing up they had the classic TV cabinets. You know the ones, giant wooden cubes with ornate carvings that housed a classic tube tv in their guts. I’d swear those things could have survived the test of time, and for all I know were only discarded because of space as folks moved around over the decades. But those old tube TV’s seemed to be of a heartier lot than the modern, rapidly disposable TV’s.

    And we accept it. We let ourselves pay hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for these bits of techno-flotsam that we know will be outmoded, outmodeled, and most likely dead in just a few year’s time. We let ourselves be creatures of the consumer mindset.

    And no, I’m not above it. My wife will testify that last night I begged her to go out and get a new TV, even knowing she needs new tires on her van and a tune up, knowing that my car is in sore need of breaks, possibly tires, front and rear differential replacement, and all of the other trappings of taking a car a hundred miles a day. Not to mention the joyous expenses involved in raising and keeping happy and healthy a family of five with (as of the end of this summer) three school age children.

    Bah. And this is just a comment! 🙂

    1. Yeah, man — I couldn’t agree more. Tubes were and are awesome. There used to be HD tubes — but I don’t think they make them any more.

      Well – another possibility is to buy a good-ole ATSC tuner (90 bucks) and stick it in the computer.
      Use good ole lirc to run it.

      Then you’re monitor is your TV….. so you just tell the wife — Babe, I need a $250 monitor….

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