No? That’s not what happened? I wouldn’t actually know, because my house is located in a black hole that no digital television signals can penetrate. I have been unable to watch local television or even the news as it airs since I moved off of Block Island over ten years ago. And I’ll admit it: it’s kind of nice.
We’re not total Neanderthals. We had satellite TV until the trees around the house grew so tall that we could no longer get signals. We scrapped the dish, signed up for Netflix streaming, and called it a day.
Our lives changed for the better. Netflix, you see, allows for on-demand viewing, so you can binge-watch, say, all eleven seasons of M*A*S*H in one weekend. I can stream Netflix on the iPad, so I could watch old episodes of Forensic Files while scrubbing the toilet. If the power went out, I could watch old episodes of Forensic Files while heating up dinner over a Sternocan. On any given weekend, you’d find me folding laundry, old episodes of Forensic Files looping from the iPad propped up on top of the dryer. Life without regular television isn’t so bad.
There are more bonuses, too. I can’t watch the news, so I never get worked up over politics or people behaving badly. If I can’t see or hear you, Donald Trump, I don’t have to waste precious energy hating you. I plan on buying a copy of Time magazine when the election gets closer to learn about the candidates before voting. Doesn’t that sound lovely? No commercials, no CNN, no Fox News. It’s a peaceful life I lead.
I will admit that there are a couple of television shows I can’t live without. One of them, Downton Abbey, is available for free online at PBS.org the day after the newest episode airs. For the others, God created the miracle known as the iTunes Season Pass, for He is a generous God. Sure, I have to pay $20 a season to watch The Walking Dead and Survivor, but again, this still beats rolling over a CD every month just to pay the cable bill. Plus, no commercials!
Some of my friends would say that because of my lack of regular television, I am alarmingly uninformed regarding current events. This may be true. But my blood pressure was 118/60 the last time I went for a physical. Did I miss a wildfire out in California that I can do nothing to stop, or the GOP debate? I sure did, and that’s just fine with me. I’m not completely uninformed, however. I do read the Block Island Times online on a regular basis. I’m well aware that Mark’s Beachcomber Hair Design is seeing an influx of windblown hair tragedies this week.
I feel for the windblown ladies—I really do. But life is short. And it’s just a little sweeter when I don’t have the weight of the world blasting at me from the television.