Monday, January 6, 2014

Why TV Makes Me Think About Dying

I'm not afraid to talk about death. In fact, I have never been afraid of death, itself -- at least not up to the point of having a family. Because of them, I now have a healthy dose of fear. I don't want to leave them without a dad and husband.

Still, I love being alive. And I love feeling, thinking and doing -- I love exploring the beauty in the world and I love experiencing the great creations and deeds of the exceptional people who live and who have lived. There is much to love about the world. And I really think there is more good than bad out there.

You know how I know TV is bad, though? When I am watching (as I was last night) and I think to myself: When it is time to die, I won't miss this place much. It will be kind of a relief. This is not to be confused with a wish for death; it is just an resignation that it will, in some ways, be a relief. That's nothing new. But it is a disproportionate reaction to a misrepresentation of reality.

Television, to me, is like the magnifying glass in the sun, held over the top of my head. It is not a true representation of the world, but a focusing of all that is bad in it.

There is so much to hate about the world when one watches television: the ugly behaviors, magnified; the naked and unrealistic agendas that are pushed; the hive-mentality that is served up in the guise of "community;" the marketed, plastic sexuality that our kids have to see; the two-dimensional pictures that are painted of family and its dynamics; the wish-it-were-so ideas presented as reality; the devious manipulations in commercials -- especially of the kids...

I mean, can it get worse? Here I stand before you, a lover of existence; a lover of the achievements of humankind; a man of his own strong and particular faiths, and an hour or so of watching television can turn me toward thoughts of shuffling off the mortal coil...

The depressing part of all of this, to me, is that I know there are kids watching television who are buying the lies and the pretenses because they don't have anyone pulling back the curtain and exposing the wizards to them. Will this misrepresentation ever become truth because of this?

We're just baking more bricks for the wall, hour by broadcast hour.

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