15 Mar 2011

The death of TV

Ever since Japan's horrible earthquake, the vultures at CTV News, CBC News, BBC news and many other news stations available on my TV have predictably latched on, chasing the sensational headlines like crack addicts chasing the pipe, providing 24-hour coverage for sadists who need to know all the calamitous details of other people's misery in the comfort of their safe living rooms. The toxicity levels of the television programs are starting to make me noxious.

If the TV news were informational and constructive at all it wouldn't bother me, but I shake my head at how consistently neurotic and obsessive these "newscasters" are at spinning everything into even bigger negatives than the world already is wrought with. While I'm usually pessimistic about a lot of things, television is giving me a Mr BadNews overdose now on a consistent basis. They've naturally latched on to the stories of damaged nuclear reactors after the earthquake and now want to make us all afraid about nuclear meltdown à la Chernobyl. But even if the dreaded worst happens, what could any viewer do about it? In what way does this news inform most of us? All it does is enrage while disempowering us as we are left clueless on how to seriously budge the giant corporate machine or aid the damaged world by any realistic and meaningul way.

If I want balanced coverage of a particular topic or to learn about something other than the Japan earthquake today (like, say, those poor people in Libya still fighting for their freedom that we all forgot about, hmm?), the internet supplies more information. I find myself instinctively turning off the TV altogether and being online. If one feels they want to help, yet again, that information is online. This is strange because, being in my mid-30s, I grew up with TV but I'm now wondering why anyone bothers with that dumb box anymore. It's just static noise. Two and Half Men again? No, thanks. Even Charlie Sheen knows it's shoveled manure so he can't be all that kookoo.

In the past decade especially, I feel like TV has become an antiquated medium for bitter old people with no taste. I google for the information I want when I need to seek out a more balanced picture of world events. I'm resourceful enough to find better shows and movies online instead of being subjected to repeat after repeat on TV.

There's probably little point to my post today other than to remark on how hopelessly irrelevant television has become to me and I'm suspecting, most of you too. I suppose this still has relevance at least to modern sociology and the topic of paradigm shifts. I celebrate TV's destruction (or to be more detailed, the complete assimilation of television into the more expansive, diverse and versatile internet medium).


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