Tuesday, February 12, 2013

on TV off

The Tar Heels lost in such a craptacular fashion last Saturday that I am turning off my cable service.  It's the only way to respond to such a game.

Miami started off with a 5-2 lead, and that was as close as the Tar Heels ever got (after 0-0).  Miami absolutely dominated the game, they played well.  The Tar Heels did little contribute to winning, but they didn't have this game in hand and lose it.  Miami whipped their proverbial tails.  Miami is a talented team of seniors who play together well.  They are beginning to realize they have a shot at a national championship this year.  They could not miss a three this game, but the Tar Heels are still a Division 1 basketball team.

The Tar Heels had a shot-clock violation with a player standing still, outside the lane, holding the ball in his hands.  Television networks should not be allowed to broadcast material that is so offensive, so wrong, so against everything that is right and true about America.  I've had nightmares since, and I'm certain others will too.

So, shame on you Time Warner, shame on you ESPN.  You have lost my loyalty.  You have lost me.

The Tar Heels?  Well, Wiggins (top high school prospect) is visiting March 9th!  Tar Heel Basketball is one of those lovers I never really leave, I just storm out in disgust on a regular basis.  But, I am just as certain to come back around, after an apology or two, and jump back in the sack at some point in the future.

However, cable television service is gone for good.  Not in some fit of pique (though I am disappointed in how much I pay for programming in which I have no interest), but because it exerts an influence over my behavior which is making it harder for me to get what I want these days.  I realize that it will be easier for me to achieve my goals if I do not have commercial television available in my home.

Commercial television programming is designed to keep people watching (and arouse their attention before) the commercial messages.  Remember, if you do not pay to use the product, you ARE the product.

I am a zen student with a daily meditation practice.  I pay attention to my mind, to the chatter that endlessly streams through it, but I know, as we all do, the difference between that chatter and undifferentiated awareness.  I find that when I have commercial television on (and I confess, I was mostly watching Disney for Dads, also known as ESPN) the content and qualities of the chatter in my mind was different.  I began to believe that sports stories were important.  I began to expend mental energy on things that I know really don't matter, over which I have no influence.

We all do that, I know, but I don't need help doing it, particularly help I am paying $5 a day for.  If I'm going to overpay for something extravagant, I'd rather it be at Starbucks.  I can generate all the useless and pointless stuff to waste time thinking about very much on my own.

I have a stack of books piled up.  I am at the point in studying Japanese where I need to be drilling a lot more for a while.  I am just about to jump to learning conversational Japanese, and to get there, I need to practice, practice, practice, the basic sentence structures.  That takes time listening to recordings and talking to myself.  I can't do that when the TV is on.

I need to write more, and do so less seriously.  Nowadays, I am only moved to write when something is really weighing on my brain, and I am find my own blog to be heavy and plodding.

It's TV's fault, I swear.