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July 1, 2006

Seven Great Things About the USA: 7

Television - Other nations only pretend they have television.

There's this thing called Sturgeon's Law, that explains that 90% of just about anything is crap. That the vast preponderance of production and experience is to be avoided, or at least encountered with lowered expectations.

And that's certainly true when it comes to television. It's easy to kick TV around as this vast wasteland of pabulum that services the teen and aged population with a vision of young adulthood and family life that only exists in the minds of television writers.  Easy and fair, because that's the bulk of it - it's so much crap.  But the US cranks out tons and tons of TV, the most in the world, so our remaining good 10% (if that much really) is so much larger than any other nation's. 

To enjoy television, to make it worthwhile, you have to be a discriminating consumer.  Tivo and other DVRs help, you don't have to be a slave to network scheduling constructed to make you choose between the good shows, and time frames that lead you from one good show to a bad one because "changing the channel is such a chore."

If you aren't already using a DVR, stop right now and get one. Life is too short to live without controlling this aspect of your entertainment - and that's what it's all about: control. If you exercise control, your TV night can be the best of the best, stocked up over the week, or month, and absorbed all in one evening. Spend the other six or twenty-nine days reading, going out and talking to people, or shopping online.

Like maintaining a nutritious diet, it's a matter of making sure you're consuming quality product, and exercising some portion control.


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