If I were ever asked to offer one piece of advice, one thing that could change the world, my contribution would be this:
Turn off the television.
Now, because I’m a wordy woman that nugget would be closely followed by, “stop supporting the fast food industry,” and “if a t-shirt costs less than twenty dollars someone is being abused.”
They, whoever they are asking my advice, would need to start the music to get me off my box.
I have opinions. Lots. But, given only four words. The TV bit would be my offering.
Television is the bright light that distracts people from thinking, feeling, and doing for themselves.
It tells individuals what to want, what they don’t have, and where to throw their all-too-accessible outrage. It grabs the technicolor world and sieves it through a golden filter leaving watchers with good and bad, rich and poor, stupid and righteous.
Everything else, everyone else, the details, the light refracted in the darkest of places, the real honest work is left on the floor.
I have expressed this opinion before and been told that I’m being dramatic. That television is fun and entertainment.
At the core, maybe. I like an episode of something just as much as the next person, but I watch it outside the confines of modern day television. No commercials, ever, and on my own timetable.
Because I don’t want to be told what ailment I might have, where I should spend my money, how sexy chocolate can be, or which underwear some celebrity is wearing.
I don’t want it, I don’t need it, so I shut it out.
I do however enjoy the story of a teacher cooking meth, a Scottish Yes-Please from the past, and more recently a British detective named after one of my favorite words.
Stories are the soul of us. I love being entertained, but things are out of hand.
What about the news? some might say.
Read. Stick with what is outside of the ridiculously publicized presidential tweets or kneeling NFL players. Why are millions of people fighting in homes and offices right now on both sides of an issue that does nothing to protect our troops or force police departments across the country to wake the hell up and do better?
Why does this only have four thousand or so views, but the NFL kneeling is everywhere and apparently poised to change the world?
With respect, as my daughter likes to say, the NFL has never changed anything.
The real work, the unsexy work of people all over the world never makes it onto the television. There’s no room.
The making-things-happen people aren’t grabbing ass and tweeting. They aren’t kneeling for some and objectifying others. They’re not singing or dancing or product placing.
They’re hand holders, quiet listeners. Tired eyes and dwindling bank accounts.
Television is a sparkly leash on a people adamant they’re free to roam.
That’s all from the laundry room. Lights off.