Societal Musings

Observing our society,

I find much that isn’t clear to me.

We opine ourselves rugged individualists,

while berating anyone who doesn’t look, act, or dress like us.

Is this cognitive contradiction,

what we get when television makes our decisions?

Elected officials use this medium.

Trumpeting the urgent need for regulation,

from which they exempt themselves.

Everyone gets a public school education,

where students are free to choose an approved destination.

Conformity is the lauded goal,

learn what to think, not how to do so.

Rugged individualists you claim?

Explain, please, why they are exactly the same.






A year without television

The Sunday afternoon downpour had my Son and I trapped in the house. Both of us experiencing that unique frustration known as “Cabin fever”, we’d each flipped through every cable channel available to us several times. Not only couldn’t we find anything we both wanted to watch, neither of us found anything even one of us was interested in, and this was not the first time.

A whole different species of frustration came to visit. Here I was, paying $135 a month, for the privilege of not watching television. I’d like to take a moment and sincerely thank our cable television provider for that experience, without it I wouldn’t have spent the afternoon searching for alternatives. That was the day I discovered online programming services and signed up with HULU for $7.99 a month. The following day I cancelled the television portion of my cable service, keeping only internet and phone access. My monthly cable bill dropped to $57. Add $7.99 to that and my monthly total became $64.99. Half of what it had previously been.

I admit that there was a short period of trepidation wondering how my Son would adapt to life without television. This evaporated almost immediately as He found that, with only one exception, all the shows He watched regularly were available. He’s since encountered several older series, which weren’t on cable, that He’s become a fan of. I learned something of my own habits as well. It became apparent that I was wasting considerably more time watching television than I’d thought. I know this to be true because during the last year I’ve lost 25lbs., improved my martial arts practice, and read many excellent books which I hadn’t been able to find time for, most notably; The Holy bible and Thoreau’s Walden. My Son has also enjoyed reading several novels that He otherwise wouldn’t have.

Far from feeling deprived without television, both my Son and I feel as though television was depriving us.