10.18.2001

"i don't know what i'd do without cable."
ideas thrown around in art of 18th century europe before the professor started talking:
* "they should have syndicated show channels - you know, like "the wonder years" channel."
* "my boyfriend leaves the tv on for noise. he remembers everything. he can answer game show questions about shows he doesn't watch just because the tv is on. it drives me nuts."
this kid in my class thinks he'd go nuts without entertainment weekly and er. he's upset that er is on every weekday morning for two hours in a row and he has class at that time. there's a whole group of them - addicted to tv. they discuss their respective shows that they watch - buffy the vampire slayer, law and order, star trek: the next generation, etc. it seems that each of them loves tv more than anything; is even willing to and excited by watching large blocks of the same program repeatedly. they make mention of "three's company" marathons and one kid gives some anecdote about what episode of "three's company" everyone should know. i don't know what episode he's talking about. it doesn't appear that any of them has the vocabulary to use their extensive tv knowledge to write a stimulating dissertation on television or the varying methods employed in constructing a good situation comedy. they all just talk about being sucked into tv, of watching programs they don't care about, have no interest in, and yet it does not occur to any one of them that this may all be some conspiracy - some comic-esque method of making american citizens fat and lazy consumers. it does not occur to them that they are being terrorized by jennifer anniston's ridiculous pregnancy and martin sheen's presidency (though he is indeed the american president we can all agree on); that indeed, this is terror! they are instead pleased with their mutual addictions. they find it fascinating that there are others like them out there who care more about the latest episode of "dharma & greg" than rococo ornamentation in germany. i cannot help but admit that my feelings are markedly similar; that i am often overwhelmed with the urge to buy whenever i see a slick catalogue with images of an ideal world and all its ideal fixtures. i can only assume this urge has been planted in me by my television - its flickering images, it's brightly colored sets and fast-paced commercials. i too am a brainless consumer, fed my consumerism by the screen of my television, the speakers of my radio, the monitor of my computer and the pages of my magazines. i am a slave to america. i am a slave to her multi-national corporations, but i feel helpless to change any of it.

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