In the past two weeks, I've posted two pieces about the positive and long lasting impact of TV. My main points were:
There have been positive responses to these posts. Some remembered the collective experiences brought up in the last piece. Others noted how incredibly good TV has gotten recently. To those people, thank you.
However -- Boy oh Boy! -- judging by a number of comments, many of you clearly believe that TV is the Devil's PA System, and that I am the Assistant Principle at Beelzebub High. Some even suggested that by watching TV with my children, I was dooming them to become "Zombies of the great consumer culture." (Note: my kids are good, but thanks for your concern. We do much more than watch TV together, including eating, traveling, school work and reading humorously off the wall rants on the interwebs.)
This week, I've decided to directly address both the TV Lovers and the TV Haters out there.
First up, to those who read HuffPo TV and then write scathing comments about TV, this is for you:
If you hate TV so very much, what the holy heck are you doing on something called HuffPo TV? Shouldn't you be at a book store reading hardcover books or at a craft club sewing suede patches onto your tweed jackets or something? If you don't like television, if, you in fact hate TV, I totally and utterly respect that opinion. I would never ask you to watch something you disdain, nor would I suggest you bring a device that gives you such a karmic rash into your home.
However, visiting a site dedicated to TV and then bashing, wholesale, an entire art form -- anonymously, mind you -- is the very type of knee-jerk reaction I highlighted in my last post, that has made our society so incredibly polarized. Quite obviously, you are entitled to your opinion and free to post it wherever you want. But when you call those who like and watch TV "mindless," you are being both unkind and unfair to 95% of your fellow citizens. (What's more, doing so incognito avoids accountability for such insults.) This is one of many reasons I would argue that TV Time is a superior cultural influence than the "comments" sections of the internet where you seem to spend much of your free time.
Is all TV good? Of course not! A lot of TV is crap. But denigrating ALL TV as evil is like burning all books because Snooki is now a best-selling author. (That's right, bitches, Snooki has infiltrated BOOKS. How do you like them apples?) There are many books, magazines and newspapers that I personally believe are detrimental to society. But that doesn't ruin my opinion of the written word or compel me to post comments like "STOP READING AND START KNITTING."
Hey, I know I'm not going to convince someone who "burned their TV years ago" to sign up for cable. But, on behalf of those of us who actually love TV, I gotta ask you to dial back the screed a tad. We don't need you to tell us to read a book or talk to our kids. We do those things too.
HuffPo has literally thousands of pages of stuff about subjects OTHER than TV. I suggest you enjoy them.
For those of you who watch/like/LOVE TV like I do, I offer this list of reasons to reaffirm your passion for medium in year ahead (or, for those "Book People" out there who might be considering joining the dark side):
THE 11 BEST REASONS TO OWN A TV IN 2012:
So, to those of you who hate TV -- I have to say, you really don't know what you're missing. To those of you who love TV -- it looks like a great year ahead. Hopefully, in the year ahead, we can all set a good example and learn to get along.
To everyone in both camps: Here's to a great 2012... HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Follow Evan Shapiro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/eshap