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TV Rights

I wish televisions could be given full rights of personhood and citizenship. That way, the attention given them at family gatherings could be justified, celebrated even, in the way that we believe attention to children or to dogs is good.

How’s your holiday?



Blissfully family and TV free. If there were any of the former, there would have to be a whole lot of the latter though. Or else booze, but that’s a nonstarter with my family.

Happy impending New Year to you and yours.

Ah yes, booze. We were warned frequently about drunk drivers on the highway. Drunks on Christmas eve, no less, as though it were the most natural time to be out driving drunk. As if every third car on the highway was operated by a drunk…

Yeah, we used to get similar warnings 4th of July in A’bama.

Does the TV bother you that much? Few things seem more appropriate to me for family gatherings than TV. It’s how most families spend their formative years, so why not watch during your post-formative years?

Conversation, after all, inevitably leads to religion/politics/decades-old-grievances. And we know how fun those can be.

It bothers me a lot. Even when K and I were the worst perpetrators of television stupor—before we lost our cable, it still drove me crazy when we’d go visit family and the only thing to do was to watch the tube. This trip we visited my dad, whom I haven’t seen in three years. The house has a television in almost every room, and the TVs are on—even the one in the master bedroom where no one sleeps. (They put a king size bed in a room above the garage and sleep there.) At meals we’d be eating and talking, and dad’s eyes would wander over to Mythbusters or whatever the hell else was on. Excitement abounded when Bad Santa came on Comedy Central; likewise any other modern Christmas movie, especially if it starred Tim Allen. We watched the Chrismas train movie, too. I am exceedingly glad that the Monk marathon was scheduled for New Year’s, and not Christmas eve.

I register that it’s easier to avoid conversation with television, but you know, I find it fairly easy to avoid the really sensitive topics while still maintaining a good conversation and at the same time leaving the TV off. Mostly, I regret that the avoidance is so necessary. It feels not only like my dad doesn’t know either of us, but also like he doesn’t want to know either of us. It’s not really a question of knowing us well, it’s knowing us at all. He and I are pretty opposite—he’s a dyed-in-the-wool CoC NT = law type, which he carries to many parts of his personality in pretty fascinating ways. Sometimes I believe he suspects our difference, and I wonder if that means to him that, if we conflict, we will inevitably split… Anyway, he gets all avoidy, and when we’re talking he changes the subject—usually by way of the television.

On another note, of four families, we have three which are TV-centric. Oddly, none is centered in quite the same way.

Don’t f&*%ing knock Bad Santa, man.

I got a DVD of Bad Santa in the mail today from an old college buddy. He sent it all the way from the US. I am not kidding.

I’m deliberating whether or not it’s worth flipping the region on my laptop DVD player back to USA, then inevitably back to Europe again. You can only flip it a few times before it sticks to one region.

I do not understand your strange European technologies.

The movie’s good for watching, regardless.

I just flipped, and watched. It was good.

It’s not even strange European tech; my laptop is US. Most of the studios who distribute DVDs mark them by region. The US constitutes a region, Europe constitutes a region, etc. If you play an American DVD, you will have to be in region 1. If a European DVD, region 2, and so on. DVD players only allow you to switch regions 3-5 times, then it stays locked in whatever region you happen to be in.

It makes me very very angry. Angry enough to commit violence, if I just knew whom to actually attack.

On another front—if our sojourner to the MLA is around—how was Philly?