Thursday, January 31, 2013

A few things I don't want to know

I've got to admit, as soon as I get back to the place my Carolina grandsons call "the snowy house," my focus changes somewhat. Instead of gazing out the window at the wild, wonderful Atlantic Ocean and walking the beach in search of shells and other interesting bits of flotsam, my Galva routine--especially on cold, wintery days and after dark-- often includes a hearty dose of the almighty tube.
That's right. Television.
Of course, it's not like we've got one of those home theatre systems that I admire on visits to electronics stores and the homes and basements of my many rich and famous friends, but we do have basic cable and a big old set that has enough screen size to enable me to read the score from across the room. And really, that's all I need.
Some recent surgery and the resulting period of required rest, recuperation and off-and-on visits to a pharmaceutically induced la-la land just served to enhance my new-found TV jones, keeping me glued to the tube as surely as if I had been chained to my recliner with the remote control duct-taped to my hand.
Here's what I discovered.
First off, there were no real surprises regarding my personal tastes and preferences. I still like cop shows and sports, plus a healthy smattering of history and the nature-based programming my sons used to derisively describe when they still lived under my roof.
Son 1: Where's dad?
Son 2: Out back watching one of his bug shows.
I still think reality shows are patently unreal, both in terms of content and quality, but, hey, that's just me, and I don't mind if you watch them as long as you don't make me watch them with you.
To be quite honest, the portion of the TV arena that puzzles and disappoints me the most is the news. Time was, the national and local news shows were on-air entities where smart-seeming people told us interesting things about important stuff. And for sure, a certain amount of that goes on still. But more and more, much of what passes for news and information on television is pretty darned dumbed down.  Now, I suppose it could be that the insightful geniuses who run TV news are sort of feeling threatened by the content available on what has to be their main competition--the internet. And it's true, where else would I have discovered informational treasures like the newly discovered fact that the Dung Beetle uses The Milky Way for navigation, or the latest on the earth-shaking maple leaf controversy in Canada? But when it comes to TV news, I've decided it's not so much what I know or want to know that counts anymore.
It's what I don't want to know, which often coincides with the content they seem to go on and on and on about.
For example...
• I don't care if Manti Te'o's girlfriend is real, unreal, dead or alive. Now that the BCS Championship game is over, all I really do care about is whether the Bears have a shot at him in the NFL draft.
• I know it's hard to believe, given that I am a much-admired fashionista myself, but I really don't need to know who is wearing what by whom as they saunter into any of the plethora of entertainment awards shows that have been on the air lately.
• Did Beyonce lip synch the National Anthem? Beats me. Does it matter?
• I do not know--nor do I care to know--anything about anyone named Kardashian.
• Our president called it. It was he, after all, who laughingly called the unveiling of his wife's new bangs just a few days before his second inauguration, "the most significant event of this weekend."
I agree, she looked cute. But it's just a haircut, kids.
Let's get over it.

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