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View Poll Results: Do you have a TV?
Yes 20 83.33%
No 4 16.67%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 31st Jan 2007, 11:16   #1
John Self
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Default TV or not TV?

I started this thread because a number of Palimpsesters have mentioned, apropos other topics, that they don't own a television. (From memory, John from Paris, Hekaterine - and formerly Notty - and kumquat I think.) And while none of them would state the fact in any sort of proud or superior way, I can't quite get away from the fact that, to me, such a situation seems almost freakish. (Er, no offence, guys!) And I mean to open it out beyond Palimpsest to those who live without a telly in the wider world. Obviously when I say that I am excluding the possibility of people who can't afford a set.

Now: to me, actively deciding not to have a TV is precisely akin to consciously blocking access for yourself to books, cinema, recorded music, etc. How would we react if someone said, "I don't watch films"? Because just as the vast majority of books are crap - or at least I am certain they would give me little or no pleasure - so are the overwhelming bulk of TV programmes. But some are superb. The Singing Detective is as worthwhile as Scorsese. The Office is no less valuable than Wodehouse.

So: do you have a TV, and if not, explain yourself!
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 11:25   #2
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

I have a TV, and in the past have been relatively hooked. Time constraints and lifestyle (I'm out of the house 15-16 hours a day at the moment) have cut into that, but I do watch to help me 'download' the day and just relax.

As my timetable is rather prohibitive I no longer catch programmes that I'd normally hunt out (so that Five Days thing, for instance, has just had to be ignored, and 24 is being missed, I'm afraid), and although I mostly wish it were otherwise I think it's probably a good thing that I'm less and less tied to the box.

The time I do spend in front of the crystal bucket now tends to revolve around my own choices of DVD or videos.

Jack Bauer wouldn't stand for this shit, but I have to.
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 11:34   #3
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

We have a TV, and it is another form of entertainment and education and communication, along with the daily newspaper we take, the radio we listen to when we wake up, the books and films we read and watch.

Like Amner, there have been times when we have watched more than we do now. Mr Col invariably working in the evening means that we don't watch many series, though we do our best with things like The State Within, Spooks, Life on Mars, which run mid-week. As most people here will know, our daily date with the box is Neighbours, which has consistently entertained and moved us over the last twenty years, and provides a much-needed 'chill-out' half-hour when we eat our (early) evening meal, before the chaos of the rest of the evening begins.

Although we can go several days at a time without watching much else, there is so much that can be communicated, either drama-wise, or news/documentary-wise by the TV: witness our green envy at Noumenon's acquisition of the David Attenborough boxed set.

In judicious moderation, it's a delight and the maker of some of the best memories: Dr Who, Blue Peter, historic news items.
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 11:58   #4
John from Paris
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

Originally Posted by John Self View Post
So: do you have a TV, and if not, explain yourself!
No. [JS has already outed me. Actually, I was proud enough to out myself (see the Bullying/Big Brother thread).]

I will happily write more about this when I have more time. But now, without comment, I would like to add the following exchange which I have not infrequently been involved in:

Whoever it is: What are you reading there?
Me: [shows the cover]
Whoever it is: Oh. What's that about, then?
Me: [sound-bite synopsis]
Whoever it is: What are you reading that for?
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 12:08   #5
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

I agree with JS. Not having a TV because of the existence of crappy TV programmes is analagous to not going into the library/bookshop in case the Dan Brown gets you. I can't bear the TV being on the whole time, and the s.o's desire to channel flick and have something - anything - on drives me out of my mind - or at least the room and into my bedroom with a book. But there have been so many wonderful programmes - Six Feet Under, ER, Bodies, Cardiac Arrest, Cracker, State of Play to name but a few - that I would never wish to be rid of the TV. Besides which, I couldn't bear not being able to watch the news - living without the news is one thing I find irksome when on holiday abroad. Plus you can see some ace films - Robert Altman, Coen Brothers, Marty Scorsese, Nic Roeg and thousands of others. Nope, together with my library card, my TV is the best value entertainment system I've got.
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 12:25   #6
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

I'm currently between TVs since my last one up and died on me. (I don't know why I keep buying Philips products when they keep breaking down...) Normally, I have a TV, but no antenna. Everything I watch is either on DVD or downl... I mean, somehow mysteriously appearing on my computer. That way, I have to make an active choice what to watch as opposed to just turning the thing on and sitting there.
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 12:31   #7
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

The shared house I live in right now has a TV, but once I'm back in Edinburgh I'll be getting a TV card for my computer and just buyiong a single big-ass screen for our flat. One is enough, I reckon.

...But yeah, I think the question is 'do you watch TV shows', right JS? In which case - yup!
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 14:45   #8
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

We do have a TV, and I watch lots of stuff on it. Much of it should probably be classed as Absolute Rubbish, but it's just what I need in the evening after a long day. Though I should probably turn it off and read a book or write a letter - much more fulfilling on the whole. I guess it's just willpower.

Life didn't used to be like this - we didn't have a TV in my childhood home until I was in my first year at secondary school, as I know I've mentioned elsewhere on Palimpsest. My sister and I played, listened to Storyteller tapes and read instead, and although I did occasionally feel left out of some of the playtime games at school (I'd never watched Neighbours, for example, so how could I join in a re-enactment?) I didn't hanker after a TV especially strongly.

Although I don't think I would ever seriously consider getting rid of our telly (there is some great stuff to watch, after all), I do go through stages of trying to cut down on the amount of time it's turned on, and have successfully rid myself of the urge to watch soaps.

I can't bear the TV being on the whole time
Leyla, this gets to me sometimes, too, especially when I get home to find my partner in the kitchen with the washing machine spinning and the TV on in the living room, where he certainly can't even hear it. He feels a need to have the telly on when we're doing stuff like playing Scrabble, too, which is also irritating.
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 15:10   #9
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

He feels a need to have the telly on when we're doing stuff like playing Scrabble, too, which is also irritating.
Well, if you played a bit quicker he wouldn't need to...

Seriously, though, we have the TV on most evenings. As you can see from the Filmlists, we, and it's usually we, watch a movie 3 or more times a week, often 6 times, unless there's some sport we both watch (tennis / golf) or one of the better tv dramas like spooks. We avoid multi-episode dramas because we seldom see all the episodes. We watch a news a day, probably, and if we run dry on movies (live or recorded) we watch the music channels till we get bored. Music channels: MTV, VH1, Magic, ClassicFM. But we don't like all these rude rap videos with half-naked birds fawning over aggressive black men with enormous trousers. Oh, no. Well... Black-Eyed Peas are OK, I suppose. We generally get the latest trend in music, just as it becomes unfashionable. Hence The Eagles.

What a ramble.

However, in the course of work and holiday, we frequently find ourselves marooned with dire foreign public television. 2 years Finland; 4 years Sweden; 1 year Germany; 1 year USA; Greece; Spain; France; Italy; Hong Kong; Malaysia; Korea(!); Japan, and no way of knowing when the subtitled US and UK programmes will be coming on. Then... Oh, then... Books are our friends.
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 15:22   #10
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Default Re: TV or not TV?

Like Lucoid, we weren't allowed to watch much TV as kids, so as a consequence I don't tend to have it on that much at all. Although saying that, I do sometimes watch some absolute tripe. I like to be able to watch the news, but apart from that I could probably live without the telly, although you do get the occasional decent film. It is nice some evenings in the winter when it's pissing down outside and you're knackered, to just switch on and go into a TV-induced coma.
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