I've blogged a few times in the past about how I do not read newspapers. I'll now address the issue of television, and why I don't watch it either.
The main and simplest reason why I don't watch the tv is because I live with three females. They have agreed upon a reasonable viewing schedule, and for some odd reason it does not include any time for me. I imagine they expect me to sit alongside them and watch their shows. The few times I do get the converter and try to watch a decent documentary or other show, I get to hear "I don't like this." "Can you turn?" "I'm not getting anything out of this show." "But what about my show?" and so on. I currently have a half hour of tv a week, and it's Roy Underhill's The Woodwright Shop. I am a galoot, among other interests.
No, I can spell the reason I hate tv in just three letters: CSI. It's Puff's favourite franchise, with the exception of Miami. She hates Caruso and his bad.... Captain.... Kirk...Impression. I am not completely appalled by the shows' total lack of reality- especially bad considering the franchise's premise of hyper reality: "It's about the evidence." CSI teams don't participate in arrests; they don't interview suspects. As crazy as it sounds, Crime Scene Investigation teams investigate- get this- crime scenes. They also don't wear makeup to the scene. They don't have long flowing hair that drags on the carpet as they're looking under the couch. They collect evidence wearing a kind of hazmat suit that completely covers them, and isolates them from the scene. In this world, I can imagine a result on a hair sample: "We've matched the hair sample from the scene. It's yours." I saw a Miami episode once where Caruso, by the sheer force of his personality, kept the feds from investigating a plane crash in his area. Uh, no dear. Plane crashes are a very specialized field of investigation, and in the States is handled by the NTSB. In order to figure out why one fell out of the sky, the investigator needs to know why they get up there in the first place.
And don't get me started on how everyone working in the labs looks like a model. I worked in a quality control lab, once. Had the women there looked like the women on CSI, I would still be there.
But the reason I really hate this show, is it's distorted look into crime. Most murders are a simple affair, investigated and solved in a matter of hours. The garden variety murder is a simple crime of passion, or anger. A fight gets out of hand, and the means are nearby, and soon there's a dead body. Simple.
Not so on TV. To make the show interesting, the murderers and the crimes must be fascinating, read: sexual. And not just ordinary sex. CSI has featured a dominatrix on several occasions; a man who liked to be treated as a baby; and my favourite- plushies. I did not know about plushies before I was stuck watching that episode with Puff. I can say, now, I wasn't poorer for not knowing. I did not want to know there was such a thing. I did not need to know there was such a thing. But now I know that there is such a thing, and the world is somewhat darker to my eyes.
The franchise has also had killer dwarfs; 'indigo children' who kill- or not; a person suffering from leukemia who kills his sister to save her; and, bizarrely, ninja corporate executives who also kill.
Now I am afraid to leave my front door. I live in fear that some ninja dwarf leukemic executive dressed as a rabbit has it in for me. I long for the days when the only thing I had to worry about was Puff on PMS with a steak knife.
I'll stick with watching my galoot show. I don't think learning how to plane a board is dangerous knowledge. Though, in the hands of CSI writers, a saw wielding galoot might just crop up in some dismemberment plot.