Posted by: scottishboomerang | May 26, 2008

Fare Thee Well, O Televison.

Silence on The Scottish Boomerang recently should be attributed to the horrendously stressful time of sitting lawyers accrediation exams in London ( for US readers, that’s a bit like the Bar, but without the friendly multiple choice format), and trying to relocate to Suffolk from Scotland. Exams having been sat, I am now sleeping on a Korean-skyle bedding arrangement on the floor of my empty appartment in an anglian market town, meditating on the fact that it is cheeper, far cheeper, for me to relocate 10,000 miles accross the world than to move from one end of my tiny island to the other.

So, in an effort to save money, I took the decision that I will not have a TV in my home. You see – aside from the cost of the set and add-ons itself, Brits have to pay a tax on their TV, a licience which costs them about 135 GBP (thats about US $270) for the privilage of having the blessed thing in your house in the first place. Attempt to watch the google-box without it, and you’ll face a $2000 fine. However, many people simply cannot do without the beloved cyclops, and so pay up.

But for me, the decision to go without a TV makes a lot of sense. I don’t watch sports, game shows, soap operas, home improvement/property development shows, cop shows or reality TV you see, and that means that 90% of the programming is totally, utterly irrelevent to my life. There is nothing a TV can do for me that I cannot get from elsewhere, especially the net, and my film buff tenandcies are better spent getting one of those “all the holywood crap you can watch and more” cards from the local cinema. And lets not discount Radio 4, intelligent, informative, but as dull as dishwater as Radio 1 is lightweight and stupid. Radio 4 is the last bastion of the 1950s. I defy you to find another.

So what do do then, with no TV? Well, for one thing it gets you out of the house. It struck me after a while that many people I know use the TV as a substitute for friendships.  The lack of it makes you hunger for human company, for conversation and discussion of ideas.  I’m begining to formulate an idea that revolutions cannot occur in countries where most of the population have access to 50 or more TV channels.  For I have more time to think. And therefore I am more myself, if you follow my Cartesian reasoning.

At any rate, my house is an oasis of calm, punctuated only by the dulcit tones of the theme to “The Archers”, which airs on Radio 4 at least, oh, every hour or so, and is the most soporific soap opera known to man.

I can’t wait for broadband.


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