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Things I Hate About TV

January 24, 2022

I know hate is a strong word, but I’m going to use it here.  Bear with me.  What I’m writing may be offensive.

Let’s start with Commercials and Advertisements.

I really hate that for almost 25 years it has been legal for pharmaceutical companies to advertise their drugs on TV.  The tag line is generally, “Ask your doctor about…” whatever particular drug they’re pitching.  If you are suffering from a condition that is addressed by the drug, this may seem like a helpful and compassionate thing for the drug company to do.  Realistically, though, if you have to be the one to bring the drug to the attention of your doctor, you probably should get another doctor. 

Here’s another one from the world of pharmaceuticals.  One of the drug companies that has been providing a vaccine against Covid – actually, a vaccine which has proved to not be a vaccine, but may have helped some who have taken it to have a milder case of Covid; it has not stopped the spread of the virus (that may offend some people; sorry, not sorry) – have a commercial which carries the message, “We just want to get life back to normal.”  Now, according to things I’m reading on the Internet (so you know they’re true…), this particular drug company has almost quadrupled their net profits since they got in the Covid vaccine business.  For me, it’s hard to believe they really want to get things back to normal.  If things go back to normal, there won’t be a demand for their vaccine.  And when the demand goes away, so do their profits.  I’m not accusing any one person of being responsible for this preposterous ad.  There are, I’m sure many honest and good-hearted individuals working for them.  I’m just saying that as a company they’re attempting to make the world believe that they’re in the game because of an intrinsic altruism.  They are not.  They’re in the game to make money.  Tell me all you want that they have to recover the billions they spend on developing their drugs.  I’m accounting for this.  It doesn’t change the bottom line.

And while we’re talking about proposed altruism, one of the commercials I most hate is a pickup truck commercial whose pitch is that they build trucks to change the world, that these trucks are a force for good in the world.  Even their color brings hope to a hurting world.  Give me a break.  Even if the initial buyer’s satisfaction has landed you an award, your proposed altruism simply is not what trucks are about.  They’re about being durable and hauling stuff.  Saving lives and making the world a better place is down the line somewhere in terms of their buyer’s intentions. 

Or the truck ad where the guy and girl (both very attractive Ken and Barbie types) are standing in knee deep show.  He whistles and a cute puppy comes bounding through the snow.  It’s a gift for his beloved.  She squeals with delight and then says, “I’ve got something for you.”  Then she whistles and a $60,000 pickup truck comes bounding into the picture as if it were a cute puppy.  Well, that’s the way it always happens in real life.  Right?

Or the luxury auto company that has their quite-expensive car sitting in the driveway with a ribbon and bow on it as a nice Christmas present.  That happens in my neighborhood all the time.  NOT!

I could go on and on.  You get my point.  Almost all TV ads and commercials are pitched away from our thinking minds and toward our vulnerable feeling minds.  Their objective is to hook me with the idea that I can have things that I didn’t want until I saw their ad, and things I really don’t need and simply can’t afford.  In fact, things that, if I buy them, will put me in financial trouble.  

I find myself talking smack to the TV a lot.

Or this one last one.  Spoiler alert.  This will be offensive to some people. 

I’m really tired of everybody from mobile phone providers to vacation home rental companies featuring same-sex couples as normal and wholesome in their ads.  You’re welcome to call me homophobic.  I can take it. 

I Googled the percentage of people in America who are homosexual and got an estimate from the people at Gallop: 5.8%.  Even a person as math-challenged as I am can see that 5.8% does not constitute normal.  Whatever moral standard you’ve adopted will have to account for the wholesomeness factor. 

I hate this for me, but I really hate this for my grandkids.  They see the same TV ads I see.  Only they don’t have the intellectual and neurological capacity to filter it against reality and truth. 

So hate me if you want to. 

What I hate most of all about TV, though, is that I’m so addicted to it.  I sit down and turn it on, and 3 hours later I’m thinking, “I’m whipped.  I need to go to bed.”  Generally, I’m not more intellectually or spiritually enriched than when I sat down and turned it on 3 hours ago.  And on top of that, my neurology has been hijacked by this protracted screen time and I have trouble getting to sleep when I fall into bed. 

I hate that I let it steal time that I could have been using for something constructive.  Like reading great books or the Bible.  Or writing.  Or practicing the guitar.  Or praying, for crying out loud.  Or spending time listening to the human I love most of all in the world, my wife.  Or Facetiming with my grandkids.  Or…  The list goes into the thousands of things.

And I won’t even go into the actual content of the TV shows that I watch.  When I take a step back and evaluate, I wonder why I would spiritually and intellectually be drinking from the toilet. 

OK.  I’ve got all that off my chest.  Thank you. 

But what’s the value of it?  Good question.

I’m not on a campaign to cancel TV from the homes of thoughtful Christians.  I’m not really against TV.  I guess what I’m advocating is watching it with a thinking brain as well as a feeling brain.  Evaluate its messages.  Question their truthfulness, their logic.  There are some really good things on TV.  Things that make you laugh (which is a very good thing for your health on every level), make you cry (which is also good for you), make you think (also good).  But don’t be victimized by your unwillingness-masquerading-as-inability to turn the device off.  Set boundaries for yourself.  And your kids!  If you don’t, nobody else will. 

From → Marriage

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