Every school morning I have a routine. Part of the routine requires watching 5 minutes of television from a small rabbit-eared box on my bureau.
I could pretend that I watch to catch up on the culture, but most of us have long switched to cable.
I could pretend that I watch for the weather, and as much as I enjoy the pretty people in nice clothes tell me what's happening outside, I already learned as much when I got the morning paper, another habit that might end soon.
I could pretend I watch for the traffic reports, but I walk to school. (I do confess to feeling a tad smug when I see major jams--surely there is a German word this this kind of pleasure.)
I watch Kenneth and Gloria Copeland Believer's Voice of Victory for a few seconds--a Stepford wife visual...click click...to Eyewitness News....click click...to Good Day Wake Up...then back through again. Smiles and colors and music and beats and boobs. They like me, they really, really like me!
So why do I watch?
Pure, thoughtless pleasure. Decades of psychological mining have produced a stream of light and sound that hugs my limbus like latex. I know I'm wasting time, and I do not care.
And now it's gone.
Anyone want an old television?
The Stepford Wives image from one of a gazillion on the net; the brain image is from the University of Vermont.