Psychosis TV

When I was in New Jersey, I spent much of the day with my mother at the facility where she was staying, then went to her house for the evening. When I got to the house, I was usually pretty beat. Next I would call my siblings, wife, and the occasional aunt or cousin to update them on the situation. After that, I was pretty energized again.

So I turned on the TV. I have been TV-free in my home since leaving my senior year in college (1987-88), except for one year of living in a group house with the Fourth World Movement.

On my Facebook page, I claim my favorite TV program is a book: Four Reasons for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander.

You see, I am a TV addict. When given the opportunity, I sit there mindlessly changing channels, hoping for something better to come on. So, I avoid the problem by not having one of the devices at home. Admittedly, our computer will play DVDs, and so we rent one or borrow one from the library a few times a year. But that's it, except for when we visit either grandma's house.

So, while in NJ, I stayed up too late every night watching TV. I also watched TV with my mom in her room, because it gave her something to focus on outside of her own illness and pain. So I got to see a LOT of TV. Waaay more than I've seen in a long time, even when visiting various relatives.

Sure, there were several good shows. I got to see the Daily Show and the Colbert Report for the first time. (Seriously!) A review of Carol Burnett's career. The Wizard of Oz. And I saw a new episode of South Park, a show I've seen just a couple of times before. It was really rather funny, about the kids nearly achieving "Guitar Hero" video game stardom ("Real guitars are for OLD people!" -- Cartman).

What really struck me from watching all the other shows that I will not admit to watching is how utterly psychotic so many of the people in them are. Psychosis TV as opposed to Psychic TV (semi-legendary music/video outfit).

Here's part of the definition of "psychotic" from wikipedia:

Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality". ... People experiencing a psychotic episode ... may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking. This is often accompanied by lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of their behaviour, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the activities of daily living.

Yes, that sums up my recent experience of TV. Incidentally, if it wasn't for numerous people in my meeting as well as a few kind bloggers praying for me, I probably wouldn't have lasted the week. I know I wasn't doing much praying. I felt pretty distant spiritually... except for doing my filial duty... and one daily practice of walking that I hope to write about.

1 comment:

Allison said...

I wonder if being psychotic is just a trend, the pendulum swing from the other end of 1950s mentality of perfection and the American Dream. The American Dream is considered a painful lie by some weirdos like me. My partner and I were just fantasizing about the idyllic life we could have one day, and then joked it was too perfect and that made us want to barf, and so we threw some theoretical stupid fights into the fantasy. In other words, my generation still believes in the American Dream, it just looks slightly f*ed up. Much more realistic.