Volume 3, Number 5
by Wil Forbis
"KILL YOUR TELEVISION!" That seems to be a popular phrase these days. I often see it pasted upon the backs of beat up VW vans or glaring off the T-shirt of some happy hipster. Then you pick up a newspaper or magazine and are forced to read an article crying about the "negative" effects that television has upon America. "It's turning our minds to mush," they whine. "The tele-parents are raising a generation of mental defectives," they snivel. Well enough, I say! Let's stop bashing the poor machine. Hasn't television suffered enough? Let's stop blaming TV for our country's ills and put the blame squarely where it belongs: Rap Music!
Honestly, I can't see what the problem is. I've never had anything but the utmost respect for the television set. Television has been a true friend when many of my supposed "real" friends have failed me. For instance, television always keeps me up to date on the sales at the local grocery store. Television advises me what beer to drink. And for snappy chitchat, television just can't be beat. Observe this stirring conversation I had with the T.V. set just the other day:
Guest on THE RIKKI LAKE SHOW: "An' I knew Vernon was foolin' around on me cuz this one time I came home and he and Stacy were lying around in their underwear eating Oreos."
Me: "Of course he's cheating on you! You're an overweight, illiterate cow!"
Rikki Lake: "Did it make you feel bad when you found out your husband was cheating on you?"
Me: "Why of course not, Rikki. Those are tears of joy she'd crying! Can't you see she's about to dance a rumba?"
Guest on the RIKKI LAKE SHOW: "It makes me feel sad and abused and stuff."
Therapist on THE RIKKI LAKE SHOW: "Now, Darleen. I want you to express your anger and know that everyone here cares about you. Can you do that for me, honey?"
Me: "Spare us your mindless psychobabble, you overpaid moron!"
Where else can you find that kind of stimulating, life-affirming dialogue?
Let me address some of the complaints that people have about television. Lot's of people say, "There's nothing but crap on television!" Well, for the most part, this is true. But let's be honest, don't we all enjoy a little crap every so often? There's nothing more relaxing after a hard day at work than coming home to a television filled with crap. You don't want to think, you want entertainment, which, loosely translated, equals breasts and violence. Fortunately, they are in great abundance on television, especially on that BAYWATCH show. Well, in my opinion, BAYWATCH is a little short on violence, but that's just me. But the only people who don't enjoy a little crap in their lives are stuffy intellectuals and who wants to be one of them? Go back to reading WAR AND REMEMBERENCE you elitist snob. Your mommy knit you that sweater, braniac? (I don't know why I bother with comments like that. It's doubtful any real intellectuals are reading this.)
But let me get to the root of my thesis. When people have bumperstickers that say "KILL YOUR TELEVISION" they're not saying "Please kill your television because I care about you and want you to better yourself by pursuing more culturally minded activities." No, they're saying "Yoo-Hoo! Look at me. I'm an intellectual. I don't watch television therefore I'm the next Madame Curie. Oh. Aren't I just the most!" It's one more attempt by pinko artist types to show just how special they are. I'll kill my television all right! I'll kill it by dropping it on your head!
So for those of you who enjoy a little boob-tube every once and a while, relax. Those pesky anti-T.V. fiends wont last forever. One of these days, there will be an earthquake or alien attack and those of us sensible to be firmly planted in front of the set will receive the trusty old E.B.S. warning. But those fruities out there enjoying nature, or worse, reading a book, will have no warning at all. Let's see how clever they look buried under thousands of tons of earth or in some U.F.O. penal colony. Enjoy your Dostoevski while you can, tulip breath!