I have a confession to make. There is something about me that is... well, it's deeply un-American. Subversive. Perverted and sick. It's a secret that places me well outside the realm of polite society. It's enough to make my lack of religious belief seem positively normal, maybe even wholesome.
It's my sin, and my shame.
I don't watch television.
I get my news off the Internet. I watch movies on DVD. We have cable, but only for our Internet connection. Our television doesn't even have an antenna. It can pick up three channels, and two of them are in Spanish.
I don't know what a Kardashian is. (Judging by the magazines in the checkout line, it's a species of dark-haired, bosomy woman whose only purpose is to provide a vicarious social life for bored housewives. Do they actually do anything, or are they another example of the Paris Hilton school of being famous because they're famous?) The Gosselins? If it wasn't for checkout line magazines, I wouldn't even know they existed. American Idol? I know, vaguely, about one guy - because he played at the local music festival. He got booted off the show right after he made his appearance. Adam Somebody-or-other, I think.
Our television set exists in a perpetual melancholy, darkly jealous of those other devices that get such a wide range of programs to display. It yearns to be connected to cable or satellite, to receive current programming, to teach us what we need through commercials. These dreams are never fulfilled. It makes do with input from the DVD Player, the Playstation, the Xbox. Sometimes, in the depths of the night, it sobs quietly to itself. I hear it, but I harden my heart against its cries. It's for the device's own good, really.
So now you know my secret. Pick a show, any show. Whatever it is, I don't know what happened on last night's episode. The latest game between Our Team and That Other Team? No, I didn't see it. Did I hear that thing on the news? No.
Nobody cares whether or not I go to church, but failing to watch television? That's weird. Incomprehensible. Barbaric. Tell people you don't watch TV, and they look at you like there must be something deeply wrong. The sales rep for our cable provider flatly refused to believe it. His brain just wouldn't process the idea.
I've taken to explaining that we're religious fanatics. It's more socially acceptable.
Which is kind of sad, when you think about it.