Monday, April 25, 2011
I used that title for this post because that's what my father used to call tv-the boob tube. Or he'd call it the idiot box. I respectfully disagree with Big Jim. I watch a lot of television. I always have. And I don't pretend it's all Discovery channel, History channel, or PBS. Hell, I haven't watched PBS in years. Now some would look down their noses at this behavior, but I respectfully disagree with them too. Not all television is good, by any means, but the same can be said for books. (And I read a lot too.) I watch tv because when I'm not working or writing, and I have some time to myself, I like to sit back, veg, and enjoy the world tv offers.
I saw a few things yesterday while I was watching the boob tube that stuck with me. First was the movie My Life As A House. I've seen this movie a number of times, and since I enjoy Kevin Kline's acting, it's something I can watch again and again. But I love the line in the film when his son complains that Kline's character has never cared before and he answers, "I'll apologize for everything but today. Today, I give a shit!"
I also watched Cinema Verite on HBO, a film about a family in the early 1970s who naively agreed to allow a television camera crew to tape their everyday lives-the first reality show. Extremely interesting, particularly Diana Lane's portrayal as the mother of the family and James Gandolfini's portrayal as the producer looking to film the disintegration of the family, it was a glimpse back in time to days gone by when the world was more innocent. Yes, I know that sounds hokey, but it was. If you lived through the 70s in anywhere other than New York, D.C., or LA, it was a time when life was truly more innocent. The world was certainly changing, but compared to today, it was smaller. Everything seemed local, despite the fact that nationally the country was hurdling toward a new day.
In addition, I watched a show on the History channel about Sun Tzu. I read The Art of War years ago-one of the most worthwhile reads I strongly advise people to get their hands on asap. The program highlighted wars and generals that utilized Sun Tzu's military principles. So much of what he had to say about military strategy works in business and everyday life. Forget about the opponent who's all bluster. Worry about the one who takes his time and exercises patience. And manipulating the playing field, whatever it may be, is a valuable resource. Use your assets wisely and concentrate on your opponent's weaknesses. Good stuff!
Finally, those bastards at Showtime have tricked me into loving The Borgias. Damn you Showtime! I watched the first episode and wasn't thrilled, so I went online and cancelled the Showtime package. Well, then it never went away, I got busy with work and everything else, and somehow I found myself planted in front of the tv every Sunday to watch the show. Now I look forward to it, and Machiavelli even made an appearance last night.
Maybe there's something about what my father used to say about it being addictive. But I don't drink a lot, haven't done drugs in longer than I can remember, and gave up smoking in 2000, so if my addiction is television, I'm ok with that.
at 8:22 AM