How Will I Live?

From The Onion: Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn’t Own A Television.

“Green has lived without television since 1989, when his then-girlfriend moved out and took her set with her. ‘When Claudia went, the TV went with her,’ Green said. ‘But instead of just going out and buying another one — which I certainly could have afforded, that wasn’t the issue — I decided to stand up to the glass teat.’

‘I’m not an elitist,’ Green said. ‘It’s just that I’d much rather sculpt or write in my journal or read Proust than sit there passively staring at some phosphorescent screen.’ “

I’m not normally a big TV watcher, but at exam time I undergo a bizarre metamorphosis. Nothing is too banal, nothing too dull, it’s all good as long as it continues to provide an excuse to sit slack-jawed on the couch instead of gritting my teeth at my desk over comparative financing mechanisms of international trade transactions.

Which is why, over my back-to-back exam periods of the past few months, I developed certain, shall we call them, attachments, which cruel reality now threatens to deprive me of.

The Bachelor 3 had me screaming abuse at bitchcat Kirsten, with her shiftygoogly eyes and infuriating tendency to speak only from the back of her throat, Survivor had me screaming abuse at Jon the vicious conniving shrimp with bad hair, and Am I Hot? had me screaming abuse at the judges every time they dismissed someone who floated my boat. I writhed on the couch cursing David E. Kelley to hell and back in a particular episode of Ally McBeal where he made it look as if Ally might dump sweet sexy plumber Jon Bon Jovi for Fred Durst’s evil twin (played by fat-faced Matthew Perry). Let’s not even go into my hours of MTV hoping for just one glimpse of Justin Timberlake.

But as I stagger out of exam haze and re-enter the world of the living, a small part of me feels an acute sense of loss. The Bachelor is over. Ally’s broken up with her plumber. Survivor continues, but self-respect demands that I actually leave the house on Friday nights. Similarly, the Am I Hot? finals are tonight (black guy who’s an English teacher! black guy who’s an English teacher!), but I’ll miss them because I’m having dinner with Pei Ee. Tomorrow I’m taking mum to see Love, Actually (Colin Firth! Colin Firth!), which means I have to miss Punk’d.

I’m not proud of this promenade of plebeianism, but Armchair Psychology 101 suggests that the first step towards regaining my intellectual cred is to come clean and document my fall. Meanwhile, ongoing attempts to wean myself off the glass teat include If on a winter’s night a traveller and The Brothers Karamazov (still not quite Proust, but they’ll do for now), half-written poems stuffed in drawers (don’t even bother with the obvious jokes, y’all) and, quite importantly, admitting to some of my friends for the first time in a while that I actually exist.


  1. Wow. Since you got nominated for that award your blog has got really intense. “proud of this promenade of plebianism” deserves an award in itself! Hope you’re well.

  2. Matt: you know I was intense and snobbish way before any blog nominations. Just remember the way I react every time you tell me the new band you’re into! :) (BTW, although I’m not keen on the song, the video for I Believe In A Thing Called Love is fantastic. It certainly sweetened the pain of those hours waiting for Justin.)

  3. all the talk of “culture” WITHOUT TV (as if such a thing exists) makes me quesy, i think to cure it i need to recommend a movie…. may i recommend “the happiness of the Katakuri’s”

    it does for musicals what “the osbournes” does for comedies.Its a bit like Braindead by that Jackson bloke what done “lord of the Rings”

    oh and it has zombies that that Brothers Karamazov

  4. There seems to be some veiled suggestions at intellectual pretence floating around in these last few comments.

    A charge, I fear, Michelle will be more pleased than disapointed, to be accused of.

    But recommending an obscure 5 years old Japenese cult musical is just pushing things too far.

    And what’s more, like most boyfriends, I’ve drawn a line in the sand as regards these types of ahem, musical entertainments. It hasn’t always been easy; in weeker moments I’ve almost acquiested on Les Mis, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and so help me God, I watched half of Dirty Dancing. And now, as Christmas approaches my mind turns to another, awful threat – The Sound of Music.

    And why must I justify myself? Surely it is evident that I am male and that like all my species I can find no pleasure in spectacles that are sweet, uplifting and romantic and that catchy sound tracks with colourfully choroegraphed dance sequences will turn me off, not on.

    And what I’m trying to get at Brian, is not what turns me on or off, (another post, another time perhaps) but rather that if you must recommend art house films, please let them be boyfriend friendly – like say Once were Warriors, Mission Impossible, Debbie does Dallas.

  5. Should I start pimping your site out for votes on various web forums at this point or does pride come into the equation?

    Ah well, if you lose we can always fall back on the “vulgar masses have no appreciation of real talent” clause.

    I hope Balderdash lose anyway. I hate cheap bastards who put “Paypal Donate” buttons all over their sites. I know alot of bloggers are students but you have to draw the line somewhere. :)

  6. But Alec, isn’t the Happiness Of the Katakuris meant to be violent, trippy and psychotic? Surely all good things with any man who watched Eight Legged Freaks voluntarily. And you know I’d have been cool with Debbie Does Dallas. Hell, I’d have been cool with the equivalent of Debbie Does Dallas LIVE IN LONDON, but I seem to remember one of us wimping out of that…

    James: I don’t have the reader base or the cool design to support the number of votes it’ll take to win, so frankly I’m not even gunning for a win. I just want more people to find out about my blog, and hopefully about 5% of those who surf here on a link from that competition will like what they find enough to stick around. So pimping me out on various web forums is a very sweet suggestion, but unless your Total Annihilation buddies actually like what they see, their votes won’t ultimately mean too much to me. :)

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