Home > Bitching, New York, Silliness, Skepticism, TV > The Time I Met People Without TVs

The Time I Met People Without TVs


So this seems to be a phenomenon endemic to Brooklyn. Not having a TV because you don’t have the money? Completely understandable. But there seems to be some kind of pride amongst hipsters in Brooklyn in simply not owning a television set. They do not watch TV online using their computers, nor do they go to someone else’s house to catch a program. The implication is that TV shows are simply beneath them, and they cannot waste their time on such plebeian pursuits.

When asked why they don’t own a TV, they proceed to regale you with all their hobbies that make having a TV useless. “Well, I don’t own a TV since I spend most of my time out in my organic garden that I built in a rusty dumpster.” Or, “I go to a lot of little indie shows and galleries, you probably haven’t heard of them, and I just don’t have time for TV.” All this is said with a smug smirk of superiority. By revealing that they don’t have a TV (and trust me, they’ve been itching to tell you), they imply that YOU, by even mentioning a TV show, are a member of the unwashed masses.

There is a sense of pity in their eyes as they look at you, the sad slave to the TV. You are now part of the unenlightened class, and if only you knew the joy of composting or thrift stores, surely you too would give up on your TV. These are types of people likely to refer to the TV as the “idiot box” or “boob tube,” as if they are geriatrics who grew up in a time when radio was king. Though devoted to their iPods or vinyl records, they look upon television with nothing but disdain.

This really rubs me the wrong way since it implies that TV shows are somehow inferior to music, movies, books, or other forms of entertainment and expression. Turning your back on television has you missing out on great shows that are more than just trash. Are shows like Breaking Bad, Planet Earth, Sherlock, or Game of Thrones really not worth their attention? Is creating Etsy “art” out of objects found in the gutter such a superior use of their leisure time? Are those of us who watch and actually enjoy such programs simply to be pitied?

How did TV get such a bad rap?

Update: Of course, the Onion has been covering this since 2000. It’s an epidemic!

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  1. April 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

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