Gray Matter

Stop Watching TV!

stop watching tv

Stop Watching TV!

You know them, you have to hear about them in the workplace, and maybe some of you even watch this rubbish (please go put your head in the toilet and gargle instead). So many terrible shows stain our TV screens: Celebrity Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here, The Voice, X Factor, or the standard format for most of these type of shows – “I’m a random Z list celebrity and I will perform [insert task here] for a nice meal and a warm bed”. Yes, you are all aware of them, some of you may even watch them, but my question to you and the millions of viewers around the world is – HOW?! Every time these mind-numbingly stupid, simplistic and completely tacky shows are on TV a little part of me dies inside. As someone who has grown up in the celebrity-obsessed culture, but who has also seen the descent of human interests in many finer areas, I am utterly repulsed at what is deemed entertainment nowadays and this is my place to vent and my proposal to you: Stop watching TV!

“Oh, if you don’t like it, don’t view it then”, or “there is nothing else on TV”, “well, each to their own, I like this show and you like yours”, and “oh but it is really fun and entertaining” are some common responses that I hear when talking to people about these shows. In response to the first statement – don’t worry, I won’t be watching these shows! However, I do not always have control over the remote control or else it is forced upon me, shovelled down my throat by being the main topic in the workplace, pub or amongst those around me. When people actually do occasionally peer up from their phones for a split second to discuss who their favourite wannabe superstar on X Factor is or which individual they find most obnoxious (or least offensive) on Big Brother, you have to question whether this is all that individual has to bring to the table in the conversational arena as a whole. The day that I am so limited in my knowledge, ability to communicate with others or my only contribution to discussion is to talk about pseudo celebrities, then I feel you can bring me to the little ivory factory in the sky…

“Oh, this Mebs guy is one miserable bastard isn’t he? What is his problem, to each their own like, maybe we might consider what he likes as crap as well?” Yes, you may do so, but having a difference in opinion on the artistic merits or entertainment values of say Breaking Bad in comparison to Downton Abbey is a difference in preferences and tastes. However, watching someone eating a kangaroo’s testicle, or people being fed alcohol until they vomit and get into fist fights with one another, or laughing at oddballs destroying Celine Dion classics is a far cry from the work of Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde or Alfred Hitchcock. These shows are objectively shit and are perfect examples of why you should get out of your house more. Now stop watching TV!

It is not a difference in tastes or preferences, but instead it exemplifies the degeneration in human value and what we accept as entertainment nowadays. More shocking, more disgusting, more humiliating and degrading are all recipes for successful TV shows. Who can degrade themselves, humiliate others, reveal the most secretive, crude and detailed things about themselves will be a success in this sadistic little entertainment dystopia. What type of society have we become when we weigh a show’s worth on how much it will harm individuals’ lives outside of the show? When we sit around and watch ‘celebrities’ whose limited careers are already long over or people we have never heard of, what has our lives came to? Why don't we just stop watching TV shows such as these?

One particular show has really made my head scratch recently is called Gogglebox. It is a show surrounded around televising multiple different families sitting around watching TV in their homes and the comments they make. Sometimes they even watch reality TV shows, making the absurdity even more fruitful. It is essentially people sitting around watching TV of people sitting around TV, which is of course viewed by us – people sitting around watching TV. I feel embarrassed for people who genuinely have nothing more stimulating to do with their lives than to watch other people on TV watching other people on TV. If this ever happens to me, then you can put me down and make a fine piano out of me! Maybe I will be played on Keeping up with the Kardashians or some wannabe can sit on me as her prop in X Factor. At least I will get my minute of fame, oh yes, I will be famous because that is what we all want after all. Our five minutes of fame and glory. Or maybe make that 2.5 minutes depending on the retweets… Now, put the remote down and stop watching TV!

Stop Watching TV!

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