Thursday, March 19, 2015

Post 4: The great battle of paper and pixel

This article is about the struggle to watch all the awesome things on TV while at the same time reading all the awesome book and writing all the articles I want to write. In this scenario the paper is reading and writing, and the pixel is consuming television. Ebooks and MS Word are not included in this comparison for the purpose of symmetry.
I’ve always felt that reading non-fiction is like forcefully opening rooms in my brain I didn't know existed, and that reading fiction was like force opening rooms in my heart I didn't know existed. I have found reading to be enriching and eye opening.
This opening of my world has sometimes been quite depressing, and other times quite heart-warming.  The best illustration of this idea is the meme of the three men standing on books to understand the world, the higher the book stacks they stood on, they saw different parts of the world, and the man on the highest stack of books saw the heavens. (I tried to find the image to include it in this post but like everything else, it’s only where when you’re not looking for it)

On the other hand, Television in all its manifestations; Series, Films, Reality TV etc… has become an easy consumable with specific time periods and the convenience of no prerequisite brain activity. The imagination is done for you, the empathy for characters is given to you a gold platter with sound tracks and actual tears and zooming etc… Sometimes you even have a narrator tell you exactly what transpired just in case you were too lazy to move your brain cells around to spark an idea.
But it’s fun, the stories are getting more and more intriguing, the acting is getting better and the special effects are more real than actual reality.
I’m reminded of the film Idiocracy (If you haven’t watched it. Watch it!) that describes a phenomena where clever people mostly die out and stupid people breed and live and eventually outlive all the clever people. In the end the most popular contraption is an all in one bed + lazy boy + toilette + fridge + Television unit. It’s the ultimate end for the lazy all-consuming zombies we are all about to become if we go down that path.
I realize the irony of using a film to convey an idea that films and television are bad.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh, maybe it’s only because I feel guilty for binge watching three seasons of a stupid jingoistic uber nationalist American TV show (I know, I've just described half of Television) and I really need to give more time to Roberto Bolano  and his Third Reich.
Or maybe I’m angry at myself for developing a level of apathy and helplessness towards the injustices we see around us, that I’m taking it out on myself.
No. It’s the first one.

Moral of the story, don’t watch too much TV.

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