Greetings from a live person!

All of my friends are box-watching zombies!!! Where are people who actually LIVE???
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Post by justinwood » Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:27 pm

Hey Lydia,

I just read through that chapter, and I must add that it deals far more with Christian television programs as a suppliment for church, rather than television as an inadequate substitute for anything (especially a believer in Christ) - the rest of the book explains television extremely well in-depth.

Chapter 8, however, is still a good enlightener for television-admirering Christians in any case (of which accounts for most American Christians).


The Steve Kelly
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Fully alive in Scotland

Post by The Steve Kelly » Sun Nov 06, 2005 8:22 pm

howdy hombres, word to the minority. theres no one here, comparitively. how many people are reading aint it cool news right now? i wonder what the forum for desperate houswives is saying...

well, i don't really. it's an example. but you ralise the most beautiful places in the world feature less people than more? in my own personal, tremendously limited experience of the world, the beach looks best when its empty, walks in the woods amplify solitude and when i gaze at the stars nothing else exists, including myself.

there may only be a few of us here, not glued to the big radiation machine with adverts, but as socrates said, the majority is always wrong.

i'm not so sure about the t.v as religion comparrison. t.v is motion with meaning attatched.

watch the ocean waves break, watch a fire crackle, watch the clouds scud, watch the trees shake off leaves in the autum wind - it's all motion. we love it. people love motion. you start staring into a fire and you cant stop. youll keep feeding the sucker. theres a huge turn out for bon fire night here in the UK (idiots celebrate the death of a freedom fighter) because people just aint used to seeing a fire anymore. it's laughable and laugh i do...

i can understand the comparison of tv and religon: the altar, the service, the emulation of the virtual guru for only £29.99 and so on...

but TV is just the latest escape from reality to "Plague" mankind. some old greek dude was totally against the written word as it would decrease the power of memory and indulge folks in fantasy and so on. it was an escape said he, and to a degree he was spot on. it is. and the drug -ike tv is only drug-like in that it changes your state of mind. ive taken a lot of drugs in my life - not rolling stones proportions - but enough to know what they do to me, and i would recomend them to anyone. i dont take them so much anymore because being straight is the new wasted...

but i spent a good few years getting high and reading books and listening to music. and it was brilliant and i would do it again in a second. and before that i spent the best part of my youth watching the television. i liked the adverts best and used to hop between the two comercial channels in the uk to catch the best ones. (two channels with adverts. ahaha - oh my the glory days of innocence)

but somewhere in my mid teens - once my parents had sky tv and i spent hours and hours a week watching rubbish - i had an epiphany, the same kind everyone on here has had, that just struck me cold and rocked my world.

i thought "here, this is bullshit!" and i aint gone back to it since. thats probably about a decade ago. and theres been a heap of drugs and gigs and books and travells and jobs and the world in between then and now.

and life is hard. the first sentance in M.scott pecks the road less travelled is possibly the most usefull and obvious statement there is:

life is difficult

ha HA! it's so true. buddah said life is suffering and pain, and he was totally right. but who ever said that suffering and pain were a bad thing?
where did we get any kind of idea that life should be anything else BUT suffering and pain?

advertisers perhaps?

how can one old dude whos been through a war that most of us can not feasably IMAGINE remember a life of suffering and pain with tears in his eye and a smile on his face and call it Beautiful?

because it is. it all is. everything.

and the awake ones live it all and the sleepy ones watch edited scripted versions of it with commercial breaks.

we few are the seekers of truth and fighters of the valliant fight and will pass into obscurity like billions before us without fame and without media coverage or headlines or mass mourning or strangers throwing flowers at out coffin.

and thats great because thats life. that's reall life and it's real so dont expect an oscar for living it that way. don't expect any attention or praise or notice for it, because thats life.

and you'll get all those things in your life if you want them. you'll get praise and respect and love - it's all about love - in your life if you so wish it. but don't expect it to be like it is in the movies, because that shits edited to look good.

i've found that real life will give you anything you want to experience, but only on real lifes terms. it will never match you idea or fantasy, but thats becasue it's reality and ideas are about ideas and fantasy is exactly what it says it is.

and i dont really know what my point is or if i have one particualr point or if i'm just typing because i'm all excited that there are other people out there who are looking for another way to exist that isn't time tabled and sponsored.

i think thats it actually. i'm glad i'm not alone in thinkng for myself.

more power to us and those like us.

and if anyone got beef with my blatant disregard for spelling and grammar it's only because youv'e been trained to to think a certain way. don't feel bad.

you still understand, right?

keep it real

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Post by justinwood » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:04 pm

haha, Steve, well said,

I was glad when I found this too.

So what do you think? Should any of us bother to do anything about it? Because, how many people really want to deal with reality?

oh yes, and Socrates' words sound pretty accurate

The Steve Kelly
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Post by The Steve Kelly » Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:12 pm

justin wood.



So what do you think? Should any of us bother to do anything about it? Because, how many people really want to deal with reality?

justin, I’m affraind there is little we can do about it, if by it you mean other people watching tv. And even if we could, would imposing what we think is best for people be the right thing to do? The missonaries thought that African tribes should put some clothes on and forsake their own Gods and dietys because they were the wrong ones.

All the most horrible things in history feature one party pushing their beliefs onto another as the “rightâ€

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Post by justinwood » Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:57 pm


I agree. It has been difficult to decide when it is appropriate to express ones views and even begin to press them on other people: The English in the early 20th century thought it well to refashion the savage lifestlye of the Africans (in no way do apply this to the English of today), the Spanish thought the Indians savage when traveling to the New World (likewise).

However, I still believe it is necessary that people are informed of the world without television. It is a slow process, a difficult one to challange, but by slowly bringing it up without harsh criticism seems (to me) to occasionally be appropriate and work - people listen when they have gained your trust. My roommate from school, some relatives, and acquaintences listen - and consider the harms of TV (or any other of my opinions for that matter). It just depends on how willing people are to listen. If they ask my opinion? Of course I will answer honestly, and that is when it is most appropriate. So I do believe we can do just a bit more than living it by also hoping for that change.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual.

But like you said, “so many people don’t think for themselves because no one told them to.â€

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a few thoughts

Post by lydia » Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:50 pm

Justin and Steve,

I agree that preaching against tv won't really help much. But just living a tv-free life can ultimately have a profound impact.
Before I gave up tv, I met a couple of people who didn't have a television set. They didn't get all the Seinfeld references. They didn't know who Tony Soprano was. They had no idea who Samantha slept with in the last episode of Sex and the City. What was more amazing to me at the time was that the didn't seem to care. They were perfectly happy being ignorant of this entire tv world because, well, they clearly had better things to do with their time.
I was shocked. And awed. And sort of ashamed of myself when I compared my own tv-saturated life to theirs. These were people who read books and got together with friends and talked about real things and had hobbies. They actually lived life.
Ever so slowly, I started to get angry. What had happened to my life? Where did all those hours in front of the tube go? What did I have to show for my 30+ years on this planet? I got even angrier when I started to realize that if I didn't do something fast, my kids would also waste large portions of their lives in front of the flickering screen.
This called for drastic action. I stopped watching cold turkey. I refused to let my children watch anything at all. It was tough at first but slowly I got my life back. And now, I'm only sorry I didn't do it decades ago.
My point here is this:
If I'd never met those two tv-free people, I might never have even thought about making such a profound change in my life. And it's not as if they pressed their beliefs on me. They never even brought it up, actually. They just quietly and politely refused to apologize for being out of the tv loop. They showed me that it was possible to live a good life, in fact, a *better* life, without television.
So I think just living a tv-free life is actually a lot.
And I guess raising my kids without television will (hopefully) have some impact, too, though the day will come when that's out of my hands, too.

The Steve Kelly
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Post by The Steve Kelly » Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:40 am

Lydia - [b]WORD[/b]!

more power to you. youwoke up all by yourself. no one led you, you just met some people who were leading their life as they saw fit and they inspired you. awesome...

and this, i guess, ultimately, was my point to justin.

we ARE doing everything we can by living a life that doesent revolve around the box. Justin asked if there was anything we could or should do seeing as how most people dont want to live in a tv free reality.

and apart from forcing them to live as we think they should we just do our thing, enjoy our lifes and get on with it.

more power to you and us and all like us.

but i am beginning to think that maybe being online is the new tv.
is the internet a good thing to spend time on?
is it really all that different from tv?



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internet vs. tv

Post by lydia » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:59 pm

Hi Steve,

I think it's a really interesting question - is time spent online really more worthwhile than time spent watching tv?

Both are sedentary activities. Both involve sitting in front of a screen instead of interacting with real, live human beings. Ok, on the web, you can instant message, email, post to message boards and engage in a lot of interactive activities. That's definitely a step up from tv. Still, wouldn't it be better to interact face to face with other people?

I also accept that it's possible to become almost obsessive about computers. How many times a day do I check my email? Probably way too often. And I must admit, it's easy to fritter away hours at a time just surfing the web.

I would just make these observations:
1) Almost every time I log on to my computer, I learn something new. I read an article or get in touch with a friend or get an answer to a question that matters to me. When I watched tv, I rarely learned anything except what I was supposed to buy and who Tony Soprano killed this week.
2) On the internet, I actually read. This, I think, is important. Reading is very different from passively watching a story unfold before your eyes. No matter what the content is, the simple act of reading does require some mental exertion.
3) I have no problem whatsoever walking away from a computer. It doesn't suck me in quite the same way that tv does. For me, I think there's just something about the moving images on a tv screen that keeps me engaged. It's easier, at least for me, to tear my eyes away from a computer screen.
4) I honestly don't think the internet is a replacement for interacting with other people in my life. In fact, I think it facilitates interaction. How many times do I arrange to meet someone by email? True, I could just call friends up but somehow, email works better. It doesn't seem as intrusive. It's like regular mail only faster and easier. Because of the internet, I've kept in touch with people who moved to other countries and I've gotten back in touch with old friends I haven't seen in years. I'm sure I wouldn't have done these things if I weren't online.

Just a few things to think about.



Post by Nikk » Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:29 am


You're right on all scores re. internet vs TV, plus the Net isn't invasive in the same way television is. I'm vehemently anti-TV, but live in an old terraced house here in London and so have to suffer TV noise coming through the thin walls all evening from next door. They're not especially noisy people, but there's no way to avoid the constant distracting changes in voice, music, sound effects etc. However much I dislike telly, it's difficult not to have my attention broken by the sounds of helicopters, explosions, comedy voices etc. Meanwhile, the internet cafe up the road, even with 20 people in it, is an oasis of peace and quiet, where it's possible to hold a thought longer than 5 seconds.

This isn't just an architectural complaint, though. It seems to me as though people (by which I mean the majority of people) are now suffering from a sort of culturally-induced attention deficit disorder where they MUST HAVE NOISE. Particularly with the advent of mobile phones, everyone seems to place a high value on talking, or on hearing noise of some kind, without any discrimination as to the value of the content. Any noise is enough. Each of the last 5 I times I went to the cinema, at least one person chattered the whole way through (as though the enormous screen and exciting film that they'd paid to see weren't enough for them). TV caters for - perpetuates - exactly this mentality.

I'm scared of distraction. If you get distracted all the time, that puts your potential power in someone else's hands; also I'm suspicious about what's going on while the majority of people are distracted. Also, doublethink becomes pretty feasible if everyone has a highly reduced attention span.

That's started me thinking about where entertainment for the masses stops and institutionalised anaesthetic begins. It's midday just now and the neighbours are out at work, so I might get a bit of peace and quiet to think about this.


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Post by justinwood » Tue Nov 29, 2005 3:39 am

i have a book that I bought for media analysis class a couple months ago. It is by Sherry Turkle: Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet.

I haven't read it, but it is directly applicable to what we are talking about and it seems to have a critically negative view on computers, but I am uncertain what is argued exactly. The book is a psychoanalytical take on internet community and how it shapes our view on reality.

I'll try to read it, do some research, see what comes up, and report it to everyone as soon as possible.


where are you?

Post by mesmer » Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:52 pm

Hello Holly,

I'm an archaeologist living in London in United Kingdom. Will future generations excavating the ruins of our civilisation find our skelatons wired up to televisions...?



Post by scan » Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:40 pm

Hi Im scan from Cardiff, Wales UK. I recently got rid of all my TVs and now im going to buy a TV B Gone keyring!

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practically tv-free in TN

Post by peace » Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:29 am

Great group...very encouraging to me & family. We've had little b&w tv living in the attic for years, so not completely unplugged. The 1 and a half fuzzy channels we receive give us a little 'fix' every now and then. Recently enjoyed my first ever TV-Free Thanksgiving Week here in America, and I highly recommend it...especially during the holidays. I enjoyed much more face-to-face time with extended family. In a word, it was "real."


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Post by Shakedown1980 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:58 pm

Hello everyone,

I just recently turned my TV OFF permanently.I'm glad to see there is so many others,who also are not anti television,but PRO-REAL life.

I would also recommend one book,that set me free from television:DR.ARIC SIGMAN:Remotetly controlled:how television is damaging our lives and what we can do about it.



Post by Woolf » Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:34 am

Cellphones are a messaging system. We are so pathetically alert to the receiving of messages, commercials (and ready to send our own messages) that it makes me sick. How about spending some time being a person in order to have something worthy of becoming a message..? Although that's not really the thing to which to aspire. How about just doing a thing, and worrying not a jot who finds out about it? Or instead, why don't I shout 'I've got something to say'? And then he can shout, even louder, 'He's got something to say' - drowning me out. And then she can scream about both of us shouting about each other, and so on, and at the end of us not one of us has said a thing. These are the messages in the messaging system. Be alert!

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