The Wasteland of TV


TS Eliot wrote his groundbreaking elegy to commemorate the slaughter of a generation in WWI.

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Those first four lines have symbolized the boredom of waiting for summer to millions, but the wasteland of no-man’s land has been superseded by the utter purgatory of modern television. Last night I sat on the sofa of my new apartment. Remote in hand. Hundreds of channels offering movies, sports, news, comedy, entertainment ad infinitum. I surfed relentlessly through the stations not stopping at any. Bill O’Reilly. Pass. College Football. Pass. Wrestling. Pass. MMA. Pass. Finally frustrated by TV, I shut it off.

Years ago my father called the TV the ‘boob tube’. I hated him for saying that, but then TV had WHERE THE ACTION IS, DARK SHADOWS, STAR TREK, late night movie, Johnny Carson, Saturday morning wrestling. I watched THE SEVEN SAMURAI with my grandmother in Maine. It was on public TV. 1960.

Ain’t nothing on the tube now.

The wasteland for billions.

ps I still like ENTOURAGE and Jon Stewart as well as STARGATE.

Shantih shantih shantih

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