Alas Poor Television! I knew him, Horatio
Last night at 11:45 p.m. my television committed suicide. It is true. I was moving it from a place of honor in my living room to its small alter in my bedroom when it leapt out of my hands to the cold, hard floor below. I am still not sure why it would do this. Was it too many hours of “American Chopper”? Is it possible that my television could not stand yet another night of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”? I can’t believe it. We had such a wonderful relationship. I would turn it on whenever I was even close to hear that soft soothing hum of C-SPAN in the background. I couldn’t dream of going to sleep without the flickering light and hushed voices it provided. Why have you left me television? What am I going to do now?
I am unabashedly in love with television. You will find many Americans who deny the fact that they even watch television let alone kneel in front of it to be enveloped by its soft purple haze and vibrant timbre. I can’t even sleep without the television in the background. Last night I re-read the entirety of Kant’s “Fundamentals” and was still up until 3 a.m., absently reaching for the remote in the vain hope that with just one more click she would come back to life. I have since given up all hope of resuscitation. I must reconcile myself with the fact that my television is gone; that it would rather rot in the technological junkyard with mainframe computers and outmoded fax machines than provide me with just one more episode of “Nature”. Where we went so wrong I will never know.
I am consoled though by the flashy websites containing a multitude of beautiful new televisions. Why, for only a few dollars more than I paid for the 25’’ TV/VCR combination that committed seppuku in my living room I can have a gleaming 27 inch model with picture in picture, flat screen, S-video, and of course, the sleep option. I am already dreaming of the time we’ll spend together. Nights with Bravo, mornings with C-SPAN, and all of the infomercials I can stand in between! Perhaps this loss has really been for the best. Maybe my previous television relationship wasn’t as healthy as I once believed. It did often take several “clicks” of the remote to come to life and the picture was often a little fuzzy toward the end of the day. Those scratches I once referred to as “character marks” really didn't do much for the aesthetics of my room. I suppose picking up and moving on, trading in the old for the new is just a part of life. It’s possible that the television knew this even more than I and decided that rather than undergo the pain and humiliation of my direct rejection that the floor was the best option.
I am sure I don’t have to overtly convey the implications of this nuance piece but think how lucky we are that we don’t treat humans as we do other objects, using people to our own ends then discarding them at will.