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other new + recent LAZE features:
o Flick: Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns)
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: School of Rock
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: Pieces of April
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: The Station Agent
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: Raising Victor Vargas
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copyright ©1999-2004

footloose and tv-free life without a tv set
by Yee-Fan Sun |
1 2 3

It's been six weeks since I last watched TV. And I feel…strange.

There are some people out there who take a firm and deliberate stand against that big dumb box that takes such a central position in your average 21st-century household. They feel a tiny surge of pride in their ability to just say no to modern society's favorite legal addiction. I am not one of those folks. But suddenly, accidentally, and somewhat against my will, I've found myself living the TV-free life.

Since I moved overseas, way back in August now, I've been waiting to get settled into my own flat. In the long, long weeks leading up to this past weekend, we'd been staying with what must surely be the world's most generous hosts, two academics whose Edinburgh flat is a virtual bed-and-breakfast featuring a constant, rotating cast of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scientists. At the house, I had access to a well-stocked kitchen, a washing machine, and an astoundingly large library of books. This last proved especially useful, because there was one common amenity the house conspicuously lacked: a television set.

In these six weeks, I've read ten novels. I've gotten lost in Japan in Memoirs of a Geisha, peeked into the mind of a 15-year-old English boy with Asperger's Sydrome in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, contemplated the moral complexities of black farmers owning black slaves in The Known World. I've revisited two of my favorite old friends, Lee and Samuel Hamilton, in East of Eden. Meanwhile, I've read 36 issues of The Guardian, slowly learning about UK and European politics while catching up on election news from back home. And it's been kind of neat: I've found I have so much more time in the evenings when there's no television set around to potentially distract me.

But, still, I miss my TV.

Now, television never felt like a major part of my previous daily existence. Too cheap to spring for cable, I could only see about four channels anyway, and so I'd really only bother to tune in if there was something specific I wanted to watch enough to put up with the fuzzy reception. So it's maybe more in theory than in practice, but nonetheless…. I believe in TV.

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