Television and my return from war

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This is my second full day back from Afghanistan, back with my family in Germany.  Needless to say, it feels great to be home.  Only one thing has marred my return experience: television. 

In Afghanistan, I did have access to television, but very little.  Sometimes a tv was on in my office, but the sound was usually off. Mostly, though, I didn’t watch any television. 

My first night back, my wife was watching tv while I read at the kitchen table.  The show airing was a reality show starring Shaquille O’neal’s ex-wife; apparently she feels the need to broadcast her dating habits to the whole world.  More than likely, though, she needs more money, as surely the millions she scored in the divorce settlement aren’t enough to support her shopping habits.  It was also very important that she repeatedly point out how young the males she’s dating are.  Every fourth word or so uttered by the men needed to be beeped out by the television editors; todays 20 year olds’ vocabulary is quite limited and populated mostly by expletives. 

After about 10 minutes listening to the destruction of my culture on television, I decided to lay down in bed and continue reading. 

The next evening, MSNBC refreshed my memory as to why I feel like throwing a boulder through my television anytime that station shows up on my television.  Some far left-winger was carrying on.  Again, I chose my bed and a book over the blast radius of television noise. 

I’ve decided that I missed very little from missing television for a year.  The sensationalization and outright corruption in the media is an abomination.  After my return from Afghanistan, I have little patience for such nonsense.  Not that I’m against all television; today I fell asleep on my couch with my daughter while watching the Yankees play the Devil Rays.

My grandfather once said that television was going to destroy America.  While that was an overstatement, it’s obvious what he was trying to say.  And it’s obvious to me that my grandfather was right.

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2 thoughts on “Television and my return from war

    Royce said:
    July 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    It is usually people my age who see and comment on the destruction and coarsening of our lives and culture, so it is unusual to hear your comments. Without going into details I am currently involved with about a half dozen 17 year old boys. I track them on Facebook and attempt to offer some adult supervision regarding their grammar and vocabulary but it is a losing proposition. Profanity is used instead of punctuation and spelling is appalling. Schools no longer expect proper spelling or grammar and while these boys do respect me (many examples to support that claim) they regard me as being sort of “quaint”. But what can we expect when broadcast TV is filled with the shallowest drivel extolling the lowest denominator levels of conduct and speech. The movies are even worse with some bordering on pornography with the language at a level that I would not tolerate in my home — hence I rarely go to movies. There are some bright spots that I see in my little world. In general these boys and their friends tend to be more conservative in their attitudes with some joining the military. Church plays a big role with some of them but usually if they come from intact families. Drugs are observed but users are generally labeled losers. Since many come from divorced or never married single parent homes, they are very dedicated to being good husbands and fathers. Some of the boys tend to more liberal political views but not all and not extreme. One of them plans on becoming an FBI agent. So I see hope but no thanks to Hollywood or TV.

    On a side note I have observed that “swing” dancing is coming back into vogue. The boys want to learn how to dance the slow dances. I see this as a positive sign. Also recently we had 7 of these boys to dinner and with no prompting they collectively cleaned the table, loaded the dishwasher, and put as much away as they could. I was very impressed (as was my wife) and also took this as another indication that maybe the youth are not as bad as we might think from watching TV.

    I am reading Tony Blair’s new book — interesting but I thought Bush’s book is better and more informative.

    magus71 responded:
    July 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    My wife is reading Bush’s book. She likes it a lot.

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