Without TV

For two weeks I was in southwestern New York, at Chautauqua, which looked like this:


idylllic scene with bicycles


And also like this:


Chautauqua lake


So it was not totally surprising that watching TV stopped feeling important or even interesting.  What it felt like was a waste of time, and I stopped doing it.

When you are out from morning to night taking in the richness of a place that blooms like Brigadoon for nine weeks every summer, watching images flicker on a screen seems  like a very small thing to do. Weird and small.

Then I came home and found something odd had happened: I had broken my TV habit without intending to or especially wanting to. I went another week without turning the thing on, letting my 200 channels languish, until it occurred to me that paying for cable was a fool thing to do if I didn’t watch TV.

Like everyone else, I wish I could pick my channels off an a la carte menu. I would pick maybe six or eight. Of those six or eight, there would be only one I actually like: classy, commercial-free TCM.

Though I watch other programs on other stations, if the stations were to vanish from the lineup tomorrow, I would shrug. What does it matter?

This state of mind is wearing off, however. The choice between 200 stations and 0 stations is more drastic than I want.  So far.

Do you have cable TV? If not, do you substitute something else for it?

What the heck do you do if the one station you like is the one station you really cannot duplicate?






8 comments on “Without TV

  1. sdormadyeise says:

    If I went to Chautauqua, a place I visited often in my youth, I am certain I would’t need television, cable or otherwise. But I’m an unabashed TV aficionado. I would have trouble giving up programs such as “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix streaming, my latest guilty pleasure, or “Masters of Sex: on Showtime, or “The Good Wife” on CBS. There is plenty of excellent fare for those who seek it out, and in panel discussions on PBS I’ve heard experts say that TV is where all the exciting work in drama is now being done.

    • I was surprised by how I felt. I think some of it was simply not knowing what was on and therefore not missing it.

      >________________________________ > From: “Writer's Rest” >To: lindsay.edmunds@yahoo.com >Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 9:05 AM >Subject: [Writer’s Rest] Comment: “Without TV” > > > > WordPress.com >

  2. Debra Eve says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Chautaqua! It’s even more beautiful than I imagined.

    I seldom confess this in public, but I’ve never ever had TV, or more correctly, I’ve never had cable. A few times in my life I’ve had roommates who had cable and I’d bum off theirs, but my most recent non-cable period has lasted ten years. My husband and I do stream off Netflix and Amazon, which makes us very choosy about what we watch. Plus, on the weekends, it means we have to practice consensus, since we have only one box ;). I like it better this way.

    • Debra, I am considering doing what you and your husband do. I know several people who have quit cable, but I am not quite there yet.

      >________________________________ > From: “Writer's Rest” >To: lindsay.edmunds@yahoo.com >Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:38 PM >Subject: [Writer’s Rest] Comment: “Without TV” > > > > WordPress.com >

  3. Lisa says:

    I would switch to NetFlicks if my husband would give up his sports.
    I am waiting for menu cable, too- we would pay for only sports channel (and sprout for the toddler) and then NetFlicks everything else.

  4. Lisa — I think the reason no cable/dish company allows us to pick off a menu is that they know that most of us will — and we will pick only a few channels. Maybe this would make the whole system nonviable; I don’t know. What I DO know is that I am paying a lot for a little, and am reconsidering my choices. :)

  5. Oh, Lindsay … I wish I could join forces with you and Debra and say that I don’t, I won’t and who cares? For years I never had one. Then I did. It was more a piece of furniture. Then I heard about movies on cable. NO COMMERCIALS. In the beginning it was kind of like Netflicks.

    However, I don’t feel it’s necessary to say I don’t like it when I do. How on earth would I have lived without PBS and the BBC? What a horrible thought.

    I have always been a verbal story teller. I am also a visual writer. I see as I write. I write what I see. It is my orientation. What I would not give up is DVR. I have not watched anything as it is beaming through the air waves since they invented the DVR. I record only. Fast forward all commercials. And honestly, I love to watch old movies, retro comedy, a marathon of Indiana Jones or Harry Potter. sure. Why not? How about a Turner Classic weekend with Woodey Allen? Or reruns of classic comedies? Nope. I love it. Love movies and TV and loud music and I don’t mind admitting it … so there !!

    Not to burst any bubbles up there. But if you surf Netflicks, you will see they have everything all other cable and network channels have. You just have to pay for them. So I pay once a month and use the DVR to do all my “selecting.” :)

    • Florence — I haven’t decided what I am going to do. It is not a superior position, because I like TV. I was caught by surprise when I shut it off for 3 weeks and found I did not miss it.

      >________________________________ > From: “Writer's Rest” >To: lindsay.edmunds@yahoo.com >Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 12:27 PM >Subject: [Writer’s Rest] Comment: “Without TV” > > > > WordPress.com >

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