Viewing entries tagged

TV or not TV

"Hi. My name is Kevin Tumlinson, and I ... <<sigh>> am addicted to TV."

<<all>> "Hi Kevin!"

"It's a long-running addiction. It started when I was just a kid. I would happily and excitedly jump out of bed on Saturday mornings around 5 a.m. and glue myself to a spot roughly three feet from the tube for the next eight to ten hours. All we had was a rabbit-ears antenna back then, and reception was poor. Thank God! Can you imagine if I'd had cable or satellite TV back then? I'd probably still be sitting there in some seriously over-stretched Spider-man Underoos."

<<Polite laughter, knowing nods, affirmative thumbs up from sponsor>>

That, my friends, is me taking the first step. I'm admitting I have a problem.

Practically since birth, TV has been my friend, my companion, my mentor. It was an educator. It was a comfort when I was sick or sad. It was a window into a world that I desperately wanted to be a part of. Happy, whole families. Fantastic adventures. And everyone makes out good in the end. Happy endings for all.

Recently, Kara and I bought a huge HD television. It's one of a dozen or so purchases we've made for our new house, but easily one of the most telling. This is an object that sits front and center in the one room of the house where we spend the most time. And despite the fact that we have gobs of unfinished work literally from floor to ceiling in every room of the house, a yard in desperate need of landscaping attention, and a garage that we currently can't park in, our TV works perfectly, and has astounding quality.

Kara and I have talked about this problem. We've come up with plans to become more "active." We've made decisions to "eat at the table more," "prepare more meals," "do more things around the house." "Maybe the TV could run in the background," we say. A soundtrack to our fruitful and productive lives.

Nay, nay.

Always, inevitably, we will plop down, plate of food in our lap, and start watching a marathon of shows. The Internet has made it possible to watch dozens of episodes for a series each night. It never stops. There is an endless supply.

I want to actually live my life. Watching it happen in HD isn't a good enough substitute.

I have books to write, inventions to invent, artwork to create. I have walks to take and neighborhoods to explore. I have yards to landscape, and neighbors to meet. I have so much more to do with my life. And since I can't DVR the whole thing, it's kind of important that I catch it live.

So, what's a TV junkie to do? Is there a program for this kind of addiction? A TV program? Heh ... sorry ... couldn't resist.

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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at


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