Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Disconnected from Society

While living in Oregon we had no TV. We sold it because it took up to much space and really we knew it would only be distracter from what we were really there for. Since moving to New York we have bought a new TV. But we bought more as a computer monitor and to watch movies, we have successfully not got back into the habit of watching TV. (Well not entirely true, but the shows we do watch such as "The Daily Show" are downloaded off the Internet.) This means we do not watch commercials. With both of us living less then 4 miles from work there really isn't a chance for that many radio commercials, and I haven't read newspapers in more than 10 years. Also, in the interest of security I have installed ad blocking software on both of our laptops so all the news we read on the internet is ad free. (Yes, websites are not always sure who they sell advertising space to and sometimes it is exploits.)
So this has lead to a real disconnect with what other people seem to already know. New movies just seem to appear in the theater, bands release albums, and movie stars check in and out of rehab; all with little knowledge or regard from me. However, I am bothered by a hard time finding local events. People talk about TV shows events and not only do I not know the current plot line, I hadn't heard of the show. While I feel no need to turn on the TV to do some commercial surfing I do find it funny how much commercials and media have become a part of our life.
This really hit home with the Olympics being on right now. I admit that I have lost interest in the Olympics when I saw first hand the corruption of the Olympic committee for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and then again when we were visiting China in 2001 before they had announced who was to be awarded the 2008 Olympics but they had already started to build the now famous stadium. Personally, I don't think it was worth the lives of people that froze over the last few winters because of the ban on coal burning for a quick fix to try to cut down on pollution. I think it might be worth something if it shined some light on the government but the IOC's blind eye to the government about-face on censorship and protests shows little hope for that (more corruption I'm sure). Now before I get off my soap box, the reality is that I have always been a believer in playing sports instead of watching them. So most likely that is the real reason for my discontent. I have always bristled at people people referring to "their" team. (No, you just pay them for expensive merchandise with their logo. As far as I know only the Green bay Packers can be "their" team because people own shares for them.) I just don't get the concept of the taking credit for other's work just because you watched. Be it "our team won" or "we won so many medals" it was them, you sat on the couch.
I have watched some of the Olympics while at the gym. I found it funny that when I was a kid it used to be all about the competition between USSR's and USA. Now it is all about China medals vs. USA and who has the most gold. The media always has to have a rivalry and it's funny that China's attempt at displaying their arrival as a world power might end up planting them in the psyche of Americans as the enemy.

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