Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Want My Gym TV

Beware:  The next few paragraphs contain some grumbling.  Be warned.

I joined the gym this winter to exercise despite wind, rain, snow, cold, sleet or otherwise.  At my gym, and any other gym anywhere, there are televisions bolted to the ceiling and turned on.  I would guess there are about seven or more where I go.  There is some magic to getting the individual sound from each one to your ears, but I haven't figured that out yet.

I have not had television for almost 8 years. I don't watch sports, talk shows, reality TV, commercials, documentaries, promos, or news.  I do watch 30 Rock and Battlestar Galactica, streaming on my computer.  Television is not something that will keep my attention for the 4th or 5th mile on the treadmill (music will).  I do, however watch/observe it.  Here are my observations about television:

  • There are cloning devices or CGI used on 24 hour news networks.  Men, mostly, all look the same: 45-65 years old, white, greying hair, square black glasses, 15+ pounds overweight, blazer, and rosy cheeks(they look worked-up about something important).  This is particularly spooky when at church, you see several men in the same uniform.  This maybe because there are only dark, square glasses available from the optometrist, and if you are that age, you need specs.
  • There are only four or five 'newsworthy' stories everyday, run by all the news channels, concurrently.
  • If you are trying to watch a match of the Australian Open while running and zoning out to music, the television to the right and left are probably playing a recap of that same match.  You can not watch the match usually because you don't have a television, and Australia is already well into tomorrow, so you can't watch it live, giving away the ending of the match you are watching blow-by-blow, simultaneously.
  • There is always an older man, who will change the seventh and final television to a 24 hour cable news channel, so that all of them are cable news.

I'll admit that my avoidance of mass media is purposeful.  At the gym, I am like a child watching TV for the first time, I can not look away.  I can't hear what the TV is saying, and I believe my ignorance about television may skew my observations.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:08 PM

    Avoiding regular television these days, especially Fox News, is probably good for your health and psyche. There are certain entertainment programs, movies, and series that I really enjoy, but I have cable and Tivo, so I can pick and choose as I see fit. And unlike you at the gym, I am in control over what is in my face, and I can turn if off at will.
    Unfortunately, there is a trend now to have television screens in restaurants and they are all tuned to "news" networks. They are an unwelcome distraction while trying to enjoy a nice meal with your loved one. I really don't like it. I suppose these restaurants are trying to compete, but it doesn't appeal to me. Too bad your gym doesn't have an old movie channel option, so you can watch something entertaining.
    Bottom line, your ignorance about television is probably a good thing.
    Sharon Wagner