Since the 2012 Olympics started last Friday, I’ve only been able to watch about 2 hours of it. Archery. Women’s basketball. And enjoyed every minute of it. Even archery. Who’da thunk it? It helped that my mother was screaming things like “Come on, guys!” and “What are you doing?” at the TV. She’s super fun to watch sports with because she’s the kind that isn’t afraid to get loud. Anyway, watching the Olympics is great. It’s like everyone’s favorite soap opera that lasts for 2 weeks. Each day, water coolers across that nation have loiterers discussing the previous nights exciting victories or crushing defeats.

Now for the sad part: I’ve only been able to watch 2 hours of the Olympics because of my self-imposed ban on television. Some might think I’m crazy but I thought it was the thing to do. The 2 hours I was a viewer was because I happen to be helping my parents set up their new 70″ flat screen (insert jealous rant). So I hung around to check it out, natch.

The ban on TV started about 2 years ago. I was absolutely out of my mind switching channels, only to bounce from reality show to reality show. I had reached the point where, if a television executive was standing anywhere near me, I would’ve punched him (or her) in the gut and tossed them in a dumpster. The only reality show I’ve ever watched was season one of Survivor back in 2000. I loved that show! Watched it religiously from premier to finale. It was awesome! When season two started, I watched the first two or three episodes … then I was done. It had run its course for me and I had it out of my system.

Unfortunately for me, the rest of the country needed more … much, much more … and the face of television changed. American audiences needed more Survivors, Bachelors, Bachelorettes, Idols, Big Brothers and Real Worlders, folks who Thought They Could Dance or at least Dance With Stars. I’d had enough of the long, drawn out tension only to break for commercial. And those are just samples of the crap programming that was on BEFORE I shut off the TV. Since then, I hear horror stories coming from the Jersey Shore, Housewives of (insert shameless city) and yokels with a pastime called Squatchin.

Thanks, networks, you’ve contributed to the dumbing down of America and made the world a little shittier. Eff you.

But out of the ashes, rises hope. Not all creativity was squashed and I hear that writers are telling stories again … ON TV! I hear wonderful things about shows that have characters, plots, genius story lines and real humor! Good for you, storytellers!

Since I’ve heard the good news, the only show I’ve faithfully watched is Breaking Bad. I still refuse to watch network television or pay TV (my refusal to watch pay television is a whole different rant) so I’ve only seen seasons 1 thru 4 of Breaking Bad since they’re already on DVD. But I’m looking forward to season 5, sadly the last season. Possibly I’ll replace it with some other shows that have been suggested: Walking Dead, New Girl, Once Upon A Time, Sons Of Anarchy, Burn Notice … any other suggestions?

Nope, I’m not turning on the TV again as I  feel much of it is still a wasteland. I don’t really miss it at all. Well … that’s not completely true. I guess I miss some things, like PBS. But I don’t miss the bad programming, worthless reality shows and playground politicians acting like 5 year olds. I’ve found that I’m much more productive without TV. I would recommend quitting TV to anyone, whether as a social experiment, a way to conserve energy, or as self-inflicted punishment. Who knows … you might like it.

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