In an effort to watch the presidential debates, we have for the past week or so borrowed a TV and VCR from DOB's younger brother, who appears to be preparing to open a used-electronics store in their parents' basement. We didn't succeed in actually watching a debate on it, because they come on after our bedtime. But we might have recorded last night's, if it got reception for long enough to record. Peter Jennings was a fuzzy gray blob when we went to bed, and by this morning there was only solid gray.
In the meantime I've had this giant ugly black box in my living room. I do not like it. I recall hearing of a decorator's comment that in the olden days living rooms were designed with the hearth as the focal point; modern living rooms are designed with the TV as the focal point. What a tradeoff: the beauty and magic and warmth of a fire for cold blue light from a square black box.
Forget the moral or intellectual debate over television. It's just plain ugly. (I have similar feelings about computers, which is why they're in the office, not the living room. Or bedroom.)
There are, of course, ways to conceal a TV in cupboards and the like. In our current living room, however, that would require giving up either the piano or the books, something we're not about to do. So to this TV set I say: Be gone! And good riddance!