Classical Geek Theatre: Resolution calls for more television viewing in 2003

New Year's resolutions have become a sort of joke in America. We torture ourselves by pretending that we're all good people who can become better people by making a hollow promise at the chosen start of a new Earthly rotation. We swear we're going to use that treadmill this year.

I have never been one to believe in New Year's resolutions. I think people tell everyone their New Year's resolution to absolve themselves of a year's worth of guilt. Why make a public proclamation? If you really meant it, you'd keep it to yourself.

So, in the spirit of New Year's resolution hypocrisy, I will now unveil my New Year's resolution to the general public: I vow to watch more television.

That is correct. I haven't watched lots of television since my senior year of high school and have come to the conclusion I am a worse person because of it. I blame the Internet.

When I came to Ball State as a bright-eyed, idealistic freshman, there was one aspect of the College Promised Land that made my soul gurgle with delight: unadulterated broadband Internet. I had the Microsoft Ferrari and I was being given the information super-highway on which I could drive it on, with no speed limit. I tasted the fruit.

The increase in my Internet activity was directly proportional to my decrease in television watching. Why wait for the CNN news story when I can read it on-line the minute it happens? Why stay up until 2 a.m. to watch a "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" re-run when I can download each and every episode?

The result of this indulgent Internet intercourse: injurious intelligence impairment.

Internet content is unlimited. There is always one more news story to read, there is always one more song to download and you can always post one more message at theforce.net. An innocent Internet affair can last until 4 a.m. in the morning.

But with television there are only so many channels on your dial and if there is nothing on, you can turn it off and read a book instead. The quality of content on TV goes downhill well before 4 a.m., so I never stay up too late watching TV.

My book reading time has also decreased. The Internet is composed primarily of text, and surfing the Internet eats up my precious reading quotas. I never feel like reading a book because I've been reading the Internet all day.

So, I am going to improve my life and watch more TV. As a telecommunications student and a hopeful television writer, it is wise of me to follow the trends of television entertainment. I will study its camera angles, its writing style and its Girls of the WB.

As a person studying at an intellectual institution, I intend to watch the History Channel at least five hours a week. I will be wiser in the ways of World War II airplanes, Greek architecture and ancient Indian tantric rituals.

When I have an English paper due, I will no longer search the Internet for a summary of the book. From now on, I will watch the movie instead. I will be more culturally literate and more hip. I will cross over with John Edward.

But first, I am going to check my e-mail.

Write to Mouse at bbmcshane@bsu.edu


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