Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quit Hollerin' at Me!

Joseph Campbell stated that an individual could determine what was of the most value in a community by looking at its buildings--the bigger the building the more value that entity had within the community.  He stated that when communities were first being established the church was the biggest building in the community.  After a while the church was dwarfed by city hall.  Then, eventually, both the church and the city hall were dwarfed by the financial institutions like the bank.  He said one of the best examples of this is to look at the skyline of Salt Lake City.  Surprisingly, he is right. 

Since reading this theory I have taken it one step further and brought it down to the home.  My theory is that an individual can determine what is the most valuable in any home by looking for what is the biggest thing in the home.  Typically it is the television.  The television has become the center of the home and of most family life.  Over the years the television has taken up more and more time and space in the homes and lives of people.  Television has taken up more and more time in the lives of people--it seems to be on in a lot of peoples' lives.

I have never been really big on television--at least not in the past decade or two.  I find television to be insulting to my intelligence.  Most television is written at a sixth grade level--a sort of universal design for the human race.  Most of us can understand things written at the sixth grade level--not real challenging.  I also find television to be insulting to the human race and its intelligence when it relies upon rude, crude, and insulting humor at the expense of people to get their laughs.  But the biggest reason I don't spend more than an hour (outside of the college football season when my beloved University of Nebraska Cornhuskers are playing) is because I am tired of being yelled at.  The television yells at me all of the time!

Most of us probably know--or at least we should be able to determine it--that commercials are cranked up when it comes to their volume on our televisions.  Advertisers crank up the volume to grab our attention to sell their products.  They are shouting and hollering at us.  They yell at us to buy their shampoo, toothpaste, cars, electronic devices, cell phones, and every other imaginable product that could be hawked over the airwaves. 

Well, I for one, am tired of being hollered at!

I don't want to buy a new car.  I don't want to switch shampoo in order to have longer, stronger, and more luxerious hair--heck, I just want some hair!  And, no, I do not want your product that promises to grow more hair on my head!  I do not want a product to make my teeth whiter and brighter.  Neither do I want something that will thin the ol' waistline, burn the fat, and give me a six pack ab--the only six pack I want is of the newest micro brew.  Nor do I want to be enticed to go to the latest and greatest movie release when I just saw the best parts of it in the trailer.  I do not want to get rich quick, attract the opposite sex, or discover help when I have fallen down.  I do not need a lawyer to sue the guy who cut me off on the interstate.  So, I just the hollerin' at me to stop.  I am not some imbecile who has to put up with the latest and greatest slapstick routine to get my attention.  I don't need any more pies in my face--especially from my television.

I think singer/songwriter John Prine says it best in his song Quit Hollerin' at Me.  Listen to what he has to say:
So it was years ago that I decided to just quit watching television.  Oh, yeah, I watch a little television here and there, but for the most part I have my television watching down to about an hour a week.  True, I walk around with a smug smirk on my face thinking I am better than everyone else because I am not sitting around watching the boob tube and getting hollered at . . . but it is nice to not have to listen to a lot of garbage being screamed into my ears.  I always listen to people complain about how terrible this show or that show is on television--how stupid the commercials are--and am amazed at how they sit there and watch it.  If you don't like something, turn it off.  Quit watching it.  I'm glad I did because about fifty percent of the voices I heard yelling at me are gone.  Now if I could only find a way to stop the hollerin' at work . . . on the commute . . .

. . . how does one turn the volume down on life?

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