Amusing Ourselves to Death

Disclaimer: I’m a fan of media. When I finish writing this, I’m heading to watch a couple episodes of Buffy. I own an impressive collection of dvd’s and cd’s–although not as good as my daughter’s. I raised her right, I think. I have oodles and oodles of music on my Amazon cloud, which has some but not all of the same music as my iPod, which still only has part of my collection. I use streaming Netflix and Hulu Plus pretty much daily. I like media.

BUT…..the Mexican restaurant I like now has television screens everywhere I look. So does Applebees and the Beer Barrel. And McDonalds and Burger King. And WalMart. In fact, WalMart has small screens at the end of some aisles, just in case you get bored making your way between the big screens, I guess.

AND….now my high school has random huge screens in hallways. We have enough trouble with kids blocking the intersections between classes; now there’s a constant stream of…I’m not sure what they will play….to distract the human roadblocks even more.

Then I went to put gas in my car today, and the pump was blaring country music at me.

When did America become allergic to silence? When did people become so boring that any entertainment is better than conversation? Recently, I went to a popular restaurant in Lima–one big room–with 8 televisions all on different programs, all with subtitles and sound, AND music was playing as well. Major sensory overload–and impossible to talk. I didn’t even attempt to stop my daughter when she pulled a book out of her purse to read as she ate; conversation was impossible. I sat there reading twitter and RSS feeds; yes, I see the irony in that: more media saturation, when that’s what I’m grousing about.

I didn’t say I’m holier than anyone else in this case. If I could find a Sy-Fy/Alt Bar, playing Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Buffy, and other favs, I’d be there. Especially if they had amazing nachos like Applebees used to have.  But, if my hypothetical bar existed, I promise I’d be there arguing Kirk v. Picard, and counting the times Luke whined–not just sitting there comatose, senses too overloaded to function.


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