Tuesday, 15 January 2008

the revolution will not be televised

A simple illustration I made using a freeware programme similar to photoshop.

This may sound too preachy and prescriptive, but KILL YOUR TELEVISION. Luke and I got rid of ours in Oct. 2006 and the change for me has been profound. I used to be a big TV watcher. When I was a kid through to my university days, I used to saddle up to the boob tube and the hours would melt away. It was my 'nothing' time and even though I would be the first to admit that tv had loads of rubbish and truly deserved the title 'idiot box', I would justify it's continued presence in my life by thinking, hey, there is some good stuff on TV.... PBS docos, the national geographic channel, animal planet, the Simpson's, etc.

But Luke hates t.v. so few years ago and with some reservations on my part, we gave it the boot .... on a trial basis. I missed it at first, sometimes I even missed it a lot. But now I can say that I really really really don't miss it. And when I do see it (like at a bar or someone's house) I realise that I had previously underestimated tv's negative aspects. By that I mean the dumbed down programs full of stupid humour and recycled plot lines, and the dehumanizing advertising trying to convince us that our lives are not good enough and we need MORE of what they're selling.

Of course I could go on, and of course none of these are original ideas. But the shock to me was how strongly the bad parts overwhelmingly obscure anything worthwhile and how I needed a long break from it to see what was plainly obvious.

Any justification I previously had for television is gone. But for those who are not convinced, be warned. When you watch it, you get so much more than you bargained for. The subtle ideas and ways of thinking will permeate into your life no matter how good you think your stupidity barriers are. And what about those good things worth your time? (PBS documentaries, the rare intelligent and creative show, the learning channel etc) well it's like half a cup of delicious brownie batter mixed into a bowl of shit. It's going to be tainted because of the format. and I still think most things worth seeing are available on dvd or via the internet.

That's all sounding rather negative but there is MUCH positivity to be embraced here. I think we are seeing a rejection of the previous forms of entertainment (tv, hollywood etc) that have been spoon fed to us in the past. Instead, there is a DYI thing happening. Now people are making their own magazines (zines) and reading and writing blogs instead of just buying the latest issue of (fill in the blank) or getting their books from a best sellers lists. There has been a rise in independent everything ....film, music, publishing and of course HANDMADE. we are embracing this new do-it-yourself entertainment and at the same time saying that the other stuff just isn't good enough. It's been too impersonal, too compromised, too stupid. no thanks, check it at the door.

On a personal level, cutting out t.v. has meant spending more time on the things I actually love. And doing things I love has had this strange psychological effect of making me I feel more like myself and more truly human. I guess that's a bit profound (and I don't blame you if you are rolling your eyes right now) but the way you spend your time defines of who you are. there is just no way around that.

If anybody is still reading this I am very surprised (if you are still reading leave 'bluebird' in the comments and it will be our little secret). OK the MANIFESTO is over. back to captions and pictures.

A little pixie hat I made Lieveke as part of a Christmas gift commissioned by her uncle Karel. She is doing 'twinkle hands' for this photo. bless.
I used the pattern from Bend the Rules Sewing, but I am sure you guys know ALL about this famous book. just in case you don't know, click here to find out more.

here you go Ashley Rose... she bag tagged me to photograph the contents of my hand bag. It's a blimmin' rubbish tip today which is embarrassing, but I am going for total realism here.



L.Cerre said...

what a cute little girl...so sweet. And thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. cheers my friends,


Sally Anne said...

I find myself agreeing so much with what you said about TV.Very brave of you to get rid of it altoether, so freeing!
We have one TV and it's in the living room where we don't spend much time in the summer evenings.I think after reading your post I shall see if I too can keep the thing switched off.

Anonymous said...


A great post, K, thank you.

x Helen

alisonmc said...

I need to tell you TV is my lover and if it went away half of me would die. Although I do kinda agree with you, just not in the presence of my two TVs and two DVD recorders. I don't want to piss them off, they hold all the power in our relationship.

Oh and bluebird.

Fiona said...


At this point in my life, I can't do without a tv. That got me thinking if I'll ever..
It's a brave brave move...


Anonymous said...

hahaha bluebird. I agree with you about tvs, last year was the first year I lived in a home with a tv... and of course I work in in tv now. It's a strange connundrum being part of something I don't wholly agree with but that I realise I have to do before I am able to do what I want to do.
xx Kate

Melissa said...

thanks for this thoughtful and passionate post, k! i agree with you- anything worth watching can be found online- in a much more tasteful format! but my favourite thing about not watching t.v. for 2 years now, is that i have so much more time for crafting! (ahem, and the internet, which i daresay borders on an addiction in itself.)

i love l's pixie hat! so cute. x

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Although I have two TVs in my hoise I hardly ever watch either of them. When I do see a TV on somewhere I tend to get mesmerised by it (I don't understand people who have guests over and have the TV burbling away in the background!)

I did live without a TV for most of the second half of the 80s though...

Charlotte said...

ppsstt bluebird...

love the hat! Hey well now we have to get together - I keep on nearly buying that book but never do - I wanna see yours!

I've emailed craftwerk... !!!

Nikki (Mother of the Devil Child) said...

haha K - you are awesome!

I'm a mostly TV addict. And yes, suckered in completely. Perhaps I'll be able to kick it this year.

Personally, I'm more worried about my internet addiction. It's almost more damaging!


P.S. Such a cute hat for L. She looks so beautiful in it.

Cristina said...

I found myself nodding all the time reading this post. I got rid of my TV only two months ago and it made me so happy! It was really strange, because who gets happy while doing something so... so frugal?
I´ve found that no TV has given me loads of time I didn´t know I had. I´ve done many things, like painting the house, embellishing old furniture, playing with my kids.
They have changed a lot without TV; they´re in a much better mood, more creative, sporting a lot. My 4year old daughter is teaching herself to write. My 7 year old son, who was afraid of water, is teaching himself to dive. They do wonderful Elvis impersonations when we´re listening to their dad´s CDs.
Today, my son told me he really wanted to spend his money on something, only he has no idea on what, because it was the TV set that gave him all his ideas of things to buy.

Sandra said...

We still have a TV but have become very selective about what we watch. We check out the guide each night to see if there is anything that we would like to watch. We hardly ever turn it on as a result. But like the others I worry about my computer addiction.