Monday, March 14, 2011

Watch, Watch, Watch, or I Never Read Anymore

Hi. I'm Sheldon, and I'm a television addict.

Well, not really. I never watch television. Not exactly. The problem is I buy, borrow or "obtain" seasons of various series such as Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, etc. and then watch them. Completely through. Entire seasons, often one after another if I have them. I break the trance only long enough to eat and tend to other necessary issues.

I once watched nine seasons of a show in this fashion. The world felt fake to me after it was all done. More than eighty hours of television. It fried something inside me. I felt it happening and did nothing to stop it.

All of these shows, and the many others I've not named, are on television. HBO, Showtime, FX, or something. I don't even know. So technically I'm addicted to television.

Okay, so there's that. Only thing is, it's getting bad. If I finish a season of a show, then I have to immediately have another show or another season of that same show on hand or things get bad. I shift around through the house touching walls, sitting in chairs and then getting back out of chairs. I pour coffee. I smoke. I think I might even shake a little, right in the tips of my fingers. I start the season I just finished over. Episode 1. Sometimes I watch it all again, but it's just not the same.

The basic theories are there. Escape from reality and so on. I cannot dispute these or discard them. I have to stare them in the eye. Am I avoiding reality by watching television shows every free minute of my life? This is the question I ask myself.

I refuse to answer. I touch walls. I lay on the bed and then get up from the bed. I feel feverish.

So this is my moment of confession. My testimony. At this point, at this time, given the option to read a book or watch a television show I'm really digging, I will always pick the television show.

This disgusts me just a little bit. I'm suppose to be a READER so I become a WRITER or a better WRITER. Or something like that. I know this because I've heard it a gazillion times: three rules to writing are 1) read, 2) read and 3) read.

Ah, hell. Nothing I can do about it. I'm weak. Willpowerless.

Thank you.


  1. I don't seem to read these days either except I haven't had a TV in 16 years. I daydream or overthink. It's got to the point where I wonder if I should sit down to watch a more or less mainstream flick with a story so I get some, ahem, coherence happening in my head.

    For some reason I can totally imagine you sitting there drinking coffee, then beer, in front of the TV - nothing but TV in the room and the day slipping away. I hope those series tell some good stories.

  2. just about to start series 8/9 of x-files on blu-ray, my treat last time I was in China... reading takes a different place im my life to before... still can't go to bed without a book... but according to Shelfari I am only at 1 per week instead of 3 or 4 previously... now I wonder if Mulder will come back from his abduction...

  3. hit the nail on the head. That's it. Uncanny, really.

    jkdavies...I'm an X-Files nut, but after Mulder went, I lost interest. The dynamics between Mulder and Sculley WAS that show for me. Terminator guy just didn't cut it.

  4. I'm resisting the urge to write "isn't Dexter fucking amazing?!" and skipping right ahead to a comforting "me too." Remember when people used to say, "I canceled my cable" and "I don't even own a TV anymore," in that self-righteous tone? Yeah, they watch Hulu and have a substantial Netflix Watch Instantly queue on their laptops, which probably have nice big LCD screens. I forgive them. And I forgive myself my down time, too (most recently, all seasons of Roseanne and Buffy, straight through). But I do read! How else can one be properly informed to look down on other, less refined venues of cultural expression?! Ha.

  5. You could try to find a candle with a severely overwhelming smell or take a bite or sip of something you hate before every new episode. Your brain might start associating the negative smell or taste with watching TV.'d kind of be turning yourself into one of Pavlov's dogs.

  6. Maybe I should take up TV again. Whatever you're doing works, brother. Much love and craziness from Richmond.

  7. Stacia....Dexter is fine show stuff. BTW, I already told the Delgado, but I can't make it to Louisville for the May thing until the Sat following the reading.....Boo to that, is what I say. Sorry. Hell, that would have been fun.

    nikolaisgirl...all that sounds like it might work, but then what I would do when I couldn't watch television anymore? The thought is just too much.

    Randy....hey thanks, man. Yeah, take up TV. Start with Justified. It's a pretty good show among the fifteen or twenty so that I'm hooked on at any given moment.

  8. i don't either but i also don't watch tv only shows because my girls make me. or at least that's what i'd like to believe. two things: this could be therapeutic, yes? good luck, old chap.


let's talk about it

Four of my new stories on the horizon in four great journals

Distressing news first. I sent out a manuscript to some important people and realize now it was in critical need of about three more draft...