7 February 2011

TV or not TV

Over the past few weeks I've tried to keep a record of what I watch on television to try and give me a realistic idea of how often I watch it because there's something on I really want to watch as opposed to just being too lazy to do something more constructive. My records do not make for good reading. But rather than not read them and watch telly instead I'm going to accept their findings.

I do not need a television. And the £930 a year I spend to watch it and cause irreparable damage to my poor brain could be better invested in my health if I spent it on crack. Not once over the past few weeks have I switched my TV on because there was something specific on I wanted to watch. I just switch it on and sit there watching and watching and watching.

Television is surely addictive. Possibly more so than heroine and just as difficult a habit to break. It has destroyed my ability to read a book properly because I have the attention span of a nine year old who only eats candy floss and also because television has made me uncomfortable with silence.

This is an appalling state of affairs. Silence is golden as the saying goes and it should be cherished, but television has made silence feel uncomfortable, probably because on TV it is usually followed by something horrific and loud.

And it's not just simply a matter of turning the thing off anyway. It's the canceling of subscriptions and the actual removing of the equipment from ones property that adds to the difficulty in beating ones TV habit.

Take for example the canceling of the TV license. Just cancel your direct debit and email into the TV license people that you no longer have a TV yes? Noooo. From what I understand it's no where near as simple as this and I can expect a letter once a month every month for a least the rest of my life...computer generated letters in various serious looking colours Blacks, reds, yellows that don't actually have any legal powers behind them...but still quite annoying nonetheless and the assumption of guilt over innocence which is always an insult.

Sky TV are even worse. Just trying to get through to the cancellation of subscription desk is designed to be a test of wills. It's all about whether I'll get through to someone before I lose the will to live. And even when you get through to one of those women you've got to say no to all their enticing discounts they offer you to remain as a customer before you're allowed to escape their clutches.

'We can offer you a six month free subscription sir, and my colleague Tiffany and I will come over and lick custard off your ball sack." ARRGHHHHHHH nooooooooooooooo I want to cancel my subscript... Oh fuck it OK then, I'll see you tomorrow. If Ulysses thought those Sirens were hard to resist he ought to try canceling his Sky subscription.

One has to proceed with caution. The best way to approach this mammoth task is to ditch your actual equipment first then all their offers of discounts and manual relief can be refused relatively painlessly. Although to be fair when your TV weighs the same as a small horse even this is easier said than done.

It's a long road, but even the longest journeys begin with a single step. I will begin my journey this evening by not watching telly and spending the time instead trying on all of my hats.


Tinca Tinca said...

Got Broadband and a Computer? You need a TV License? Or is this an urban myth?

Rich said...

Technically if you watch live BBC shows on iplayer you need a license (but only live shows) but this is obviously impossible for the TV license dudes to enforce.

Needing a license even with a TV is actually impossible for them to enforce as it turns out.