Saturday, July 23, 2005

Opiate of the Peephole

I'm babysitting tonight while my housemate is in Toronto. I haven't seen her son in a week, and he's had a haircut since I've been gone. He's still cute without his dreads, but looks a little like a war victim with his head shaven as it is.

He's such a happy kid, and a joy to be around, that one almost forgets he's autistic. But for the last hour he's been happily sitting in the TV room, watching the preview channel that lists what's playing on all of the other channels. This is one of his favourite things to do and if I try to change the station to something more "interesting" he will start to cry. I can hear him laughing now, in the next room, for no particular reason.

Maybe he is trying to say something about the nature of television. I have a sneaking suspicion that behind his silences and evasions there is a peculiar genius simmering away. Is watching news, dramas or movies for an hour or two really any different than watching the preview station? I've heard there is something about the flickering of the TV screen that stimulates the alpha waves in our brains into a state resembling deep sleep, so perhaps the particular program we watch is irrelevant.

Right now in the kitchen I'm watching Star Wars in French, comprehending little snippets here and there because I've seen the movie so many times in English (why oh why did Lucas add all that extra crap for the "special edition" re-release?). But I'm actually trying to ignore the TV so I can get some blogging, dishes and cooking completed. The radio is a much better companion for multitasking, but our CBC reception was spotty today, so I watched a lot of MTV with the sound turned off. Mostly, I just like all the video babes, but that Eminem never fails to amuse with his stupidfresh lampoons. Pimp My Ride was neat too.

Future generations are going to look back and think we were complete idiots--unless, of course, the producers of tomorrow come up with even more outlandish programming than we currently enjoy.


Christopher Trottier said...

I don't think future generations are going to think we are idiots. I look back at the fellows who programmed for the old C64, and I think to myself, "Wow! They did all that with just 64k of memory?"

flatlander said...

We don't look back on the Egyptians as idiots, even though they wore funny hats and spent most of their surplus manpower building huge stone monuments to their god-kings. Instead we say, "Hey, that's a really neat pyramid those guys made."

It will be the same with us, my friends. The ozone hole will be forgiven, just so long as we continue to produce quality sitcoms like Alf.

Anonymous said...

Commadore 64s were neat machines.