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one week without tv

my tv, off

Today marks the first day in a week without teevee. Wish me luck.


I use television like a drug. I admit it. And why not? It turns off your brain quite well and there's no hangover. Perfect.

But right now I have other things to do. The book. Unpacking. Living. And I've always felt that television zaps my creativity. When I read a book, all I want to do is write. When I watch television, all I want to do is eat pizza and sleep.

I sat down today and actually added up all the hours I spent watching television last week. The total was embarrassingly high. Basically, if I'd spent that time doing anything else, there'd be an eighth day in the week.

Just imagine what would happen if we all devoted the time we give to television to other things. How about, just for this week, every time you'd normally sit and zone out in front of the tv, we all do something creative instead? Write a story, design something pretty, make art. Imagine what we all could create.

So our house is a no teevee house this week. I feel edgy already.

Are you participating in TV turnoff week?

{ 9:44pm }



» You bet your ass I am! This should be an interesting experiment indeed to see whether or not I can actually go a week without TV...

Ryan Foote  { 4.22.01 @ 10:32pm }

» but...but...but...what about survivor? hehe

actually, i need my tv. it gives my body a break from being on the computer.

paul  { 4.22.01 @ 11:41pm }

» Absolutely one hundred percent behind you on this one . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oh yes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I really am . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . yep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . absolutely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MUST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SWITCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Brian  { 4.23.01 @ 12:07am }

» I´ll try also, altough it´s gonna be hard! I should really get some things done and television seems to block those out all the time...

– petri  { 4.23.01 @ 12:14am }

» Congrats to the insight!
I've been living without tv since
I moved to a new small flat.
As it is I've been living without
tv for about 6 months.
It's no problem once you get past
the first week and have missed
your 'fav programs' once ;)
Back in the Roman empire the
people were fed bread and drama,
so they would keep quiet.
Today ppl are fed pizza and tv,
so they wont start to think by
I won't go into how much time I've saved, since I really havn't got the
faintest idea. I can only say that
I've managed to be creative
enough to be able to pay back
all my bank loans =D
No worries, you'll make it.
Good luck!

– starfish  { 4.23.01 @ 12:18am }

» "Sitting down on a couch, you watch,
A fucking slave to a TV show.
You thought before but you sat and dropped.
What did you learn?
You don't even know,
And I kid myself but my eyes are glued on this thing.
It steals my time and wastes what I've learned.
I'm holding out for a better deal, for something real.
You know I'd like to say that I could spend
A day at home with it left off.
How strong's our will?
I can't blend with the ads I see.
They're better looking than me.
You try to look your best, but you'll never rest.
Think, it won't make you happy.
A standard set that I just cannot live up to.
It steals my time and wastes what I've learned.
I'm holding out for a better deal, for something real.
You know I'd like to say that I could spend
A day at home with it left off.
How strong's our will?
Our lives are led by TV shows, you know it's true.
Instead of thinking we play Donkey Kong.
There's something wrong with that.
We're made to think life's like a game show.
So there we go again.
The one to die with the most toys is the one who wins.
I just can't stand it.
Sitting down on a couch, you watch,
A fucking slave to a TV show.
You thought before but you sat and dropped.
What did you learn?
You don't even know.
It's a brain vacation.
A mental masturbation.
It steals my time and wastes what I've learned.
I'm holding out for some reality.
I'd like to say that I could spend a day at
Home with it left off.
How strong's our will?
Stand Still"

-Gorilla biscuits, Start Today

and yes, I'm definitely down with the tv turnoff week.

Cynic one  { 4.23.01 @ 12:47am }

» Oh - ill try to get in dis as much people as possible!


internationaly. from Russia!

Dmitry Belyakov  { 4.23.01 @ 1:46am }

» amazing how often you get the inpulse to grab your remote.. «arghh»
coldturkey sucks!

hr.ko  { 4.23.01 @ 2:00am }

» Guess what ?


beat it ?

– Jiten  { 4.23.01 @ 2:33am }

» easy, my man, easy.

I hardly ever watch tv any more. the occasional film or eddie izzard video, but actually watch tv? nah.

for the most part, it sucks anyway.

I'll stick to the laptop.

peace. ;-)

earthman  { 4.23.01 @ 2:37am }

» When I was at my very worst several years ago, I used to spend literally almost the entire day shut up in my room doing nothing but watching TV from the time I woke up until I went to bed (I was, and still am, an agoraphobic recluse, so I spend 99% of my time in my room). I spent a *very* long time like that before I got disgusted with myself enough to turn it off - TV *is* a very addictive, seductive drug, getting you so caught up in watching these distorted reflections of other lives that you can forget how to have one of your own - and when I finally did quit coldturkey, I experienced one of the biggest bursts of creativity and rebirth that I've ever had. Nowadays I almost never turn it on, except for DVD-watching, and I can't say I miss it - you couldn't pay me enough to go back to that version of myself.

The pictures are *so* much better in books, anyhow. =)

Noah  { 4.23.01 @ 3:10am }

» maybe i only appreciate it because i don't have one, but tv really isn't that evil. that are lots of wonderful things on it if you only occasionally give into the siren's call. who isn't glad to have grown up with the dukes of hazard? what's not stimulating about the simpsons? how great is it to have an indie film come on that you wouldn't have otherwise seen? it's not tv that's the problem; it's curbing your appetite. (but you probably don't want to hear that on your first day of going cold turkey!)

– jane  { 4.23.01 @ 3:49am }

» I'm witya. Turn off your television set and go outside and do something less boring instead.

Chris Brock  { 4.23.01 @ 4:11am }

» I was reading an article in a newspaper here, claiming that less TV led to more sex.

Apparently ;-)

Tom Cosgrave  { 4.23.01 @ 4:22am }

» My religion forbids me from watching tv so neener neener neener!

My creativity is still gone to crap for some reason though..

Oh well... I guess i'll keep living a TV-less life.

Ben  { 4.23.01 @ 4:41am }

» What if it is a tv show all obout design, does that count ;-)

Steven Swafford  { 4.23.01 @ 4:55am }

» ARRRGH!!! Must confess... I forgot the TV-turn off week... I saw a movie... BUT... It was "Good Will Hunting" so I guess I can convince you guys that it was an art thing! (?) ... -Please?

– John G. Watson  { 4.23.01 @ 5:28am }

» Have already been there! It is great! I have not turned my TV on more than a couple of times since I tried it for three weeks ago! More food for thought! Every person should try this just once! (^_^)
It gives your creativity a boost!

Massimo Fiorentino  { 4.23.01 @ 5:31am }

» i have'nt owned a tv for over 4 years... i go to a friend's house on sundays to watch sopranos and that's it... after you get far away enough from it, it becomes unbearable to watch (all of the interruptions...)
good luck! it will be good for you.

– s  { 4.23.01 @ 5:41am }

» tv-turn off week is one of the best stupid thing to do in the world...what does it means?..yeah i can survive without tv for one week..yes i'm sure i can..but then...

– tend  { 4.23.01 @ 5:48am }

» After so many weeks without a new Buffy episode, there's not a chance in a hellmouth i'm missing any new episodes. Not when it brings me such sheer joy.

However, I will take 10-20 minutes each day and sit in front of my sketchbooks and see what comes out, and avoid all the other dreck on the bloody tube.

kiri  { 4.23.01 @ 6:16am }

» i don't own a tv.
so i'm with you brothers and sisters.

– Philip Fling  { 4.23.01 @ 6:19am }

» OK I'm in, I will just have to listen to Mets game on the radio.

– matty.c  { 4.23.01 @ 6:30am }

» perhaps they should also have a "turn off the computer" week. hmmm.

– aidan  { 4.23.01 @ 6:37am }

» This won't be all that hard to do I only watch about 3 hrs a week -at most- anyway.

Takami  { 4.23.01 @ 7:02am }

» I haven't had a TV in about 7 months, and it's really GREAT! Seriously, I like being able to read, relax, being creative, or just chilling with..say.. a trip to the pub, or maybe just some chess. Life without a TV is more life.

chris  { 4.23.01 @ 7:16am }

» I dropped my cable altogether over a week ago. The first few days were not as bad as I thought. The only moments I really missed it was during lunch or dinner when Zoe (my Dal) and I would sit down and eat. I miss Rough Necks: Starship Troopers and still get into The X-files. I have a friend taping those for me (hee hee) but other than that...I am getting ready to design my own site!

– krebstar  { 4.23.01 @ 7:17am }

» I have a tv, but no cable and no antenna, so as long as I can keep away from the collection of tapes i have collected, this should be easy :)

– spook  { 4.23.01 @ 7:34am }

» Oh, I wanted to participate in TV Turnoff Week. I was planning to. I didn't even make it the day.

Boy do I feel unaccomplished.

I justified it by saying I'd only watch the shows I *want* to watch, cutting out all the junk I watch just because someone else is watching it. I know. I'm a wimp.

andrea  { 4.23.01 @ 7:53am }

» I'm w/ Aidin! Turn off the computer week is an excellent idea! Try picking up a pad & pencil at least 3 times a week. We are artists for crying out loud! DRAW! (p.s. and obviously I don't watch the boob tube either)

Brandon  { 4.23.01 @ 8:52am }

» Maybe Aidan is right... there should be a "turn off the computer week" also... or better a "go offline week" I just realized how many time I have wasted by surfing from one site to another just looking and then it's too late for doing anything else.
Quite annoying.

– Anna  { 4.23.01 @ 9:00am }

» i'm with you. i went so long without a tv and then got one when dreamcast came out. now it seems like a part of my life and watch it everyday. it's not that bad though, i usually sit and sketch in my sketchbook and listen more than watch... except that britney spears commercial.. i'm mesmerized by the suspenders...???

– lance  { 4.23.01 @ 10:01am }

» woah, adbusters AND gorrila biscuits on the same page? the awesomeness is burning holes in my brain. thanks for reminding me that it was tv turnoff week. i don't have a subscription anymore so i wasn't reminded.

even after a week without tv i won't stop watching it. i like having mtv2 (which is broadcast here in pittsburgh) in the background while i work, and hell i like tv. but a week without tv keeps total hours in check, 's nice.

rob  { 4.23.01 @ 10:31am }

» I'm with you 100% on this one. I even posted some of the TV Turn Off Week posters in the newsroom of the paper I work at. I've seen a few heads stop to quickly glance at them. I hope someone thinks about the message and gives TV-free life a try.

Derek, I'm with you on the reading and writing too. Reading is definitely one of the best creative stimulants to get the ideas flowing and fingers typing.

Best wishes to everyone participating this week, and let's try to remember how great it feels for days and weeks and years to come!

Andrew Brodie  { 4.23.01 @ 11:06am }

» I never watch TV anyway! I completely understand, and have done for years now that TV is NOT a good way of relaxing - a good way of relaxing could be turning some relaxing music on, lying or sitting down - closing yr eyes, and immerse yrself in the melody you hear (better to listen to something slow, like Cafe del Mar or calm New Age music). If you smoke - smoke a cigarette whilst doing this - believe me, its a rush after you finish your relaxation period. I also like to Meditate - that is a great way of relaxing...

I never watch TV, I never plan to watch TV for a long time from now.

Sketch, write yr thoughts, write some poetry, listen to music, work on your Art on the PC/Mac - there are so many things we are capable of doing - why waste the talent by numbing our minds watching countless Adverts, society-given opinions and cheap shows.

Just do it - dont watch TV this week, but try to keep it up for another week and another and see how yr mind feels - believe me, I'm proud to know that i dont watch TV.

Hesan Yousif  { 4.23.01 @ 11:12am }

» Better watch could become a habit. I gave up TV as an experiment for New Year's in 1996 and didn't re-up until I moved in with my folks last November. I was a great 4 years, and though I can't necessarily claim that my creativity was any higher, my range of experiences certainly was. What's most distressing is how easy it's been to fall back into that TV-as-drug pattern now that I have access to cable again. Combine that with the TiVo I won last fall, and my first few months here were a complete TV haze. I sold the little black box to an unsuspecting friend, and I'm feeling better already.

Carol  { 4.23.01 @ 11:39am }

» I'm not much a Teevee girl, myself. I gave it up years ago, in leiu of becoming a computer junky. Which would be super hard for me to turn off for a week, these days.

However, every now and again, when the darned thing crashes, I leave it off and paint/play guitar/write/etc... It always seems super fufilling after staring at the screen for three or four days straight. :)

But, good luck on the lack of television! I hope you guys come through all enlightened! :)

anathea  { 4.23.01 @ 12:51pm }

» My girlfriend and I quit paying the cable bill and unplugged about two years ago. That was the best decision we ever made. Now I can't even imagine how I found time to watch 2-5 hours of TV a day. I really resect you guys for putting together this whole TV turnoff week. Good luck.

Cameron McEwan  { 4.23.01 @ 1:20pm }

» i've decided...instead of COMPLETELY turning off my TV, that if i do want to watch something it will only be on the History Channel or Discovery Channel. I do believe that this is a great idea...its just that i don't really watch a whole of it anyway, but i'll just strictly watch something educational. NOT ALL TV IS BAD...JUST 90% OF IT.

– ryan  { 4.23.01 @ 1:47pm }

» Just sit back, turn off, and watch the thought patterns you never new you had, emerge!

– ryan clark  { 4.23.01 @ 5:27pm }

» I haven't turned on my TV in the apartment since Oct 2000. I usually wake up late and start working on a few projects then get bored and go out and have a few drinks. When I get home I would rather go to the computer then turn on the TV. I have to admit that I haved watched a few shows at other peoples house (cheating?) I call it socializing. I don't think anything creative can come fromt the "tube" I feel you have to go out and see it, the real color.

John  { 4.23.01 @ 5:29pm }

» Not me, no way, nosiree. My excuse is that I write freelance TV pieces.

Of course, that's a cop out. I don't have any deadlines until next week, so I could tape everything and do a marathon next Monday. ;) Truth is, I don't think I could go a whole week without all the political junkie stuff I watch. A whole week without George Stephanopoulos? I can't do *that*.

– skn  { 4.23.01 @ 5:30pm }

» I have to have the tv on in the background at least. I just say it's a part of the lonely factor. makes me think I have company :)

really, I don't watch that many shows in actuality. it's just on as noise.

good luck to all who are really doing this though!

Amber  { 4.23.01 @ 7:13pm }

» I gave my TV away to my sister 2 years ago when she went away to college. I never replaced it. Maybe it was laziness or something else...

I don't really miss it anymore. Although, I will confess that sometimes I want to watch a nice PBS documentary or film.

Good luck Derek!

– Del  { 4.23.01 @ 7:53pm }

» Ehh.... It's all well and good to reallocate your time, but the rhetoric of the "turn off your tv week" or "kill your television" movements makes me want to pay for cable and watch some television, if I actually thought it would spite them. Likely it wouldn't, so I don't bother.

I do applaud your move to improve yourself (well, improve yourself implies that there's an objective ideal, which there ain't, but you get the picture), Derek. And I hope you succeed (or don't feel bad if you fail, like for that possible blurb).

But I think the whole ideology behind it is silly.

Really, where are the webpages to tell me how to stop reading for a week? I mean, I spend at least four to six hours a day doing research and reading, when I could be out socializing, volunteering, cooking, cleaning the apartment.... Academia isn't living, but it eats the rest of my day aside from my job. Clearly, something has to change.

– kristina  { 4.24.01 @ 10:19am }

» i am 33 years old and haven't really watched television since i was in junior high school. in those 20 years, i feel like i have missed out on nothing. even the 'news', it is all pretty much a bunch of fluff. people who watch television on a daily basis are wasting their lives.
kick the habit!

– michael baxter  { 8.23.01 @ 9:28pm }


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