TV party tonight!

Nick Baker

Television is one of the most interesting machines known to man. Very few people can say that TV was not somehow involved in their childhood, or that they never had a favorite show or saw anything interesting on TV.

Bring on the TV haters. I want to know how many never enjoyed an episode of “Sesame Street.”

Let me share with you an anecdote.

About two weekends ago, I walked over to 101 Bottles with a friend of mine. By the time we paid for our beverages, a torrential downpour had begun. We decided not to test Mother Nature and instead posted up on a bench outside Puff-n-Stuff to wait out the weather.

My friend and I each cracked open a beer (and in our defense for those noting the illegality of drinking a beer on a sidewalk, there was some kind of party going on at All Media Art Supply Co., and everybody was drinking on the sidewalk), and he asked me what my thoughts were on the Kennedy assassination.

We engaged in a good discussion about such curious points as the questionable involvement of Woody Harrelson’s father, a conspiracy theory that Frank Sinatra was hip to the planned assassination and the lackluster security “provided” to Lee Harvey Oswald and the fact that a man surrounded by guards did not have any directly in front of him or behind him or that Jack Ruby basically acquiesced after shooting Oswald (I won’t elaborate on any of this, so you can check it out on your own time).

Midway through this discussion I stopped to ask my friend, “Did you recently watch all that Kennedy stuff on the History Channel?”

And, of course, the answer was “yes.” I had seen some of it myself.

Now I am not saying all the historical conversation points we touched on came from watching History, but, despite the Nostradamus- and Hitler-heavy lineup, History has provided me with some very interesting points for contemplation and (gasp!) research for the sake of nothing more than personal knowledge.

For some reason it is hip to knock TV (though watching episodes of “The Office” on an iBook is OK).

I have had more pretentious hipsters advise me to smash my TV (often via Facebook under the “Favorite TV Shows” category, oh you forward-thinking progressive!) than I care to go back and examine.

Sure, TV is jam-packed with total and complete garbage. We have all seen FOX News (and MSNBC isn’t much different). We’ve all heard fiery televangelists in the wee morning hours or sat in a haze learning that we can cook a turkey in a toaster oven if it comes equipped with a rotisserie wheel.

If I ever wanted to kill myself but was on the fence and needed a good reason to go through with it, I could watch anything on VH1 involving Bret Michaels.

But TV is tailor-made for our convenience. News, weather, sports, entertainment: They are all there in one easy-to-use box. We pay big money for all these services in various forms, from weather apps to being able to get The New York Times sent to our pockets in electronic form.

But TV pioneered the art of putting all the junk we want in one place (Where is Billy Mays when you need him?).

So for one lousy day, go grab a six-pack and a dime bag, order $15 worth of the greasiest food you can think of, take your pants off and grab the remote. See if you cannot, at the very least, come across something that makes you say, “God damn.”

Nick Baker is a senior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].