Existential Dread of TV

I saw this exchange on facebook this morning…

Person 1 – Been waking up in the middle of the night out of a sound sleep for weeks now. Can’t get back to sleep

Person 2 – Ughhh. Here too, its weird in the winter…. At least in summer you can hang out on the patio and look up at the moon. Too cold for that now, have to settle for crappy tv

Person 3 – Haven’t sleep thru the night in 15 YEARS. My mind just NEVER stops and when i lay down it is the LOUDEST. It is like torture , I WOULD DIE WITH OUT MY TV LOL> If i didn’t listen to every rerun of Friends, Frasier or George Lopez i would scratch my own eyes out LOL

Person 2 – don’t get me wrong, I love crappy tv… Esp George Lopez lol. And hgtv, but i’m thinking it may be the ridiculous political news sites that make me unable to shut my eyes

Person 3 – OMG if i watched that crap i would have to take 5 more Xanax to fall asleep. I keep up with current events and watch enough news local and national to stay informed but come night night time that is LAST thing i could turn on unless i want to have a freaken panic attack. I turn on All the reruns because they DON’T engage my mind but provide just enough noise to shut down that fucking HAMSTER ON A WHEEL that runs in MY BRAIN the MINUTE i lay down EVERY night . I am a prisoner in my own mind and if it wasn’t for my tv and reruns i would NEVER SLEEP

Person 2 – also love Criminal Minds and Blue Bloods… Or an I Love Lucy marathon… Whatever it takes!

Person 3 – OH NO i can’t watch SERIOUS shows because then even with my eyes closed i start listening and then i AM DRAWN in to the plot. AND crack me up with I LOVE LUCY because some nights i fall asleep watching FRASIER , Then at 5 am the MUSIC to The I Love Lucy show comes on and i might as well set an Alarm clock. It wakes me out of a DEAD sleep.

Person 2 – I wake up every couple hours so usually wake up and change channel to what I know will bore me the most

This was followed by a discussion of which drugs and what liquor can help the most for sleeping.

 

I think if I start speaking my mind about what I see from the perspective of others, I’m stepping into territory that will make me sound high and mighty (I’m not) and piss off a great many people.

But.

Here goes.

Half the problem in the country is that none of us know how to be quiet with ourselves.

How to just sit and just be.

Maybe I’m talking about meditation, I don’t know, I’ve never been successful at meditation.

But I do understand how to notice what’s going on in the mind, question why it’s choosing to go that way, and how to redirect my mind to more productive thoughts. (Productive in the way of chemical brain changes. Yay science!)

I’m not an expert in this shit. I don’t know what I’m talking about at all. I haven’t even gotten ¼ of the way through my first cup of coffee. I just know that something is wrong with this whole American scenario. Work and TV as a life? Ugh.

*******

I’m back. After seeing my honey off to work and filling the birds feeders before the snow starts.

I know I don’t have any right to judge another – especially as they do whatever it takes to get through the days, the weeks, their lives – but I can’t think of anything more horrifying than TV as a balm.

Everyone looks to distraction to hide from themselves and their own minds.

This is a theme for me. Note yesterday’s blog post where I quoted what Eugene Delacroix says to himself in 1824 – “Poor fellow! How can you do great work when you’re always having to rub shoulders with everything that is vulgar.”

Nothing is more vulgar than TV.

You really want to sleep while all the night long while inane babble drills into your psyche? (I really don’t want anyone to scratch you own eyes out but, seriously? Is this bombardment of boredom really the only other option?)

When do you take the time to learn what you think?

Why do you try to shut your voice down? How does that help?

I understand the desire to quiet the worries, the fears, and the unhelpful stuff the brain throws at us. I carry around more existential dread on a minute to minute basis than most people I know. But drowning it in commercialism, drugs and mass market entertainment does not lead to contentment and peace of mind. Of this I am sure.