Television: With the commercials and programs, who needs reality?

Bethany Schlaikjer

Bethany Schlaikjer

A television set is an intricate part of every college student’s life. Most often at the expense of our studies (imagine that), we spend a great deal of our time staring mindlessly at the screen of this technological opiate. I, like most of my fellow peers, can’t study for longer than 20 minutes at a time in the middle of the day, but I can watch an Ab Energizer infomercial at two in the morning for well over three hours. I don’t think that most of us are even aware of the massive amount of non-stimulating, semi-lucid crap seeping into our brains as we watch our favorite entertainment medium.

For instance, how about all the mind-numbing commercials? I think that it’s safe to say that the rest of the world joins me in my all-inclusive hate for the wretched things. If I have to watch Carrot Top act like a first class idiot in one more collect call commercial, I’m going to hunt him down and shave off all that stupid hair of his. And don’t forget those horrible, suck-your-will-to-live allergy medication commercials. Those people always look just a little too happy, and I can’t quite figure out why. If you’re really paying attention to the narrator, the list of side effects makes the Bubonic Plague look like a preferable experience. “Possible side effects may include: drowsiness, headache, blurred vision, hallucinations, loss of fingers and toes, shortness of breath and bleeding from all major orifices.” No thanks. I think I’ll just use a Kleenex for my runny nose.

But the trophy for the most annoyingly repetitive, utterly coma-inducing commercial goes to the Minute Pass. If I end up going to hell, I know this baby is going to be playing on the big screen for all eternity. There can be no greater punishment. As if it wasn’t depressing enough to see that Macgyver (my generation’s hero) now looks like the guy that played Matlock, the advertising madmen put that appalling jingle into the background, too.

In spite of these visual atrocities, I cannot deny that I am addicted to my television. We children of the 80s were raised with televisions as our frequent babysitters (if not surrogate mothers), and the need for effortless entertainment runs through our veins like a liquid obsession. I think I will end on that note. If I don’t finish now, I’m going to miss “Friends.”

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