Removing Television

I don’t consume a lot of television. Occasionally I will binge a show on Netflix. I liked the three seasons of Fargo and the first season of True Detective. I will put on some garden reality show or documentary in the background. Every now and then my wife and I stream a movie or watch some standup. But for the most part if I lived alone I would watch almost no television.

The truth is I just don’t enjoy movies or television. Compared to reading or listening to audiobooks I find the process tedious and unstimulating. I can’t thing of the last time I really enjoyed a new movie. I find streaming services like Netflix especially irritating because of the choice paralysis involved. Every time I sit down I spend forty-five minutes scrolling through the lackluster choices until I pick something I’m not really that excited to about but feel compelled to watch because I just spent forty-five minutes looking for it. I would rather spend the time reading, writing, talking, cooking, or just about anything including just sitting in silence napping.

Yesterday my wife and I were discussing children, our childhood, and parenting styles. Television screen time came up. I don’t exactly remember how the conversation developed but my wife asked me if I thought getting rid of the television would be a good idea. As in getting rid of it completely and making a living room without one as the centerpiece. The point being that we would raise Juniper free of television.

My initial reaction was immediate approval. The only one who watches it regularly is my wife so my life would remain mostly unchanged. It would be a improvement because it would force us to come up with some better activities on weekend nights and get rid of the dread of being stuck in an endless loop of deciding what to watch.

But we both have some misgiving. I grew up with unlimited screen time and no supervision over what movies and television I watched. I remember spending my afternoons watching Disney cartoons, I Love Lucy, Gilligan’s Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, and other reruns. Once I got a bit older I watched a lot of Star Trek the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Hercules, Xena, The X-Files, and a bunch of other shows I can’t even remember. My younger brother and I spent a lot of time watching television, but we also played outside, played games, skateboarded, had a lot of friends, explored, got girlfriends when we got older, and grew up to be overall successful adults. Television did not rot our brains. Well maybe a little bit.

I’m afraid that if we get rid of the television we would be depriving Juniper of the fun I had growing up. I don’t want to be that crunchy granola or fundamentalist religious parent that forces my ascetic beliefs onto my children, but at the same time I feel that modern television is pure brain garbage and is just another excessive attention deficit inducing trash pile that sucks away happiness.

With our move coming up in the next few weeks it would be the perfect time to get rid of television and change the way we interact in our living room space. So I’m really thinking this over, weighing the pros and the cons. What do you guys think, should I dump the television? Do you think I would be depriving my daughter? Let me know in the comments, I’m really interested.

I look forward to being tired…

If you’ve been keeping track of me on here or on my other social media you know by now that this summer my first child will be arriving and that I am excited beyond belief. Since I announced the great news I’ve had such a great outpour of support from both my close live friends and my interweb compatriots. Lots of good wishes, great advice, and useful discussion. bitch please

Unfortunately, imminent parenthood seems to attract an insidious breed of moral reptile that loves dwelling in constant negativity. My wife seems to be getting the brunt of the annoyance, mostly thirty-something childless woo girls who dwell in mid-twenties infantilism, spouting annoying negativities about childbirth, pregnancy, motherhood, and the whole experience in general. These are the same time of women who despise marriage and anything wholesome in general and will end up lonely cat-parasite infested alcoholics.

What bothers me personally is the constant reminder that “man enjoy your sleep now because you will be tired… har har har,” a million times a week. I understand that the sentiment is meant as a light-hearted joke, but honestly, it bugs the shit out of me. It bothers me because I personally look forward to being tired because of my soon to be born child.

In my early twenties, I used to spend nights partying in alcohol-fueled rages. I used to hop from party to party for what seemed like weeks at a time. My buddies and I used to quote Hellraiser, “the suffering will be legendary,” to describe the horrendous hangovers. Sleep was an afterthought.

In my mid to late twenties, I continued my partying but now in a more sophisticated fashion with the USMC. I used to go drinking with my buddies, close off bars, only to be in formation a few hours later ready for a twelve mile, fully geared, hike up and down the trails on Camp Pendleton. The suffering was legendary.

When I was in Afghanistan I would go on eight-plus hours long patrols, return to the PB, only to be sent out again before I even had a chance to take off my gear. Not to mention that when I wasn’t out I had other duties like running sick-call or standing radio watch in the command tent. Sleep was a luxury that was never guaranteed and never taken for granted.

So basically, the way I look at it is that if I could give up sleep to party, give up sleep for war, I will willingly and gladly give up sleep to take care of my child. I know parenthood will be difficult and tough, but I’ve learned from experience that anything worth doing should be challenging.

After all, for all the hardships, I miss the adrenaline filled patrols and camaraderie from my time in Afghanistan. In the scope of life, it was just a short six months, but I remember every day in vivid detail. I have a feeling that having an infant will have a similar imprint in my life. In the big picture, it will be a short time, but one that I will always look back on.

So yeah.. I get it, it will be hard, but I’m looking forward to it, so shut the fuck up.