The Duncan Banner


March 9, 2014

The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

DUNCAN — Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

My little secret, though, is the podcast.

Surely, you have heard of them. I know, please don’t call you Shirley. But surely Shirley you know about podcasts. They are like the radio, but without the incessant commercials. They are recorded programs and you play them on your computer or your smartphone, and the majority are commercial-free, or at least not as commercially intrusive as TV.

At this moment, as I type away contentedly on a cold, dark Saturday afternoon in my delightfully cluttered home office, I am listening to a podcast about Spartacus. The podcast comes via BBC Radio. The show is called “In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.” Mr. Bragg gathers a group of academics for a roundtable discussion every week or so to talk about all sorts of stuff.  Darwin,  chivalry, Hadrian’s Wall, The 100 Year’s War,  Beowulf, you name it.

Not to get all high-brow on you. I’m a downhome guy. As a baseball fan, I’m a regular listener to all sorts of podcasts on the the national past-time, and as a fantasy baseball player for more than a decade, the podcast option  proves to be invaluable in my annual march to a fantasy pennant, or a fantasy cellar. I’ve been both places.

What else?

Leo Laporte and his tech broadcasts. Does the technology world confuse you? It does? Leo might be able to help. He podcasts are compiled from his weekend radio shows that are broadcast from California. You will learn some most likely. He seems like a nice fellow too.

Though I have gone TV-less the last two months, I can still tap into TV Land. The CBS Evening News is broadcast via podcast shortly after it is aired  nationwide. As are others, including 60 Minutes.

And if you really, really want to know what happened on “Downtown Abbey,”  there’s a podcast and full blown discussion about it.

Want to brush up on your etiquette? Modern Manners Guy Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Polite Life may be your cup of tea.

Or maybe it’s nutrition, fitness, grammar, current events, woodworking, movies,  or history you need a fix on. Go to the podcast. Blow up your TV. Take out your .44 Magnum, the most powerful gun in the world, and blow it away!

Of course, the other option to life without TV is books. Thus far, going without TV has jumpstarted my book-reading back to previous levels. This is a good thing, transporting me in recent months into the North African campaign during World War II, the pre World War I political maneuverings that led to the current and never-ending predicament between Palestine and Israel and the very interesting world and brain of rock ‘n roll legend Neil Young.

All thanks to no TV. Think about. You can survive.

I know what you're thinking.

"It's true what the man is writing Then why just take me with the car with an engine light on but I don't know that I want to go through life without my weekly Duck Dynasty or my ninja movies. I know I don't need them, but I want them, just as sure as I want my gravy on my biscuits for Sunday dinner after church."

I understand that, and if that's what makes you happy, then so be it. This was just a friendly suggestion that what you think you need may not really be all that important. Have a good day.

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Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

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