As many of you already know (and if you don't, I'm about to tell you), Ed and I own a television that receives no signals. That's right. We receive no TV programs whatsoever. We use our TV for watching DVDs and for catching up on exactly four shows: Lost, 24, American Idol, and Amazing Race (Ed watches this one). Other than that, we watch no TV.
We have lived like this for more than five years.
I love it.
I could go into a long spiel about why I love not having television. My main reasons include not letting brain-rotting, manipulative commercials, veiled (or not-so-veiled) pornography, and other immoral influences into my livingroom. (I mean, really: If these sit-com and drama situations were playing out live in your house, would you *really* just sit there and not throw these people out? I didn't think so.)
Besides, without the TV on all the time, our apartment is often blessedly quiet. Nobody comes in, flops down on the couch, and flips on the TV. I can hear myself think. It's so wonderful.
However, these aspects of our hardly-any-TV life aren't what I want to rant about this evening. ;o) No, the target I'm aiming for is actually the news.
Obviously, since we don't have TV, I don't watch the news. We don't get the newspaper, either. My only source for news are the headlines on the Yahoo! homepage.
Sometimes I click on these headlines, but mostly I don't. Nothing surprises me anymore. Not because I'm jaded, but because this is a fallen, sinful world, and evil, disturbed people are going to do evil, disturbed things. I don't need to know any of the details, because when you boil them down to their essentials, they all come back to the same thing: sin. There's only one way to combat sin, and that's with the Word of God. No branch of government in the world is going to be able to cure the evil of sin. Ever. So no news media can tell me anything about it that God's Word can't already tell me.
Anyway.... A few minutes ago, I glanced at Yahoo!'s news section and just had to shake my head at the things the news media thinks I should care about. Here are a few of my favorites:
How much are the Yankees (baseball team) worth?
Why should I care? I can't conceive of any situation in which this information could possibly make a difference in my life.
Which video game console is winning?
People are dying, and souls are being lost every second. Does the competition between video game consoles matter?
What's life really like after winning the lottery?
I don't think I should even comment on this one.
Then there's this: Woodstock for Capitalists.
I don't know what that means, but the headline was emblazoned across a picture of a man with purple hair. Not that I have anything against purple-haired men per se....but "Woodstock" and "capitalism" don't have particularly positive or interesting connotations for me.
Calif. station sued for Imus reruns
So what? By now, I'm thinking that I should be blogging something about all of these headlines, and I have no desire to click the link and read about yet another case of a celebrity earning somebody else's disapproval.
Alec Baldwin explains himself on the Web
Yeah, the guy's a jerk for calling his 11-year-old daughter a "thoughtless pig." I won't disagree with anyone on that. But where are the articles about all the other billions of children in the world who are physically and mentally abused by their parents? The media spotlight falls on Baldwin because he's famous, while billions of children remain ignored because their parents don't happen to be celebrities. The media's hypocrisy is staggering.
Schwarzenegger lets MTV 'pimp' his ride
I don't care how much a part of pop culture it is, to me the word 'pimp' will always be a vulgar word defining someone who makes deals for prostitutes. But that thought aside...why should I care *what* Arnold lets MTV do to his car? Good grief, people, it's a CAR, he's a MAN, and MTV is...well, I won't say it here. ;o)
I guess that for me, what it all boils down to is this: The news media and pop culture present these things as though they are significant. They're not. They are grass that grows for a day and then withers and is blown away. They are chaff that is flung to the wind and scatters. They sparkle in the morning sun but are dull and dead by evening.
"...[W]e look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient [pass away], but the things that are unseen are eternal."
--2. Corinthians 4:18