I’m feeling very accomplished. I watched all of Transparent on Saturday.
But I know that doesn’t count as an accomplishment.
Reading a book in a day is impressive. Watching a season on Amazon Prime Instant Video is a binge.
Why is that?
Why is reading up here and TV watching down here?
(This is a Kelly Bensimon-ism from Real Housewives of NY, and in my book — so to speak, ha! — you’re smart if you got it.)
Is it because reading is a skill you have to wait till age 6 to learn, whereas TV you’re pretty much born knowing how to do? That makes breastfeeding above TV watching, because there’s that “latching” thing babies have to get the hang of. TV watching doesn’t require that.
Is it because reading requires imagination to picture the visuals, and TV watching doesn’t? What if you get the version of the book that says “Now a Major Motion Picture” on the cover and has a photo of Kiera Knightley or Ryan Gosling, or Gabourey Sidibe with a bucket of Popeye’s chicken, so your mind doesn’t have to do any hard imagining?
Is it because there are slow and fast readers, but the same TV show takes a smart person and a dumb person the same amount of time to watch, assuming they’re both held hostage by the same commercials?
(For the record, I’m a really slow reader. In first grade, the teacher thought I was super-fast because I kept telling her I was done with my book and ready for the next one. But I was lying. )
Is it because heavy readers are book worms, and heavy TV watchers are couch potatoes?
Doesn’t seem fair. Worms aren’t attractive, and of course their mouth matches their anus, but at least they seem industrious. A potato doesn’t even have the energy to creep and burrow. Why is that the label TV watchers get, when you can get just as fat and lumpy reading a book as you can watching TV? Also, you can go way faster on the treadmill watching a show than you can trying to read. If you run fast while reading, you’ll trip and fall off, trust me. So TV burns more calories. Oh snap!
Is it a notion left over from when TV was all crap?
But it was never all crap. Even during the Three’s Company/ Love Boat/ Fantasy Island golden era of crap, you had The Odd Couple and Mary Tyler Moore in reruns, at least.
And I’ll bet the ratio of good books to crappy books is way, way smaller than the ratio of good TV to bad TV.
Case in point: Have you ever read a Danielle Steele book? They make up half of the world’s printed matter, and every heroine in them has “grey-green flecked hazel eyes, long, soft, chestnut brown hair, and a waspish waist.” We learn this when she studies herself in the mirror and sums up what she sees. THAT is crap.
Crap TV is so much better than crap books.
Crap TV is Ramona on Real Housewives saying “Kadooz” instead of “Kudos,” which is more quotable then any piece-o-shit-but-that’s-OK-because-it’s-still-a-book book I’ve ever found in a beach hotel’s lending library.
All that said, I love books. I just have an easier time finding the TV I love, so I watch more than I read.
And that said, you MUST watch Transparent. Subscribe to Amazon Prime, it’s worth it and you’ll use it all the time anyway, to get things delivered that you keep forgetting to pick up at the store.
Do you think reading is smarter than TV watching?
What great TV have you watched lately?
What great books? And business/ self-development books don’t count, because enough already, I don’t want to hear about them and how they helped you step out of your comfort zone, I’m talking about great fiction. Please.
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