Sunday, November 20, 2005

6.5 Billion Hours Wasted Per Week in U.S.

There are statistics saying that the average American watches 8 hours of television a day. If the US population is in excess of 270,000,000 that's a lot of hours squandered. Sometimes I wonder if just half that number, 135million would limit themselves to 8 hours per week, that would free up 6,480,000,000 BILLION hours for other endeavours each week-- volunteer, learning a new language, pursuing a hobby, etc.

If everyone has to die and most of us end up with a headstone, the only key information is the name and the date of birth seperated by a "--" from the date of death. When it comes right down to it, your entire life is summed up by a dash -- that little horizontal line represents years and decades of your life.

The anniversary of my grandfather's death (who was the most sane and dependable person in my life) is on Thanksgiving this year. He was a real estate developer here in Dallas and he was truly the type of person whose word was stronger than any legal document he signed his name to. At his funeral there was literally standing room only because so many people came to pay their respects. Aside from celebrities, I've never seen a funeral that was that packed.

I've always held onto that image and when I think of his life, I think of actual "times" that we had - not of sitting around hours on end staring at a television. I miss him so very much.

Michael said last week that he thinks television is the primary culprit for society going downhill. I understand what he's saying -- people used to dress when they went out, they were more respectful of others and I think in general they were more respectful of themselves.

All the programming on the airwaves is just so much rhetoric. And it's odd -- we know Graham & the telephone and Edison & electricity, but the man who developed the television -- what is his name? I recall reading a story about him years ago and he had such great aspirations for his invention as a learning tool and he became so disillusioned at how it has ended up being used.

I know the time has passed, but it would be nice if the airwaves focused on more positive news. Last week I heard a report that 77% of Americans would prefer more positive news. According to the study, good news makes people feel more positive and have a brighter outlook. Gosh, thanks for sharing that report on the wouldn't that have been an optimum time to follow with a positive story? But I guess that is logic trying to be applied to an illogical situation.

So now you know my personal viewpoint on television -- a bit hypocritical as I'm a producer for 2 televsion series isn't it? But the reality is that more and more channels are becoming available and even more people are going to live vicariously through their plasma flat panels while resting in their La-Z-Boys. And they are going to dream and maybe even voice their desire to go somewhere and do something as a result of a show they've watched -- but 90% of them never will. They are destined for lives of quiet desperation and they will die and their lives will be summed up by a tiny, horizontal line on their grave marker.

So how can I live this hypocritical lifestyle you might wonder? Easy -- I'm not the one wasting my life in front of a box. I actually travel, I like figuring out the logistics for the production schedules, arranging the details that go into the various shoots. I meet interesting people and once everything is wrapped, there is a tangible product that millions of people will see.

I guess the draw to being in the entertainment / media industry is that even if you aren't in front of the cameras, there's a part of you that wants to be lasting. It's kind of like having a blog -- you have a part of you that desires to let other people know you live, and hopefully you live an interesting and full life.

1 comment:

Evangelist said...

I love Harley Davidsons. I have owned two. I am now saving up for a Street Bob.