It is moments like this I am glad I do not have a TV.

Television is providing, as usual during momentous events, all noise and no signal, plus random images which may or may not be intelligible.

Today, while I was not watching TV, I finished John O’Sullivan‘s book about Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II. It is a very good book, about an important period in our history. Reagan and Thatcher and John Paul II were heroic figures, and they are under relentless attack by the people who hold the commanding heights of the media, the academy and the entertainment industry. The relentless tide of their lies eventually effaces, and replaces the truth, though we do have other options these days and things may be getting better. (O’Sullivan figures prominently in Richard Brookhiser’s book about William F. Buckley, which I devoured last weekend, also very good.)

It was a better use of my time than watching blather about Egypt from people who don’t know any more than I do about it.

Blogs are a little better but not much. All kinds of conventional wisdom seems to bloom and wither and rebloom based on not much of anything. The only person I see who seems to have anything interesting to say is John Robb, e.g. this: this and this. But I don’t know if he is just guessing, either.

And just today, a book came in the mail, which I got for one cent + plus postage: To War with Whitaker: Wartime Diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly, 1939-45, which I read a rave review of somewhere. I opened the package, opened the book at random, and saw this diary entry for 3 November, 1940:

“My name,” he said, “is Wingate, Orde Wingate. I am going south in five days’ time. I shall raise a revolt in Abyssinia. First I shall go to Khartoum — the Emperor is there. Then I shall drop behind the lines and stay there till, with the aid of the Abyssinians and my small force, we can overthrow the Italians. Now I want you to come as my secretary — you can type, do shorthand, cope with signals?”
I nodded.
“Can you ride, and speak French?”
I nodded again.
“You might have to be dropped by parachute — you wouldn’t mind that?”
“Not if I am supplied with the right kind of underwear,” I laughed.
“Lady Ranfurly, I must have an English secretary. There are none to be found in the Middle East. Will you come and help me? Can you be ready by Tuesday? You will be back in six months.”

Who could turn down a job offer like that? I will soon find out what happens. This one is going to the top of the pile.

The only thing that compares to the benefits of not having a TV is deactivating a Facebook account. One month Facebook free. I liked it, I like my FB friends. But it was taking up way too much time.

9 thoughts on “It is moments like this I am glad I do not have a TV.”

  1. If you don’t watch TV you can’t learn that the Muslim Brotherhood is a reform-minded civic organization much like our own Rotary International. See what you’re missing?

  2. There’s more on TV than the news. One can actually own a TV, watch things like, oh say, Downton Abbey, or House or Human Target and never be bothered a bit with news. In fact, a TV can be just another form of escape from current events, especially if one adds a DVD player. I am glad that there was never a TV in the house when I was kid. Television stunts a child’s brain.

  3. There is only one thing certain about the situation in Egypt: if Snowpocalypse found its way there, it would be Pharaoh of Egypt and the protesters would be quickly put to work building a giant Snowpocalypse Pyramid.

  4. Must have TV, must have sports and MMA. Not much better for me in the summer than siting on the patio with a baseball game on in the background reading a good book, although doing farm work listening to a baseball game on the radio is very close. Sports is one of the few things left that is black and white, win or lose. But even the edges of sport are getting blurred now.

    I don’t blame you for not having a TV one bit. The vast majority of the programming is mindrot.

    You are right, nobody has any idea what is going on in Egypt, including those paid to know.

  5. Jon, about that revelation about Muslim Brotherhood: you don’t have to watch TV for that when you can just read one of your own blog contributors:
    “their [-Muslim Brotherhood’s – ET] present ideology in any case is closer to the processes of electoral politics than those of violent jihad.”

  6. Dan, if I were a sports fan, I would have a television. Agreed on that.

    Setbit, funny. The Onion really is the finest news source.

  7. Actually, there is a good use for TV. I keep golf on while I read. It is very relaxing and you can always look up and see a golf course. I love golf courses although I can no longer play. The other purpose is college football.

Comments are closed.