Sunday, October 3, 2010
A Commercial Break
I'm not going to discuss why I suddenly became fascinated with wasting my time and wasting my life away at that exact moment in time. Let's just say that it was right then that I had gotten very depressed about my writing. Coincidence? Probably not. I'll leave that issue to professionals, or to psychogenic drugs, or to the straitjacket that I'm destined for once the masking tape I've stuck myself together with comes undone.
But here's the idea that's dawned on me in this 3-4 month time period that I've been watching television with my kids: they watch commercials and I don't. And I don't mean just that. I mean, they really watch commercials, like they are rapt with attention for the commercials, paying more attention to them than to the actual show we're watching. And I, the polar opposite, do the exact opposite. I really don't watch commercials. I'm hostile to commercials. Commercials are my break time from television. I read, I run out of the room, I change loads of laundry.
Is it because I was raised in the 60s and 70s, when commercials consisted of Mr. Clean staring at himself in a see-through floor? Or station identification breaks? Or is it a combination of that and the fact that my kids have been raised in a world of Superbowl Sunday commercials, commercials as art forms, commercials with ongoing plots?
I thought I'd beat them at their own game so one day during the commercials I muted the sound, sure that the kids would join me in talking, mulling things over, or even in getting three minutes of chores done. Instead here's what I had: two zombies staring at the soundless TV and trying to read the lips of the actors. Turns out it wasn't really a problem anyway. They'd memorized the scripts long ago.
Been avoiding anything by vegging out lately? Do you watch commercials? Do your kids? Any Food Network aficionados?