The sky is falling’ the sky is falling ‘so said Chicken Little when she heard that analog television was being phased out later on this month. Surely the world as we know it is coming to an end.

I think not.

Yes, I know that unless you have a converter or an HD ready television you won’t be able to watch anything when the whole system gets changed over to digital. But you know I don’t really care. And truth to tell’ neither do you. I mean what would it hurt if we were forced to give up watching the tube for some period of time’ I don’t think my life would be negatively impacted at all, do you’

If you are as old as I am you can remember life before we had television. My grandmother was one of the first people in our neighborhood with a set. The programming didn’t come on until late in the afternoon and I can recall going to her house and watching the test pattern for about thirty minutes before Howdy Dowdy or something along that line finally appeared. I believe all of the stations (maybe three) signed off with the national anthem at midnight. Trust me we were not deprived by not having twenty four hour programming on three hundred or more channels.

So to hear the media tell us, there is a great hue and cry going up all across the land because there are not enough cable box converters to go around. This means a lot of people may have to actually wait weeks or months to see wrestling or Jack Bauer save the world. How can the citizens of this country exist if they don’t get their daily dose of the nightly news or ET’ Whatever that is.

No, I do not mourn the loss of television. In my opinion, I think we could do without our daily fix for many months, even years without any loss to our society or our culture. For way too long, we have substituted the box for companionship, conversation and communication not only between our spouses but our children, friends and parents as well. If you have ever visited a nursing home, look in the television room. That’s where they (a lot of the homes, not all of them) park the residents and allow them to watch mindless programming hour after numbing hour instead of engaging them in activities to stimulate their minds and bodies.

Parents, are we doing our children and grandchildren any favors by plunking them down in front of the TV when they could be outside playing (actual physical exercise) or reading a book or even (heavens forbid) studying their homework’

I think not.

No, I think it would do us all some good, myself included to just unplug the thing and let it sit for a year or so. I doubt we would miss anything at all. I don’t know about you, but there are times where I want to go take a bath after watching some of these programs. There are other times when I just say to myself Why in God’s name did I just waste an hour of my time watching that garbage I could have done something useful ‘ like getting some exercise or baking a cake. Not the best of two worlds, but then again you know what I mean. Look back at the times in your life where you didn’t have a television or access to a television. You suffer’ Were you in pain’didn’t you eventually find out who shot JR anyway’ Can’t you read the baseball scores in the paper’ Have you ever listened to the radio and then imagined a football game as it was being played’

Listen to me folks; life is too short to be a slave to a dumb box sitting in our houses. Like most of us, we have hundreds of channels that we have to pay for, and we watch at the most ten or fifteen. That is insanity.

I don’t need a converter, but I can tell you I am thinking about life btv that’s before television. It was a gentler, more peaceful time in my life and I want it back.