A quiet corner

I haven’t watched television in over a year and I have to say it feels really good. It wasn’t a conscious decision to stop. It just happened naturally as I became more focussed on writing the book and wanted less distraction around me. I can’t remember the last time I read a newspaper either. For all my life I’ve been a news-watching, paper-reading person, but these days I’m appreciating the calm of being less in touch with the media. It never helped that the news was always bad news, and that some days I’d absorb more of that negativity than I wanted.

These days I choose the images I see by renting films and buying DVDs. The important news filters down to me through Twitter and my Google Reader, and I click over to the Guardian website when I want to go deeper. The recent rioting in London hasn’t directly affected Bath but i know that if I was back in the capital I’d be on the streets with a broom in my hand right now. I see the people of my country hurting and feel powerless to help. But in the next breath I silently recommit to sending as much good stuff out into the world as I can. Because I really do believe that every little helps.

My top 10 favourite TV shows (because we all need to escape sometimes)

1. True Blood
2. Fringe
3. Lie to Me
4. Lost
5. Supernatural (love those Winchester boys)
6. Ashes to Ashes
7. The Good Wife
8. Bones
9. Californication
10. The 4400/V/Buffy/Battlestar Galactica

17 responses
  1. Marcela

    True Blood, yes, eye candy ;)
    My former chief, who is now a good friend, recommended me The Good Wife, so I still have to check that one out.
    May everything be al right in the UK soon…

  2. Alicia

    I really agree with you about cutting out all of those negative images in our lives. I also went on an “information diet” a few years ago and gave up TV, and haven’t looked back. I am with you in that I also try to self-select my entertainment by sticking to Netflix (I too have become a fan of True Blood–very addictive!) and I keep my news source to just The Economist–and of course some of the lovely blogs out there that give me so much positive energy each day–like yours ;)

  3. Mariella

    It’s crazy what’s happening around us, not only in your country Susannah, sometimes, I think the whole world is just going insane. I don’t watch much of TV either, but I still believe that I need to be in touch with the world in spite of the negativity. I have stopped blogging for 4 months because I needed to get out of my Internet haven and get out to understand what was going on. The picture is most of the times ugly, but I understood the importance to be aware. hugs to you and best wishes for your book!!

  4. Christine

    I’ve always been that way, a bit. I find it hard to trust what I see in the media actually, I find that the spin is often sensational and negative and I don’t like influencing myself that way. That said, I really ought to find alternative media to keep myself informed! But days are so busy with things to get done that I rarely find the time for that kind of good-citizen-of-the-world behaviour : )

    And I haven’t owned a TV in about six years either, and I am always amazed/freaked out by the barrage of COMMERCIALS when I’m watching at a friend’s place. Not that I don’t love a good escapist TV show – I do – I just watch commercial-free episodes on my computer.

    We share a lot of favourites! True Blood and Supernatural are both delicious fluff, and Bones is wonderful, and oh how I miss the excitement of BSG! May I suggest, if you haven’t found them, Eureka (totally geek-cheese, but great), A Game of Thrones (so good, I have to read it now), and Veronica Mars (an “oldie”-ish, but a goodie). I’m a big Doctor Who fan as well (and Torchwood – although more so before the current Americanized season) but I suspect you’ve already heard of the man in the Tardis! : )

  5. Dawn

    I certainly watch t.v but I don’t watch the news, read the paper or listen to talk radio. My info about the world is fed to me by my clients or other members of my family. I just don’t want to consciously choose the negative stuff as the bulk of my energy for the day. Like you, I want to send out as much good stuff as I can. :-)

  6. Nina

    What you get on The News is a very skewed version of the world anyway. I do watch TV, but almost entirely via iPlayer and 4OD, so I pick and choose rather than accepting whatever happens to be scheduled. I generally don’t watch the news – the big stories come to my attention anyhow, and then I look online for other views. That said, there was something approaching a sensible discussion on Newsnight on 08/08 – a man called Nims Obunge had something quite balanced and important to say.

  7. Jo

    You and I would never ever fight over the remote. Big ol’ ditto on this list.

    I miss Sawyer…

  8. Danielle

    We just got satellite tv after not having tv for a year. Now I’m addicted to: Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, How I Met Your Mother, Parks & Rec, Dexter, Game of Thrones, loved BSG & waiting to catch up w/ Fringe on netflix.

  9. Rachel Cronin

    I love your choices Susannah- I’ve just found myself getting into Fringe and i’m a big fan of True Blood and Supernatural. In fact, i’m pretty much a slave to the good ole American TV box set. I’ve avoided the TV as much a possible recently and have been repainting my bedroom whilst watching The West Wing (bliss). I have to echo Christine’s comment- A game of Thrones was TV gold- i’m going to read the books too!

  10. Melissa

    I’s watching supernatural right now (I bought the box set). I also love True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones, and Boardwalk Empire (go HBO shows). My meditation teacher says the worst thing you can do in the morning is open yourself up to media-newspapers, internet, t.v etc… We need to be mindful of what we expose ourselves too.

  11. McCaffery

    Count me in as another “stay away from TV” person. And I echo the previous commenter Christine’s remark, commercials are just as bad as the sensational and (always bad) news. I too, find that when something major is happening, I can find out everything through less sensational sources via the Internet. There was a spiritual book I had bought about 10 years ago that suggested the same thing you state, choosing what you watch. The line I remember the author saying was “is your mind more troubled because of what you feed it?” She then went on to say that she avoided tragedy and the news.

    Christine Claire Reed was just talking about this on the Bliss Chick site the other day too. Nice to see so many blogging about how we can choose what we feed our heads. Besides, my head has enough going on that I don’t need to add sensationalism and tragedy to it. Thank you for such a nice post.

  12. Roxanne

    TV, for me, is just a visual backdrop; most of the time when it’s on, I mute the sound. My favourite show is The Big Bang Theory. I also like The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.

  13. Rockyann

    I can’t quite give up TV yet but I find myself watching documentaries more and more. I’m a news junkie and have often said that I should do a media cleanse because I am left feeling hopeless and powerless much of the time. I agree with Christine above who finds the media sensational and I would add that they pander to the corporate elite. Also… finding the commentary on the rioting very sad indeed.

  14. Debbie

    I avoid newspapers and the news these days too, I get an idea of what is going on from friends, family and twitter and then follow things up online or by watching a news broadcast if I feel the need. When I did watch news/read papers daily I found it gave me a skewed sense of the world – actually there IS a lot of good stuff out there (including this site Susannah, thank you!) and you wouldn’t know it from focusing on the media.

    I love it when you post pictures of Bath. They always take me right back to my honeymoon there in April. I can’t wait to go back.

  15. kristen

    If you like Bones than you’ll love this little tidbit of info: the dude that played Walter Sherman (the finder), is my front neighbor! He’s super nice and very, very easy on the eyes, especially since he’s always shirtless.

  16. kristen

    PS. and i think there’s a bones spin-off coming soon with him as the star. i try not to ask too many questions of him about his job, have to have some semblance of cool left. haha

  17. Lydia Kimble-Wright

    I’m with you re: no telly. I guess that it has been well over 1 1/2 years and it wasn’t a conscious decision, I just began to watch it less and less, until I realized that I didn’t watch it at all with the exception of the shows that I’d have recorded so that I could watch them later. They are:

    1. Supernatural

    2. The Vampire Diaries

    3. Charmed/Buffy Vampire Slayer/Angel

    I am certain that a psychiatrist would have a field day with my selections, but hey, I’m from New Orleans, what else would you expect? :)

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