Growing up without one wasn't nearly so difficult as people seem to imagine. It's like someone being born blind. You don't experience it as a disadvantage if it's all you know. It does not signify having something 'less', it merely signifies something different.
When a television did grace my house I admittedly found myself addicted to it. I couldn't get enough of the Simpson, Malcolm in the Middle, ER, CSI, Frasier, Friends, Monk etc. etc. etc. When you total all the shows and all their lengths it really was quite a monumental accumulation. So much so that I eventually felt ill for it.
I revolted against TV and living on my own, I never chose to have one for myself. Roommates would and occasionally I'd watch it but I found myself doing so on fewer occasions until I stopped watching it all together. This suited me as I had far too much to do with my art.
Living in London I am still getting into a routine. I've only just started acquiring temp placements and making friends, so much of my days have been spent exploring museums, painting, and watching TV. I tell myself I should really pull my bottom off the sofa and go do something, but at the same time, I don't feel bad for what I'm watching. Whilst in Canada I felt almost repulsed by the way TV would suck my time with some meaningless show that was often too loud and held no significance, now I'm almost enamoured with what it has to offer.
Like this whole business with learning how to do stained glass? This was the result of a programme that looks at art through the ages and how medieval art was developed. Hosted by the absolutely magnificent David Dimbleby, I was captivated by the stories he shared of how stained glass was done and how little has changed in how it's done now. For example, we mix vinegar with the paint used, rather than urine.
I've just finished watching another episode, this time exploring the modern artists. He featured the work of Tracey Emin, who I had previously never heard of. Now I'm eager to see her work 'Everyone I Have Ever Slept With', which not only challenges the definition of art, but also how we use the English language as it includes her mother and childhood friends. Not to mention the all important statement on the bottom of the tent which states:
A few weeks back I was watching a programme about Victoria and Albert. It was predominantly about the art they would bestow to one another. Currently there is an exhibit of this art at Buckingham Palace. I've certainly seen posters for the event, as one cannot help but notice them whilst travelling on the underground, but without watching the programme I can't honestly say I would have gone. The poster does not signify what the exhibit holds: an assortment of elaborate sculptures and paintings acquired by one for the other throughout the duration of their almost fairytale marriage.
And then there are the cooking shows. Anyone who knows me knows I have hollow legs and for me, food is not just to be eaten, but to be experienced. I've begun cooking things I never would have been brave enough to touch before, afraid I would destroy them with my inexperience. I've discovered tricks of the trade to keep my pasta from sticking to itself (Put the pasta in the sauce, not the sauce on the pasta). Most recently I've begun learning about natural remedies for common ailments.
With each new discovery I feel spurred on to something. I didn't merely watch something about stained glass. I decided to try it.
I don't just think that an artists is interesting, I seek out their work at the abundance of museums available to me in this magnificent city.
I didn't just learn how to prepare scallops, I dove in and did them myself.
So perhaps I was wrong and TV isn't so bad. It's about what you do with what you see.