In the 1979 movie, "Being There", Chance, the gardener told Eve, the wealthy widow that he likes to watch. I confess that I, too like to watch.
Played by Shirley Maclaine, Eve was inquiring about Chance's prurient interests. Chance, played by Peter Sellers didn't get the sexual inference and was merely saying that he likes to watch, as in watch TV. Misinterpreting his answer, Eve goes on to pleasure herself as Chance sits at the end of the bed watching TV.
For the record, I would not sit at the end of my bed watching TV while a comely, willing, teddy-clad partner writhed in erotic fantasy just an arms length away. Short of that, I seem to find myself a captive audience to just about anything on TV.
I don't remember the transition from radio to TV, just as I don't remember the transition from ice boxes to refrigerators. As far back as I can remember, we always had a TV and we always had a refrigerator.
To be sure, the refrigerator looking nothing like the one we now have in our kitchen and the only kind of picture available on TV back then was black and white. On top of the TV were the "rabbit ears", a primitive form of TV antenna.
The first national color broadcast (the 1954 Tournament of Roses Parade) occurred on January 1, 1954, but I didn't actually see a color TV until about 1959 or 1960. We had a rich relative-I'm not going to tell you that he was a cousin on my mother's side who happened to be involved with many of the well-known mobsters of the day-who had a color TV.
I remember watching what was then a 10-minute news cast in "Living Color" on NBC. The sight of that peacock fanning out its multi-colored plumage was beyond miraculous. The only thing that surpassed the image on TV was the clicker. It actually clicked and you could make the channels and the volume go up and down. Of course there were only a few channels back then, but what a rush.
Since then, I've kept up with broadcast innovations as best as I could. Sometimes it just goes too fast. I had one of the first plasma TVs to fall off a truck, but I still don't have a 3D TV. I'm still skeptical of 3D, who knows what's going to pop out the screen right into your face?
There's probably only a few hours a day when there isn't at least one TV playing in my house. I go to sleep with the TV set to "Sleep" and the first thing I do in the morning is to turn on the TV.
I watch news shows relentlessly, but-and this may surprise you-almost never sports. I've seen every Law and Order and every Law and Order: SVU multiple times. I was never a fan of the Criminal Intent version, that guy Bobbie creeps me out.
The only way I can explain this seeming addiction to the "tube" is the way ducklings imprint on their mother at the moment they emerge from their eggs. The TV is my parent. It's my home planet. It doesn't matter what else is going on in my life, with a remote control in my hand I am the master of my destiny.
As I write this, I'm watching "Chicago PD". Last night I watched "Chicago Fire", so at least there's some locally-based shows I can relate to. The sad truth, though is that I'd probably be watching even if it was "Chicago Streets and San".
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