Turn Off Your TV!

The TV stares back at you from a mask of static. It sits quietly in the corner of the room. Powered down to stand-by, standing still-waiting at the edge of that one moment, when white noise becomes white light, and unfolds to fill the screen. In its dead screen, you can see nothing but your own reflection, broken into ripples across the surface. You cannot see through it, but it is a window. A glimpse into the cultural dreamscape, where our metaphorical reality coincides with our aesthetic conventions-where our life, as we dare to dream it, takes on beauty and meaning that our life, as we are content to live it, simply could never have. And so it sits in the silence. Not quite dead, not yet alive. A live wire, lying limp. Idiot box. TV Turn-Off Week is a nationwide event sponsored by the TV Turn-Off network (http://www.tvturnoff.org), a non-profit organization aimed at helping children and adults enjoy healthier, happier lives simply by switching off their television for a week. This year’s national TV Turn-Off week is coming up during the week of April 25 – May 1. Participation in this national event is simple: just unplug your TV from the wall for a full seven days. If enough people participate, it will send a message, loud and clear, to our nation’s entertainment industry-that we are no longer content to have our public airwaves, our public consciousness, co-opted by the consumption industry, that culture of depression with its one constant, unchanging message: you are not okay, you are not “beautiful,” and you will never-ever-be good enough. Look for our posters going up around campus as we edge closer to TV Turn-Off week. In the meantime, be sure to check out http://www.turnoffyourtv.com for an extensive list of readings, statistics, and alternative activities.