Television: Without It, America Might As Well Be Britain

All I knew from American culture before going to California the first time in 2004, I had learned from television. In my mind, and in many, MANY statistics, Americans watch television ALL day. Even if they’ll tell you they don’t watch that much, they still watch it more than you think. Walk in to a bar and about nine to thirteen television make sure you cannot have a good conversation without being distracted (sitting in a typical Missouri bar makes me think I have ADD, it’s the only place where that happens). For me, it was perfect sometimes. I noticed that, even though my English is fine, it takes a big effort to understand people when I get tired. When not directly taking part in a conversation, I could recharge by zoning of and watching a game of baseball. No matter where we were, there was always a chance to watch the game. I found myself actually quite interested in the competition as a few weeks had passed by.

Midwestern bars do not think this is exaggerating. I do.

It’s not that we don’t have bars in The Netherlands with televisions, it’s not like we don’t have big, flat screen home theatres, but like a lot of things Americans just take it one step further. Normally, I don’t watch television all that much. When I was in Missouri, I wanted to blend in and watched more. My favorite show there (day-time) was without a doubt Let’s make a deal. I was stunned by the simple genius of the concept and the perfect amusement it brought into my hours in between doing a LOT of things. For those of you who have never seen it, or those of you who take for granted a show that combines everything that’s great about game shows: one little clip.

 

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9 thoughts on “Television: Without It, America Might As Well Be Britain

  1. Someone should open a bruin café in a U.S. city and simply advertise: NO TV! NO WI-FI!
    I think it’d be a runaway hit. Before you know it, it’d be a franchise as more and more people are looking for an exit (or at least a refuge) from the matrix.

    • That’s a great idea! It would be a hit, for sure. I was in Volendam last week, sat down in a classic restaurant and where Missouri kept pointing out the cuteness, I just saw too much pictures of Jan Smit hanging on the wall. Bars do lack ‘cuteness’ in the States.

      • I met a friend at a coffee shop (the kind where they actually sell coffee and tea, not the Dutch kind).

        Seattle-type coffee shops are the closest equivalent to a Dutch bruin café in the U.S. But as I looked around, EVERYBODY had either a laptop on the table in front of them or was texting on smart phones.. No kidding. What happened to talking?

        “No TV”; “No Wi-Fi”; “No laptops”; “No cell phones”. And what the heck: “No credit cards –cash only”. Let’s be consistent. I think folks would come check it out just out see what that would feel like (initially, you might have to hire some people to talk to each other).

      • Ahhh, it’s a utopia. Biggest problem is how to get people to know about it. Perhaps a babysitting corner IKEA style for one’s smartphone would both engage people, but once having them in, allow for ‘real connections’.

  2. Pingback: Bridging Time Gaps And Fighting Boredom | visitingmissouri

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