Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

January 14, 2007


One old man speaks up for that vile thing called television


          A few of my friends have given up on television. One couple told me they got so sick of the stuff on TV that they got rid of their television. They no longer have one in their home.

          I understand how they feel but my wife and I still have two of the one-eyed monsters in our home. We have two because she likes to watch home and garden shows and I don’t. She cares very little for football and I do.

          Ours is a good arrangement. We don’t fight about what to watch. We just watch what we want to watch – in different rooms. But we are still good friends. We sleep in the same bed.

          When we try to find a program we can enjoy watching together, we rarely succeed. Some of the stuff served up on television is not only trash, it is filthy. Why a show about swapping wives is so popular is beyond me.

          Comedy shows are no longer funny; they are either stupid or vulgar. I can’t remember when I have watched, or wanted to watch, one of the so called “sitcoms.” Instead of making me laugh, these shows make want to throw up.

          Other shows that are repulsive to me are those in which people argue and sometimes scream at each other. Listening to three people rebuking each other at the same time is about as helpful as hitting my head on a concrete wall. That is when I punch the delete button.

          Actually the delete button is the greatest invention of the electronic age. Mine is worn to a nub. I almost never listen to a commercial; absurdity has become the name of the selling game.

          My family and friends are frustrated when they come over to watch football games with me. I seldom turn the sound on. My guests are dying to hear the loquacious experts fill the air with ceaseless chatter. I just enjoy watching the game. I don’t need an ex-coach and an ex-quarterback to tell me the receiver just failed to catch a pass; I can see it on the screen.

          But don’t get me wrong. I do not hate television. It is a wonderful educational tool. Most of us have learned much valuable information from television.

          Once young men were invited to “Join the Navy and see the World.”

Well, nowadays you don’t have to join the Navy to see the world. You can see it on television.

          During our middle years my wife and I were privileged to travel around the world. We saw Pearl Harbor, Japan, Korea, India, Nepal, Rome, Paris, London, Germany, the Holy Land, and several other countries. We marveled at the Taj Mahal and were stunned by the beauty of the Alps.

          Later we traveled to South America and last year to Africa. My wife can pack a suitcase in thirty minutes. She loves to see the world.

          But she wants to see other places I cannot take her – like to see the China Wall. That is where television is so wonderful. For fifteen dollars I bought her a video of the China Wall so she could “go there” via the television screen. When your “get up and go” has “got up and went” you can still enjoy the comforts of home and see majestic places of the world at the same time.

          Television is not all bad. Now and then it can offer moments of sheer joy – like watching Auburn beat Alabama last month and this week the thrashing of the Buckeyes by the Gators. So, don’t throw it out; just be careful what you watch – and teach the kids to distinguish between trash and what is wholesome. You owe it to them to protect their young minds from the influence of filth. + + + +