You probably already know that I'm a TV Junkie. I wake up and turn on the TV. I get home at night and turn on the TV. The last thing I see before falling asleep is the TV. I LOVE TV and I'm not ashamed of it. (Ok, maybe I'm a wee bit ashamed at the sheer volume of TV trivia that has infiltrated my gray matter. ) So, imagine my astonishment when I met someone that NEVER watches TV.
This guy has an extra large plasma wall mounted TV and NO CABLE. WTH?? I couldn't believe it. So, of course I had questions. He said that he just doesn't want to spend the $ to get cable. Now, clearly he's not cheap. His TV was not on discount and his other accoutrements could easily garner a pretty penny on eBay. So, then, I asked, was TV banned in your house when you were a kid? Not at all.
Then, over the course of our conversations, I realized how much of what I say is peppered with pop culture references. He has no idea who Tyler Perry is, Gabriel Union who? I just got the Musiq CD. What kind of music? Nah, that's his name...you've never heard of Musiq?
Ok, I should also mention that if this guy had ANY 'urban' radio station pre-set on his dial or black focused website favorites, he'd know some of these things. But, isn't it crazy how you can be absolutely oblivious to black pop culture if you choose it? Now, I don't think this guy is anti black. I just think his blackness might be 'inactive'. Then, I started wondering, how can this be? Or more to the point, WHY would this be?
His mom and sister are members of my sorority. Not that that would make him 'hyper black', but, I'd expect that would make him at least aware of black stuff. He said that his family regularly teases him about his obliviousness. I wanted to say to him, 'You do know that I'm black right?' LOL Lest he not realize it.
My tastes are very diverse, which is why I think we can still have stuff in common. I have all kinds of music on my iPod and I watch lots of different types of shows and I listen to a few 'non-urban' radio stations. But, my compass always swings back to black.
Wait, how did not having a TV turn into a discussion on blackness? Surely, you can be aware of things happening in our community via means other than the TV. I was just surprised that someone would not seek it out. Why do I seek it out and fight for it's integrity? I think it's because everyday I'm the only or one of less than a handful. So, in my downtime, I find comfort in the people that are like me.
The upside is that he's been unscathed by the degrading images that are rampant on my beloved TV. Maybe I need to watch less. Like any addiction, this is going to take some time because right now, I can't imagine life without TV.