If you watch less (but better) TV, you will likely find that the programs are more interesting, you spend more time outside in nature, your mind calms down and you will feel less worried about the world. When we watch TV, our minds go into Alpha State, which is the same state as meditation. But not in a good way. We go into a hypnotic trance, and this is why ads are so powerful. People have been asked in supermarkets why they have certain brands in their trolley, and they literally have no idea. If you study supermarkets, you will find that there are no windows (and few clocks) designed to make you forget time and space, in order to buy more.
The BBC does not have ads, but charges a fortune for poor quality programs. Most programs are just cheap lazy repeats. During the Coronavirus, the BBC never thought to put on programs that would make older lonely people feel less isolated (how about a nightly episode of Only Fools and Horses?) But it continued to show trash that probably made people even more depressed and without any company. TV should not be company. But the truth is that in modern times, for a lot of people it is. The decision to charge older people for licenses is shocking. And did you know they even charge blind people (with a discount for black-and-white TV?!)
If you don’t need one, give up your TV license. We oldies are behind the times. Apparently anyone under 25 does not use a license, they just watch streamed programs, which are better and cheaper. Sending a clear message that people won’t accept the drivel on TV is a good way to create change. Same with the commercial channels. When the ads come on, just go and pop the kettle on. It does look like that subscription TV is the way to go, so get on board.
Want to watch from the sofa? If you don’t have Internet TV (or use Wi-Fi), just buy a scart lead from Argos and plug it into the back of your laptop. Switch your remote to HDMI then turn your laptop around to face the wall, otherwise you’ll get duplicate images and feel like you’re in a TV shop.
TV Stations to Give Up
- Shopping channels. Just give them up completely. They turn people into materialistic consumers, driven by a mentality that you have to buy things to be happy. Just switch off. It’s mostly crap, and overpriced.
- Soap operas. This gets you into the mindset of ‘having to follow a program on TV’. Have you ever been on holiday, and then realised that you don’t miss them? If you are box-recording whole episodes to watch when you get home, why?
- Porn or anything else degrading to women. It’s not harmless. All serial killers and rapists say they watched mountains of porn, before committing heinous acts. Don’t join in the lie that it’s ’empowering to women’. If the industry did not exist, these women could become really empowered, and train to be doctors and lawyers. There’s nothing wrong with the odd grisly episode of Taggart. But constantly watching women being raped and murdered (aka Law & Order SVU) does not send out a healthy message.
- Cheap lazy channel programs. You know what these are: what’s in the attic?, what’s in the garage?, guess how much money is in the box? Anything else that is mind-numbingly boring like silly quiz shows, looking around other people’s houses or talk shows with celebrities who are famous for being famous. Just switch it all off. Go back to a point of zero, then up your watching game. Not only will you feel better, but the programs are better too!
- Reality TV. This is a no-brainer. Don’t watch people who want to be famous, for the sake of being famous. It just encourages them.
- TV evangelicals. God forbid, we now have them over here! Jesus was a peaceful, simple and kind man. And no doubt would not approve of multi-millionaire TV evangelicals telling people they should live like them (some in the US spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on furniture, and one goes to Africa to shoot elephants in his spare time). Many encourage hate and division. Read a pretty Christian devotional instead!
Where to Find Better TV
- BritBox is very good. It costs around £6 a month and gives you hundreds of ad-free programs: you could use this alone and get rid of your license. You get the lot: classic films plus every episode of Inspector Morse, A Touch of Frost, Only Fools & Horses, Gavin & Stacey, One Foot in the Grave, The Office, Keeping Up Appearances, Wallander, Maigret, Sherlock Holmes, Porridge (including the film), Benidorm, Taggart, Kavanagh QC, Father Ted and all the old period dramas (Pride & Prejudice, Brideshead Revisited) plus new programs launched weekly. Acorn TV is similar.
- BBC Natural World & BBC 4 are good (but apparently the BBC are scrapping the latter). Newsnight is probably the best program for news, but it’s on very late at night.
- Spotlight TV is good, showing lots of country music and 70s favourites. The sets are a bit wobbly, but it’s all good fun.
- Together TV is a mixed bag. It does show some odd programs, but it also has some really nice local programs like how farmers live, walking the Dales or Lake District, organic gardening etc. Check it out.
- Conscious Living TV is a free online channel. It’s American, set up by an entertainment lawyer and entrepreneur (a married couple, they wrote their business plan on the back of the plane ticket, on the way back from their honeymoon). It’s packed with good programs: raw vegan recipes, and info on green living, sustainable fashion and spiritual issues.
- Talking Pictures TV is a mix of old movies & Technicolor programs from the 50s. On Freeview 81 or FreeSat 306.