The man in the middle of the room

Sitting on the stairs to put my socks on, I heard something on TV that for some reason has stuck with me for years. It was sometime in 2009 and I had so much going on that managing my time was absolutely necessary. This was the year I was graduating high school and, naturally, that meant that everything I did revolved around my friends. I would sit on the stairs and finish getting ready before I left for the night to go on and do whatever it is that high school kids did then. It was ritualistic, have dinner with the family then get ready to leave, and while I got ready on the stairs I would talk to my dad who was watching TV. I’ve always enjoyed talking to Pops as I’ve gotten a lot of value out of our conversations throughout the years. We’ve even enjoyed a lot of time watching TV together after dinner, so these brief conversations we had toward the end of my high school career became memories that I’ve grown to appreciate. Sitting there on those steps that one night in particular though, I heard Alec Baldwin talking about trying to take over the world via TV mind control.

Alec Baldwin breaking the fourth wall like that and being so candid about turning our brains into ripened bananas really got me thinking. It was completely normal to have a family gathering place at home with the television right in the middle. Entertainment, art, education, and information all coming from our TVs could not have better served us. Though, later on thinking about it I cant help but wonder if it would have been different if the centerpiece of the living room wasn’t such an attention leech. Maybe a piano or a bookshelf would have been a better investment.

It’s not to say that TV doesn’t have it’s value, it certainly delivers. If we looked at it through a different lens though, perhaps it could have been placed elsewhere in our homes. Not to mention, Alec Baldwin was speaking some truth when he mentioned mind control. The propagandist media that would eventually control the networks, eventually left us to navigate the internet for reasonably sourced, moderate news. Consider a strategy when setting up the family room. Maybe if it’s structured differently you can have some normal conversation, maybe even some normal, uninterrupted thoughts.

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