Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reality TV Is a No-Brainer

I wouldn't say I prefer books over people. Ok, maybe some people.

I do prefer books over TV. In particular, reality TV.

I can hear the gasps from a few readers. "But how?" they might sputter, "How can you not love __(insert show of your choice here)__?!"

Well, to be fair, I don't hate any particular show. I just can't bring myself to care about any of them.

No, I’m not dismissing reality TV out of hand. I have watched enough to know I don’t like it. What did I see? A few episodes of "Project Runway," as well as the first season finale of "American Idol," and scattered episodes of a half-dozen others.

None of them were bad. In fact, the skill displayed on Project Runway was pretty awesome. But the thing is ... I like a plot. I like to be invested in what I’m watching, and none of these so-called "reality" shows can deliver.

The name is part of the problem! “Reality TV” is anything but reality. It’s so full of drama, and backstabbing, and cat-fighting, it makes me cringe.

Come on people!! Didn't you get enough petty drama in high school? Why do we have to watch it again as adults?

We need some sanity on TV; some peace and quiet around here. It's definitely time to turn off the TV, and pick up a good book.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

On Love of Fiction

To say I love books might be an understatement.

No, really.

I have always had books around the house.

Back when I was learning to read, it was short books, and books that were commercial tie-ins with toys my sister and I had (anyone remember the Cabbage Patch Kids books?). Maybe we had Dr. Seuss books, I'm not sure. I don't really remember reading them until I started babysitting in high school.

When I got a little older, maybe I was seven, it was Little House On the Prairie, and the books by Roald Dahl. Then my mom introduced me to Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew followed shortly. Then I read my way through The Three Investigators series, and Encyclopedia Brown.

In 7th grade, I discovered Science Fiction and Fantasy. I was hooked.

Specifically the fantasy genre. The idea of these alternate universes, where, ok, sure, they didn't have technology, or any mention of baths, or indoor plumbing. But in these books they had magic, and swords, and the good guys fought evil, and generally they won and saved the day (come on, how many times did the good guys lose? It was just leading up to a sequel).

Yeah, it's safe to say I always loved books.

But, hey, at least books never made you drag through the mundane parts of the characters' lives. Hero going on a long quest? When does he go to the bathroom? See? No mundane details there. He just travels, nonstop, for hundreds of leagues, stopping or slowing only because the horse needs a rest ... Well, ok, maybe that's when he takes potty breaks - but really, he must have a bladder the size of a keg.

Minutiae aside, books are one of the best kinds of entertainment.

They are, at the very least, a great way to escape from reality TV hell.