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Anything but TV

February 16, 2007
As Ash Wednesday approaches, you’ve probably been pondering habits to abstain for Lent. Will it be carping about fellow drivers? Pressing the snooze button? Sudoku?
Whatever the sacrifice, don’t give up be television, on weekends or otherwise, as Matthew Harrison suggested on this same blog. For a television employee, Mr. Harrison, this is an even greater sacrilege than last week’s affront of the purple icon who is Prince. We need some editorial controls on this thing.
But in all seriousness, television is important. While art galleries embarrassingly defend their relevancy with slogans like “Art Matters”, no one needs to convince you of television’s currency. Certainly, the channels are cluttered with too much unintelligent fare. Yet there’s something to be said about populist programs like American Idol, whose demographic includes teens, grandparents, and everyone at your workplace. Yes, Paula, you are a shared cultural experience.
Then there’s the thoughtful programming. Television is the medium of TVO’s always intelligent The Agenda, CBC Newsworld’s The Passionate Eye, and Salt + Light’s own Catholic Focus. Focus premieres this Lent include Mary Rose Bacani’s look at childrens’ experiences of mourning, David Naglieri’s “Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue”, and John Ignatowicz’s “Politics and the Pope”.
So instead of cutting your TV hours this Lent, make a more intelligent choice. Give up reading.