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I am in a minority group of people in this country in that I am one of those rare individuals who happen to NOT own a television. I currently rent my house (property prices is another gripe!) and when I moved here I was bombarded by letters from the TV licensing people who more or less demanded that I buy a TV licence. Naturally I ignored all of these letters for months and months with the vague idea that I could perhaps paper a wall with them one day.
Eventually however, I succumbed to the torment and decided to tell these morons that I didn't own a television and therefore had no intention of buying a TV licence. I did all of this online of course, there was no way on earth I was going to waste money on a stamp or a phone call to tell these people that I didn't have something!
Anyway, to the point of the gripe. It's not the constant harassment from the TV Licensing people that annoys me. It's the attitude of other people that I find quite incredible and a bit irritating.
People just can't cope with the fact that you don't own a television
If you work in an office (as I used to) there is the usual banter about what was on the box the night before and when the conversation swings round to you with "Did you see that last night?"; you get the usual sea of dumbstruck faces when you explain that you don't have a TV and you don't really want one. People just can't cope with the fact that you don't own a television.
It's as if you have just spent most of your "life on mars", because they just don't understand how you can live without a TV. For example my girlfriend has a daughter by her ex-husband and he seriously believes that her development is going to be stunted because we don't have a telly, therefore she won't be able to watch "CBeebies" like all the other kids. I think the more likely scenario is that she will grow up a little bit smarter because she'll have spent more time reading, playing and communicating instead of being dumped in front of the box as so many parents are apt to do.
So there you have it. It is possible to live in a television free environment and still be normal - really it is! By the way, it's not that I don't enjoy movies and television programmes. It's just that I prefer to watch what I want, when I want. Hence we have that wonderful thing called the Internet, a PC, a DVD player and a projector. Video on demand is in fact here now for those of you who don't want to be passive consumers of commercial junk. By the way, I really can't stand the adverts and that was another good reason to toss the goggle box in the bin!