Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

I Can’t Do Homework. I Haven’t Watched TV Yet.

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Mom, how can I hope to be socially aware if I don’t spend all my waking hours watching TV?

It’s not like it was when you were young, Ma. In those days there were only a few shows that everybody watched. But today, there are so many not-to-be-missed programs that I don’t really have a choice. I must sit here and watch. My future as a functioning member of society depends on it.

You don’t understand. It’s not like the nineties, when all you needed to know well was Seinfeld, The Sopranos and Friends, maybe with a smattering of The Simpsons thrown in. That’s not how things are anymore. I need to know everything there is to know about Jersey Shore, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Breaking Bad, Family Guy, South Park, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Letterman, Leno, Conan, Jimmy Fallon, and whatever might be on ESPN. There’s just not much time left over for chores, homework, or spending time with the rest of the family. I’m a busy guy.

It’s different for you. You have an established social circle, longtime friends and a community that you don’t need to spend so much time nurturing. You’ve done that already – and what’s more, since they’re mostly your contemporaries, they don’t expect you to be there for them at the drop of a hat – they also grew up in a time that wasn’t so focused on getting everything done this instant. So you have time to read. You can actually sort and fold laundry. You had time to learn how to cook, and you know how to prepare something other than takeout. My generation is different.

We have so much to know we can’t be bothered with learning many of the skills that used to be so central. But since I can conduct three or four conversations at once without leaving my chair, clean laundry and hygiene aren’t as crucial for me. And I’m fine with a bag of chips and a jar of store-bought salsa – who needs to fiddle in the kitchen? Seriously, I’ve got my priorities, and they’re just different from yours. You don’t mind not being With It. For me, it’s like life or death. You don’t get it, since you were a teenager such a long time ago, and it was probably a lot easier for you, with so much less to know in order to be hip or popular. We have it so much harder than you did.

So lay off, Mom. I’m doing important things here. Baseball Tonight is on.

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Written by Thag

July 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm

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