Out from the deep end.

by MW Cook

Where I work there are sometimes extended periods of time where there is nothing to do. So the staff relaxes on the couches and flips on the TV. At this point the following scene plays out: one staff grabs the controller and begins to flip through the channels. After about ten minutes of futile scanning another staff will comment on how there is nothing good on TV these days. The others will grunt in ageement. Eventually the flipping will stop and they’ll settle on TLC where they will watch three straight episodes of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ (why a show like this is on the LEARNING channel, I’ll never know).

Now, no one on staff actually cares about these people and their dress choices. But we all watch anyway. Conversation dies and we are drawn in. Entertainment.

Is it shallow? It seems like it. We all agree that there is hardly anything worth watching on TV. Yet we watch it anyway. We all seems to agree that entertainment has become a shallow thing. But we chase it, still.

As I sit and watch these girls fight and cry over their dresses I find myself dumbed (if that is a word). I am pacified, but not stimulated. Amused (in its truest sense), but not enriched.

Is it not possible that entertainment be deep? I think it is. And I think that this kind of entertainment is even more beneficial and more fun than popular entertainment. It just seems to take a bit more effort to enjoy.

I sometimes think that the difference between shallow entertainment and deep entertainment is a lot like the differences between a cigarette and a pipe. The cigarette is easy to use, gives an more powerful feeling than the pipe and is easier to get a hold of. But it also destroys you. The pipe is kinda difficult to smoke properly, doesn’t give such a powerful initial pleasure and it’s kinds rare. But (since you don’t inhale the smoke) its damage to the body is (compared to cigarettes) negligible.

I don’t want to kill my mind with cigarette shows, sites and stories. But it’s hard to quit smoking, eh?

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