Three lies television tells

Homer Simpson. Peter Griffin. The beer commercial bros who are too dumb to work a barbecue. The commercial family dad who is too dumb to work a floor mop. The video game wastoids who are high-fiving each other because they are – aw yeah – vegging on the couch with snacks!

The everyman as idiot glutton. It’s a trope that seems to be prevalent for a while, then fade away, then reemerge over and over again.

Every time I see it I wince. I know there’s lots of guys like me. We might all be very different from each other yet we can all agree we are definitely not that – the lazy, dumb guy who revels in the way he languishes in life.

But yet there’s the sound on the horizon of thousands of guys nodding, and chuckling, and slapping themselves on the chest, saying, “Aw yeah, that’s me alright!”

Don’t get offended if you feel like you work super hard and just love some Game of Thrones at the end of the day. This article isn’t for you (although a lot of people overestimate how much relaxation time they deserve).

But can I be real for a second?


Lie #1: You are going to live forever

The nature of television is such that it needs to sell advertising, and it needs to keep people watching those advertisements. However nobody ever – ever – lay on their deathbed wishing they had watched more TV. So it needs to keep your attention away from the idea that time is very fleeting and limited. And while it’s at it, it will portray men who have all the time in the world to sit around, consuming all the things in all the commercials, and imply its a mirror image of ‘everyone at home’.

It’s very soothing to to go along with this. But it’s not healthy.

Lie #2: This is basically all there is to life

Good friends. Good brews. Nice smelling laundry. What more could you ask for?

You go to your job. You unwind on the weekends. We get a little selfish. We’re all a little dumb. Go to the bank and get a loan for a vacation. Haha! Ain’t life grand?

That’s definitely the life. Serving premium crackers on a picnic table with friends and family. There is definitely nothing else out there. There are no big, or unsettling, questions to ponder. There are no wild things to aspire to. There are no profound people to seek out.

Nope. Just time to kick back and relax.

Lie #3: People turn into overnight rich celebrities all the time

Is there a latent unfulfilled feeling still creeping around? Don’t worry.

There are all kinds of shows about blathering idiots living lifestyles of grotesque luxury because that kind of thing happens all the time! If those idiots can have it, why not you?

You are destined for greatness. Contemplate just how destined for greatness you are by watching a few more shows. One of these days your shot is going to come, or your lottery numbers are going to come up, or you’ll get around to working on that idea you had. One day. In the meantime, soak in the images of dipshits in paradise – they are all of us.

Of course, good things do not come to those who wait. Good things come to those who get off the couch and chase after it.

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