We watch... so you don't have to.

TV Turnoff Week

Each year about this time we're besieged with thousands -- well, dozens -- OK, one or two letters beseeching us to make a big to-do about National TV Turnoff Week. This week-long festival of self-denial is the brainchild of TV Free America, part of the group's efforts to reduce our nation's jones for the idiot box.

And each year, as the letters come pouring in, asking us to turn our backs on our beloved TV sets and to tell our readers to do likewise, our reaction is always the same: Get away from us, you filthy Commies. And take your crappy bumper stickers with you.

But this year, we're singing a different tune. Oh sure, when the fine folks at TV Free America first approached us about National TV Turnoff Week, our first instinct was to turn the fire hoses on these presumptuous hippies. But then we sat down and thought about it, and you know what? The shiftless pinkos at TVFA may have a point. We do watch too much television. We could stand to cut back on our viewing, at least for a week. And hey, if we don't watch television, we certainly can't write about it. Sounds like an unscheduled week's paid vacation to us.

To hell with this TV Web site gig folks... we're off to Cancun!

So we won't watch a bit of television this week, not one scrap or tittle. Michaels wants to see how his beloved Red Wings are doing in the playoffs? Buy a newspaper, Slick, because ESPN is verboten. The U.S. government wants to spirit away another five-year-old in the dead of night? We won't know about it from CNN; we'll be reading Chaucer. There's a Must-See episode of ER that we just can't miss? Trick question! ER is never Must-See anymore.

No, to commemorate National TV Turn-off Week, we won't watch a minute of television. Not even UPN.

Only one drawback to our plan, when we brought it to the bossman. "Feel free not to watch any TV this week," the Big Man said, as he primed his fine Dominican cigar. "But I still expect you content-providers to deliver as per usual this week."

"But..." we sputtered. "How on earth can we write for a TV Web site when none of us plan to watch TV?"

"That's your problem, riff-raff," the Boss sneered. "Guess you should have thought about that before aligning yourself with a bunch of beatniks."

Guess we should have.

So there will be no trip to Cancun this week. No repurposed TeeVee reruns. Instead, we'll continue to churn out the articles like we always do, only with the extra handicap of not having actually watched any program.

You know, sort of like our Mission Hill review.

Additional contributions to this article by: Philip Michaels.


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