TV Turnoff Week

April 2005

While I suppose that this is skipping Earth Day/Earth Week, I found an interesting discussion of TV Turnoff Week. This is an annual campaign run by Adbusters and others to get people to not watch television for one week. This year it’s April 25-May 1. In addition, Adbusters is now selling the TV-B-Gone (at cost until April 25th!), a device that acts as a universal remote and will allow the user to turn off any TV in any public place to help remind people of what week it is.

The discussion is at Hit and Run, run by Julian Sanchez, who kicks it off by saying:

Except, naturally, they’ve found a way to turn what had been voluntary and innocuous [TV Turnoff Week] into something intrusive and obnoxious [the TV-B-Gone].

I like Adbusters, but I have to say that the TV-B-Gone is going a little far. Is it a pretty funny prank? Sure. But it does reek of the whole imposing your values/choices on others thing if you make it the kind of cultural revolution that Adbusters espouses. If you don’t like TV, don’t watch it. Instead of TV Turnoff week, just don’t watch it. Ever. That’s your choice. Instead of foisting it on others, let people make their own decisions. As far as the argument that if the TV is on in a public place (airport, restaurant, etc.) it is being foisted upon you I would echo some of the comments in the discussion that follows at Hit and Run: if you don’t want to watch it, move. If it’s absolutely unavoidable, which I have a hard time believing, stop frequenting whatever place it is, and write a letter to the relevant parties explaining why you’ve stopped.

On a related note, some asshole just came into Wilcox and turned the TV on…I’m going to go sit by the other couches. :-)