The X Games Global Championships have come and gone, and I for one feel a little dumber for the experience.
Even though I saw the events live, it still felt like I spent three days watching television, because in a sense that was what I was doing. Behind the Superpipe on Whistler Mountain was a 10-foot wide television screen, broadcasting the events that were taking place live in San Antonio, replays from the Whistler events, promotional spots, and dozens of commercials for McDonalds, Chevrolet, Mountain Dew, and other sponsors. In the sometimes long gaps between riders and skiers, all eyes were glued to the big screen.
So bright. So beautiful. And the colours, oh, the colours!
I like to think of myself as a thinking person; a reader, a musician, a contemplator, a communicator. But put a television in front of me, and my brains wither like Supermans powers in the presence of Kryptonite.
I realized as I stood there, listening to the X Games announcers try to use the word "stoked" as an noun, adjective, and verb, all in the same sentence, that Im a television junky.
I dont watch it every waking moment, or even as much as the average person Canadian children spend about 23 hours a week in front of the box, and adults about 16 hours but I do watch more than is healthy (even as I write this, Fear Factor is running down the 15 most outrageous moments on the show in the last three years; its a struggle not to move to the couch and return to this later).
I make a point of staying away from the TV, but with four other people in the house, the television is almost always on. And when its on, Im drawn to it, like a moth to a porch light I dont even realize what Im doing because watching television is such a huge part of my program.
No slight to my parents, but I spent almost my entire childhood watching television. Playing with toys in front of the television, reading in front of the television, doing homework in front of the television, eating meals in front of the television. When the TV wasnt on, it felt like something was missing.
Even now, when I would rather be off somewhere playing guitar, reading, or exercising, I still wind up pie-eyed in front of the set.
How did I become this addicted, I wondered. There I was, surrounded by mountains, clouds rolling in and out, surrounded by sports fans, and I couldnt take my eyes off a 10-foot wide Mountain Dew commercial. I dont drink the stuff, and I dont enjoy watching commercials, so why couldnt I turn away?