I have never owned a TV. I once applied for a job as a television critic with this as my opening gambit, hoping it would give me a USP. Weirdly, they never replied.
Because I have never had a telly, for years I’ve argued with the TV licensing people; they love-bomb me with letters saying they’re stalking me in vans, that they know I spend Saturday nights slyly watching The X Factor and as soon as they catch me they’ll sling me in jail (or something like that, I’m paraphrasing).
To combat this, every time I move house I have to call them, explaining that I don’t watch TV. Every time, they sound incredulous (“why not?!”). You can only shut them up by writing a letter stating “I do not have a television,” which I have done. Isn’t this insane? Can you imagine anybody else getting away with it? Like McDonald’s levying a burger tax and demanding anyone not addicted to Big Macs opts out. Or Mr Muscle insisting that you write and inform them if you’re a slob.
Not having a telly used to seem original. People were impressed by the idea that I was an intellectual. LOL. Now I can’t think of anyone under 35 who has one
“What do you do?” is the first thing people ask when they hear I don’t watch TV. I visit people. I go out and see friends. Sometimes, y’know, I read a book like they did in the olden days. Recently, I did vaguely get into telly, because I started hanging out with someone who wanted to spend Sundays in bed watching Orange Is the New Black. So I signed up for Netflix on my laptop. But still, I don’t own a set. Not having a telly used to seem original. People were impressed by the idea that I was an intellectual. LOL. Now I can’t think of anyone under 35 who has one. N keeps a record player where hers might be. C’s got a bookshelf. J, some whisky. M, a table spilling with magazines. If they watch television it’s in bed on their laptops.
READ THE FULL COLUMN HERE: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/article1454835.ece