…..to while away a few hours of life with, good company for those in need of companionship….

…. to while away a few hours of life with, good company for those in need of companionship….

These few but very significant words stopped my lazy skimming of the Arto R Schultz blog and made me re-read it; this time carefully and with reflection..

Is this then what it is all about?  The statement is a bit too close to the truth of what and why we watch, and it shakes us out of the self delusion that sitting down to take in a TV series is a question of choice.  These words force me to acknowledge that for many the Saturday night slot, in particular, is a comfort zone and the quality of the offering provided by the various channels has significance beyond being simply entertainment.   If such series offer ‘companionship’ then what we choose to view, and what we accept as our ‘companions’,  reflects to an extent how we relate to our ‘now’.

This in turn led me to ponder the role the media plays (in more general terms) in today’s world and to what extent we’ve perhaps been complicit in allowing it to influence how we socialise.

(Dare to challenge the validity or value of some aspects of the media and you expose yourself to being labelled a ‘dinosaur’ or accused of ‘being stuck in the past’.  At times it seems that a dumb unquestioning acceptance of the changes in how we socialise is taking place.  To use a hackneyed phrase, it smacks of the ‘emperor’s new clothes’; all things new must be good, they represent progress.)

Returning to the idea of taking companionship from a favourite series…….

It’s interesting to reflect on why we are so complicit in the substitution of human companionship by that of a plastic rectangular frame in the room many of us do most of our ‘living’ in.   Accepting the substitution makes it very easy not to bother to reach out to the challenging reality of flesh and blood.  It refutes the need to make the effort to interact with those warm, sometimes irritating, often contradictory, amusing, and delightful fellow human beings whose mere presence in a room make us come alive.  Instead we appear to choose to be passive observers of life as portrayed by the fantasy makers.

So, why is the’ virtual companion’ option such an easy one to follow?  Is it because virtual companions are safer?  Or, because virtual companions will never reject you since having charge of the remote control, it is always you who rejects them?

That is, unless and until the darn machine breaks down in the middle of Montalbano and it’s too late, much too late, to take up that rejected dinner invitation….

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