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Losing the Tube:
National TV Turnoff Week
By Susan Derby

Intro | Population | Turn It Off

The boob tube. The telly. Idiot box. The kids' babysitter. Call it what you will, the modern-day apparatus popularly known as the television has, since its invention in the 1920s, become pandemic. From villages in Venezuela to penthouses in Manhattan , homes display the TV like an altar. If you're seeking advice, turn to Oprah. Want a belly laugh? The Simpsons never fails. Need a break? National Geographic offers around-the-world packages. Feeling confused in love? Thank your stars you're not The Bachelorette.

As with all things so intrinsically and obsessively woven into the seams of our society, it is healthy to take a step back occasionally and contemplate. Do you know what it is to simply guess what the weather is going to be like over the weekend? Do you find yourself chatting with friends about Chandler and Monica as if they were, in fact, buddies who just couldn't meet up that day? Can you recite three different sitcom theme songs? Does reality-TV feel real?

Only the truly committed, the monks of pop culture, can claim immunity from the scourge of television. But don't despair, thanks to National TV Turnoff Week, April 19 to 25, 2004, you can take a break and re-visit your own very important reality.

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