Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009

20 Reasons NOT to Watch TV

The Jay Leno Show or a good story? Hmmmm....

By Ken Brosky
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After reading through Rolling Stone's recent "50 Reasons to Watch TV" article, I wondered if it might be possible to, at the very least, assemble some sort of argument for avoiding television. That isn't to say a little TV isn't bad I like to watch The Office, and I occasionally watch reruns of Seinfeld or Family Guy even though every episode has been repeated at least 5 times this year alone.

But really, there's more to TV, even during cold winter months. Let's see if I can rattle off 20 reasons not to watch TV:

1.1. Lorrie Moore. Her new book, A Gate at the Stairs, is out. Chances are, she won't put out another one for at least five years. That means you can read her new book now and in a couple of years you can read it again and enjoy it just as much as the first time.

2.2. "Two and a Half Men." Yes, it's still on, the kid is still a bad actor, and the show is still not funny. Oh yeah, and the kid is still fat.

3.3. Electric Literature. It's a cool magazine, it pays its writers, and you can download it or buy a print copy. It's going to be around for awhile. I hope.

4.4. Boswell Books. They've got authors coming in to read each and every month. On the 21st of October, Sherman Alexie is coming. Go see him. He's absolutely fantastic.

5.5. McSweeney's. If you haven't checked them out, you're missing some good literature. They also have a journal worth checking out and Dave Eggers also edits The Best American Non-Required Reading. I just bought the newest issue. From Boswell Books.

6.6. The Onion. Still funny. But the videos really aren't that good. So guess what? You've gotta read the articles!

7.7. Cream City Review. UW-Milwaukee's literary journal, now online and in the process of featuring a few short stories for free. Check it out they update it regularly.

8.8. I forgot what 8 was for.

9.9. Fiction Contests. Are you a writer? Do you have a short story? SUBMIT IT! For the love of God, get that story out! Take that leap! It's amazing how many writers just sit on their short stories and never even bother sending them out. Here's a list of upcoming contests.

1010. TV makes you stupid. It's true. Come on, you can sorta tell who watches a lot of TV they look like Napoleon Dynamite.

1111. Weird Tales. For lovers of weird, horror, and sci-fi stories.

1212. Blood Root Literary Magazine. A small zine, nice black background that's easy on the eyes. Quite enjoyable.

1313. David Letterman had an affair. His ratings went up as a result. I'm sure his wife is very excited.

1414.Rosebud. Another Wisconsin literary magazine. I'll try and feature this soon, but in the meantime you can find issues of Rosebud at just about every bookstore out there.

1515. Michael Cunningham. I had the chance to read Specimen Days, his newest novel. Fantastic. One of my favorite novels. A little history, a little modern-day detective drama, and a little science-fiction action. A little Walt Whitman, too.

1616.Thom Hartmann. We don't have a liberal radio station here (not really), but Thom Hartmann is everywhere else, and he regularly beats Limbaugh and O'Reilly in local ratings. Click here to listen every weekday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

1717.The Fiction Addict Blog. Updated once or twice a week, every week. For people who like reading fiction and writing fiction!

1818.The Pinch Literary Journal.I got sucked in by the fantastic cover design and ended up reading the entire issue I purchased, including the poetry (which usually leaves me stumped). They pick some great fiction. Great fiction.

1919.The Milwaukee Public Library. I've used their Web site to order a few audio books from different places, and it only took on average about three days to arrive at my local library. We're blessed with a fantastic public library system, so if you're struggling recently, put this beast to use and pick out some books.

2020.Bat City Review. A good literary journal, with an easy layout and some freebies on its Web site. Also taking submissions, if you're a writer.

Have fun!

Ken Brosky

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