I’ve always been addicted to The Screen.

My earliest visual memories are of the old Philco that I would wake up to in the morning and fall asleep to at night. I still remember the confrontation with my mother one morning when I refused to turn off Sandy Becker and head across the street to school. She threatened to write a note to the teacher that I preferred to watch television than to go to class. I called her on the bet – and that afternoon my first grade teacher called me to her desk to ask me why I would rather watch tv than go to school. I was at once terrified of the consequences and curious why she couldn’t figure it out herself.

My earliest tries at art were with John Gnagy‘s Learn to Draw program and Winky Dink and the plastic screen that you would overlay on the tv tube. OK – sometimes I would forget to put the clear overlay on the screen and just use the crayons directly on the tube. I did that. One day I’ll tell you about the time I set the vinyl topped clothes hamper on fire with some Pick-up Sticks.

The Screen took me all the way into my 20’s with my closest childhood friend in NYC and me in Queens, calling each other at the commercial breaks during Miami Vice to scream at each other about fast cars, fast women, and fast music.

But it’s too much now. I spend all week in front of a screen attempting to communicate via email with clients, friends, and office mates. No one answers their phone so a voice mail is pointless. And old school. I can go an entire day and not hear a human voice.

And on the weekends not much different with email and Google. My kids text me on the phone from their rooms.

So I’ve decided to abandon The Screen on Sundays. No more email, internet searches, online literary magazines or book searches. As soon as the Olympics are over, the tv will be turned off as well. And any exhaust spewing machines – lawn mowers, blowers, string trimmers, and chain saws will be kept in the garage. I’m tired of the noise. My neighbors seem to play tag team when it comes to two stroke engines. But the town says its OK – as long as they do it between 8 AM and 7 PM. Sundays included.

Not me. I’m done.

I’ll spend my Sundays reading printed newspapers and books, struggle with the NY Times crossword, and spend a bit more time with my camera. My wife just bought me a new 50MM lens and I’d like to see what it can do. I’ve always believed in the connection between words and images and want to explore that a bit more.

So this will be my last Sunday post. Not for any religious reasons – just seems to be the right point in the week. The end of one, the eve of another.

Life is in the details. Feel free to join me.

– J.

At Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island NY
© Jeff Kopito

Advertisements