Ladies and Gentlemen, if I could offer you one thing, background noise would be it. The long term benefits of background noise have been proven in rec rooms and bedrooms for years, while the rest of my advice is nothing more than my own meandering experience. I will dispense the background noise now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of classic sitcoms like Dobie Gillis. Never mind, you will never understand the power and the beauty of Dobie and Maynard until they've faded. But trust me, in twenty years, you will look back and recall in a way you can't grasp now, how funny they were and how much impact Maynard G. Krebs had on the slacker generation.
Sing theme songs.
Don't waste your time with channel surfing. Sometimes there's something good, sometimes there's not. In the end, you go back to the first show you were watching.
Remember the good programs, forget the horrible ones. If you succeed in this, tell me how.
Stretch out on the sofa.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. Doogie Howser knew at 15 what he wanted to do. George from Seinfeld still doesn't know.
Maybe Rhoda's sister will marry, maybe she won't. Maybe Martha Stewart will do a children's show, maybe she won't. Maybe Growing Pains will have a reunion show on their 15th anniversary and we'll remember Ben's real name.
Dance. Even if it's to a Rhino Records compilation CD commercial.
Read the small print on life insurance commercials, even if you have to squint.
Do not watch E!'s Fashion Emergency, it will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. They watch television, too.
Be nice to your siblings. They are your best link to your past and the people most likely to join you around the kitchen table for a clip show.
Understand that F*r*i*e*n*d*s come and go, but there's always syndication.
Live in New York once, but leave before you upset the Soup Nazi.
Live in California once, but leave before you start saying "It's like, you know."
Accept certain inalienable truths, commercials will air, TV movies starring Valerie Bertinelli will be made, U2 will get old and you'll fantasize that commercials were witty, Valerie Bertinelli was a good actress, and U2 was a great band.
Don't expect anyone to like the same shows as you. Use the remote for good. Be careful not to lose it, but know that if it does get lost, it will turn up somewhere.
Don't have the volume up too loud or when you're 40, you'll hear like you're 85.
Be careful which channels you watch, and be patient with the cable service that provides it. Television programs are a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of taking good ideas from the past, modernizing it and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the background noise.
(heavily influenced by "Wear Sunscreen")
written in 1999, recently discovered amongst the dusty bytes and pixels. We're having a .wav rave later. BYOBMPs.