The One-Eyed Monster

Beowulf had no television. But compared to television, Grendel was easy. How can you slay the one-eyed monster?

How many living areas, dens, kitchens, bed rooms are dominated by the Set? How else would we know what was happening in the world? We don’t watch quiz shows, idol (idle) contests, anything with canned laughter. We have a magic wand with which to control the Set and yet the Set seems to control us.

We have an open plan main living area and the problem has always been how to arrange the dining room table and living room chairs – yes, and the kitchen – so that the Set is always in view.

Today was one of the loveliest days of the early spring: mild temperature, bright sun, and two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two dogs here for a visit. We did get out for awhile to enjoy it, but we also spent several hours rearranging all the furniture in an attempt to provide a more logical location for the television – a location from which it can dominate our lives more completely. For better or (probably worse) we succeeded. Now no matter where we sit, in an easy chair or at the dining room table, the focus is the Set. Even the dogs can have it in view.

Confronted with the dragon, Beowulf’s sword, Hrunting, snapped. Confronted with the Set, Hrunting would turn to putty. Confronted with the Set, the dragon would come down from the sky, stop breathing fire, and curl up on the couch to watch.

1 Comment

AnonymousApril 1st, 2007 at 6:04 pm

As someone who grew up a bookworm literally surrounded by thousands of books (my whole family were bibliophiles!) it is amazing how we let that monster of a “SET” creep into our lives over time. What a wonderfully entertaining analogy ~ wisdom disguised as “light reading” as usual, Thanks!!

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