January 25, 2009

Us and Them

Television is now the major source of communication in society today. Many people read the newspaper, or go online, but the simplicity of watching and hearing snips of local, national, and global events and have brought TV to the top of the list. TV offers much more than just factual information; it provides fictional stories and exaggerated realities. People today get lost in television shows; they let their mind go numb for hours at a time, absorbing whatever comes on the screen. People learn to live and judge life, by what they see rather than from what they experience. In “Us and Them?, by David Sedaris, the main character discovers this when he comes to live by the non-TV-watching Tomkey family. He sees that by not watching TV, a family lives by their own rules, not by the ones society has brainwashed into us through television. He first is intrigued by their peculiarity until it poses a negative effect on his life. He then holds resentment and dislike for their difference. He ultimately gives into the TV’s numbness rather than face the ugly and selfish person he has become.