What Could You Live Without – Music or TV?

Standing within ear shot of the TV, a question was posed; would you rather live for a year without music or television? The immediate idea of either instantly filled me with horror. It turned out to be a small segment on a morning news show as the anchors cut to commercial. A few other questions were asked in a similar manner and the entire piece was timed to be completed in 60 seconds. How can anyone give the answer to such a life changing subject? Choosing to forgo either music or TV for an entire year feels unthinkable.

As the day went on and busy was around every corner, the question lingered. Would I rather stay connected with my weekly viewing lineup or listen to the songs I sing along to in my car or just about everywhere I go? Giving up television would be painful, considering my deep admiration for storytelling. Binge watching would have to be put on hold and my infamous method of falling asleep with the mummer of ‘Friends’ in the background would have to change. By midday, I was able to answer the question for myself, I would have to give up music! As sad as that sounded to me, the choice was clear.

‘One’ by U2 played in my head as time ticked on. I was flooded with memories of my high school days when this song hit the charts and was played on the radio repeatedly. Before we streamed, Spotify(ed) or downloaded anything, radio was king and our local DJ’s queued up our playlist. How would I catch up on an entire year of missed tunes? I hummed Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’ lyrics of how the wicked wild wind blew down the doors to let me in, shattered windows and the sound of drums, people could not believe what I’d become. I asked myself again, can I really give up music for an entire year?

What would I be getting in return as the alternative to music? Grey’s Anatomy, a medical drama and one of my most beloved shows in my DVR would have to keep me company while music was missing. As a ritual, I forgo watching Grey’s on Thursday night, even though it’s known as TGIT and I might miss the conversation around the water cooler. Truth is, everyone records it (digitally of course) to zoom by the commercials and view it on their schedule; and who really ever gathers around a water cooler, if they ever it in the first place. I save it for Saturday mornings, when the house is quiet and not a soul would dare to call. It’s a moment in time or approximately 42 minutes’ worth of tear jerker viewing pleasure.

Another missing puzzle piece would be The Good Wife, a witty legal drama that cuts straight through politics, would be feminism in today’s society and sometimes even religious issues. As it circles the drain it’s seventh and final season, I’m left feeling grateful for the years it’s been on and wonder what will I even replace it with? However, I feel confident that other brilliant writing is just behind this drama as there is and always have been in times past. I quickly realized that while music resonates within us and lingers, television fills an immediate void that is essential to our everyday.

I decided that since music will live within my mind and heart forever, I could take my time experiencing it, even if it’s a year from now. Thankfully, I don’t have to give up either source of enjoyment, even though it made me pause and think about how both of these arts shape what seemed small, until now.