"What's Seinfeld?" he asked me.
I knew artists could be weird, but Karl was serious.
"It's a TV show. You never heard of it?" I said.
"I don't have a TV. The last time I had a TV was nine years ago. My ex-wife got in when we got divorced. Actually, she took it and all of my Jazz records. She packed her things and left when I was working at my studio. I walked in the door and thought my apartment was robbed... until I saw the letter."
"So you stopped watching TV after you guys broke up?"
"I actually stopped watching it years earlier."
"Right after the Pope got shot. Or was it President Reagan? They both got shot within a month of each other. I stopped watching TV shortly after the shootings."
"Well, a couple of exceptions. I watched a soccer game in a bar in Spain a couple of years ago."
"Yes. No TV, It rots your brain. It's how they brainwash you and get you to buy shit you don't need."
"Too bad. You missed a hysterical episode of Seinfeld last night. It involved a Snickers bar."
I had a weird phase at the turn of the century when I barely watched TV. That coincided with a voracious reading binge and a chronic bought with insomnia where I read no less than ten books a week, since I spent up to fifteen hours a day devoted to nothing but reading and smoking pot. I wasn't addicted to the intertubes yet and still used dial-up. I spent less than an hour a day, mostly to send/read email. Sometimes, I spent less than that.
I spent a lot of time in bookstores. On the West Coast, I had a heavy staple of Beckett, Chomsky, Castaneda, Watts, Kierkegaard, Spalding Gray, and Chuck Palahniuk. When I returned to NYC, I delved into Arthur Nersesian, Paul Auster, and Michael Chabon. I spent hours inside Strand reading classic novels, biographies, and random history books. I hung out in different Barnes and Nobles, where I started reading poker books in the games section. I bought pot from one guy who worked in a graphics studio downtown near the World Trade Center. While I waited to meet him, I used to hang out in Borders located inside the North Tower. I read dozens of books while waiting to buy weed. I stopped going there after 9/11 and I got cable TV shortly afterwords.
TV fell off my radar a couple of years ago when I hit the road for work. I lost all concept of linear time and spent mostly every day in a different city and time zone and country. TV got lost in the shuffle. Sometimes I watched TV late nights in random hotel rooms, but that usually entailed Sportscenter or some sort of movie to zone out to. And it different countries, I found solace in watching old American TV shows dubbed in English. I watched the Simpsons in Spain and Denmark. I watched Beverly Hills 90210 in Monte Carlo. I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Holland. I watched the Family Guy in the UK.
During my travels, my brother TiVo'd a couple of my favorite shows, but I had to skip the rest. Thanks to the internet, I watched the last couple episodes of The Sopranos via Nicky's laptop. I watched most of the first season of Heroes via iTunes and a couple of different sites.
These days, the only show I follow is Top Chef and the season is almost over. I'll get a boner when Entourage returns, whenever that happens. Aside that I've been removed from the mix. I know certain shows exist, but I just kind of tune it out.
The TV pops on late nights when insomnia strikes and Superbad is on in the background for the 213th hour in a row while we rip bong hits. Over the last couple of weeks, the only time I watched TV during the day occurred at the diner. There' a TV on at the end of the counter and I sit at that end and watched whatever they have on while I ate my breakfast. Tyra Banks show was on once. Good Day LA was on most days. On Sunday morning, they aired a news program with an interview with the Governor Schwarzenegger.
The Oscars were on Sunday. Last year, we didn't get to watch them, so Nicky wanted to watch them together. I took the day off from writing and decided to zone out in front of the boob tube and hurl snarky comments in between bong hits and jambalaya. If you missed it, she live blogged the Oscars over at Pot Committed.