Tuesday, August 08, 2006



The television sets - yes - two at any given time - are always on. I have three TVs - one in my bedroom, one in my study and one in the sitting-room that opens on to my kitchen and that I can watch while I am cooking. The bedroom and sitting-room ones are "digital" - (pronounced dee-ghee-tal) - which not only means that I can get a whole range of channels in addition to the regular ones - but it also means that the reception is a split second off the ordinary cable TV so that if I have the one in the study on too I can have a serious nervous breakdown trying to hear what is going on. And that's not counting the sound that comes through the telephone when I'm speaking with someone who also has the TV on.

Which is by way of telling you that when we are at home the TVs are always on. Day and night. Awake and asleep. The TVs are on. We have become TV junkies - actually, news junkies. I read two newspapers each morning, check for news online, watch TV - and just in case I've missed something there is always the telephone with a friend at the other end asking "Did you just hear that on the news?".

Of course, we don't sit at home all day listening to the news. We go out and do our things - errands - lunch - dinner - meetings - shopping - and the minute we come home, on go the TVs. What did we miss? What happened while we were not monitoring the news? As if watching the news could have any bearing at all on the War. As if watching the news could have saved the twelve "miluimnikim" (reservists) who were killed at Kfar Giladi. As if watching the news could have stopped the drone heading toward Tel Aviv.

Since the war began I haven't been able to watch "recreational" programs - no patience - no interest. Only war news. A friend called me late last night and, very apologetically, told me she had turned off the War and watched her favorite programs. And why not? Why apologize? A psychologist wrote in one of the papers last week that watching only news programs was actually very unhealthy. Why do we do it? Because we feel so powerless - so frustrated - so unsure. Because we have to know.

So, dear Oprah, when this War is over I'll go back to watching you - watching your changing hair styles - your make-over programs - maybe even Mel Gibson groveling - but until then - I'll go on watching the news.

Stay Safe.


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