Powerful Essays
A man chooses to stay home from work for a day, not because he is sick, but just because! He starts to eat breakfast and decides to watch TV. He finds a TV show that shows a man going to work and his duties throughout the day. The second day the man decides not to go to work again and he watches the same program. The only difference is that today he recognizes that the man on the TV program is himself. He is watching his own day at work. The TV self is more ambitious, more of everything. The home self continues day after day, watching his TV self. He flips channels and sees his TV self as a catcher of jewel thieves on one channel, a doctor on another channel, and on another a popular lover. On still another channel he is a scientist, who has invented a way to bring people back from the dead. His home self is confused – he wants to control what his TV self does, but he has no control. His TV self runs rampant across the world, helping, killing, saving, buying, raping, stealing, making love, and running away. Eventually the man comes to see that he has a mind, which is like a fist, wrapped tightly around a single thought. He cannot open the fist for fear the thought will fly away. He knows he must hang on to that thought no matter what it costs. As time progresses, the home self keeps changing the channel, but cannot find his way back to his office and to work. He cries himself to sleep some nights because he doesn’t understand what is happening. He picks up the phone and dials a number. The phone rings and rings, but the nurse doesn’t pick up. Then in the end he opens his fist and the thought is GONE! (The TV by Ben Loory)

This article was confusing at first. Then I decided he was seeing himself as he c...

... middle of paper ... a farmer/rancher. However, this was not to be, he got steadily worse at college away from his support system and among strangers who didn’t understand him. By the time he was in his mid-twenties, he was in a mental institution. He spent the next 20 years there with only occasion trips home for visits.

He is now living at home with his parents, working on the farm and has no idea of where most of the past 20 years have gone. The doctors finally found the correct balance of medication to help control the symptoms. He will have to be carefully monitored the rest of his life. What will happen to him when his parents are no longer alive to do the monitoring?


Loory, Ben, “The TV”, from The New Yorker, April 9, 2010



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